In many ways, medical marijuana entrepreneurs are no different than any other business start-ups: They need a business plan, venture capital and a fair dose of fortitude.As a comparison a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business looking a business in general found that 29 percent of people making money was their primary motivator for starting a business.
They also are likely to have something not generally found in most small-business owners: an activist streak.
More than half (58 percent) of those in the burgeoning industry say they started their businesses to promote expansion of medical marijuana or outright legalization, according to a report released last month analyzing the growing market. Only 12 percent said “financial opportunity” was their primary motivation.
Jeffrey Miron, director of undergraduate studies at Harvard's Economics Department, finds the data on cannabis entrepreneurs interesting — but not surprising.So pot growers are entrepreneurs, both economically and socially.
"This has been a suppressed industry for decades. People have had to worry about jail time and asset forfeiture. So it is understandable that the people in this industry have a passion for social change," said Miron, who has studied and written extensively about drug prohibition. "And let's be very clear here: Making money and activism aren't mutually exclusive. They can do both."