Daniel Conway, a political operative and father of four has staked his future on the legalisation of recreational marijuana in November, with no guarantee California will vote for.
Conway left his job as Chief of Staff to Sacramento’s celebrity mayor, former Phoenix Suns NBA basketball star Kevin Johnson, to help start the marijuana investment company; Truth Enterprises.
He is also one of hundreds in the most populous U.S. already pushing ahead with plans to enter a market experts said would be worth four billion Dollars by 2020.
He said he forsees the legalisation and normalisation of marijuana as inevitable.
“I am someone of an age and of demography that sees the legalisation and normalisation of marijuana as inevitable.
“This was a chance not just to build companies, but to build an industry.
“With a population of nearly 40 million people, and a thriving medical marijuana trade legalised 20 years ago, California already has the U.S. largest legal marijuana market.
“Legalisation of recreational pot would generate an estimated one billion dollars in additional taxes per year,’’ Conway added.
California would be the fifth U.S. state, and by far the largest to allow marijuana for recreational use, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia, if legalised.
The latest effort is backed by mainstream leaders including Gov. Gavin Newsom, who helped in negotiating the regulations and taxes it would impose.
A similar ballot initiative failed in California in 2010, but recent polls showed strong support for legalisation.
Eight other states, including Nevada and Maine, also had recreational or medical marijuana proposals headed for their 2016 ballots.
California’s sheer size as the world’s 6th largest economy means a decision by its voters to legalise marijuana could accelerate the trend elsewhere.
Leslie Bocskor, whose Nevada based private equity firm, Electrum Partners, advises and invests in marijuana-related businesses said no state could be compared to the U.S market.
“I don’t believe there will be any precedent in the U.S. that can compare to it except for maybe the Gold Rush.
“The lure of wealth in an uncharted industry is so great that thousands of people are jostling for position,’’Bocskor said.
According to Deputy Director Taylor West, “Since January, 115 new California companies have joined the National Cannabis Industry Association, bringing total membership in the state to 330’’.
“New companies include cultivators, dispensaries, laboratories, law partnerships, accountants, software developers, insurers and more, ’’she said.
Their challenge is to set up an infrastructure for a business that is not yet legal.