Soaring Demand For Marijuana In Colorado Ushers In Weed Cottage Industry

"Activity is off the charts, but we're still not meeting demand."

In Colorado, supply can't keep up with demand. One of two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use (the other being Washington), Colorado's pot industry has ushered in a booming warehouse market--part of a greater cannabis cottage industry.

"Nobody is growing enough marijuana," Jason Thomas of Avalon Realty Advisors, an agency that helps marijuana cultivators find warehouse space, told the Denver Post. "Activity is off the charts, but we're still not meeting demand."

The fact that Avalon Realty Advisors specializes in helping growers find warehouse space highlights a new ecosystem centered around marijuana. Denver currently sees a 3.1% industrial vacancy rate, the lowest it's been in decades, and estimates say cannabis cultivation will occupy 4.5 million square feet in the city, helping drive prices up. In January alone, Colorado collected $2 million in taxes on pot sales, and the state projects marijuana will bring in $613 million in sales in the next year.

Other players capitalizing on marijuana include Canna Security America, a security company that serves dispensaries and cannabis-growing operations. Canna Security has carved out a niche in Colorado, which requires video surveillance in these facilities, because traditional security firms have been wary of marijuana companies. "A lot of security companies, they don't take the [marijuana] industry very seriously, and that's what sets us apart. They don't want to deal with the regulations," Canna Security president Dan Williams told Fast Company in a story about marijuana startups that ran last fall.

[Image: Flickr user Coleen Danger]

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