The Business of Cannabis: New Policies for the New Marijuana Industry


What happens when corporate culture takes over counterculture? This book explores the contradictions present within the cannabis industry from a business and policy perspective.


Despite the unique culture surrounding cannabis, this new industry follows the same economic principles as does any other agricultural product―that is, it would if the federal government allowed it to.

Four distinct challenges prevent the cannabis industry from becoming fully legal and federally regulated in the United States, equivalent to the alcohol, pharmaceutical, or tobacco industries: federal regulations counter to state laws, an unfriendly financial system, a U.S. attorney general bent on keeping the drug war running, and Prohibition’s 70-year-old legacy of distrust between legalization advocates and opponents.

The Business of Cannabis explores these issues in depth and contextualizes U.S. drug policy at a time when lawmakers across the nation are deciding which way to lean on the issue. It also treats the new and growing cannabis industry in the context of more established ones, such as the alcohol, pharmaceutical, and tobacco industries and it collects experiences and experiments from all of the regions, states, and municipalities in which marijuana has been legalized.

In the book you will learn how federal regulations or lack thereof (e.g., lack of access to banking) affect the industry and you will explore the interactions of federal, state, and local laws.

Editorial Reviews

“This book is an essential primer on the current state of the marijuana industry. . . . There is huge potential in investing in cannabis as well as massive risk and uncertainty, and this book is an excellent aid in understanding the full picture that surrounds cannabis. With the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in Colorado, Washington, and other states, cannabis is a hot topic… [This] is a great book for any library but especially those in states that have legalized or are considering legalizing marijuana. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through professionals.”

– 2018 Top Community College Resource – Choice

“From the seed of the first meeting of the Marijuana Control Board to the first sale in the port town of Valdez, D. J. Summers quickly established himself as the go-to source for information on the Alaska cannabis industry. Summers’s depth of knowledge of the issues at the federal, state, and local levels gathered over years of reporting make him well-qualified to bring it all together for anyone interested in where the cannabis industry has been and where it is going.” – (Andrew Jensen, Managing Editor, Alaska Journal of Commerce)

About the Author

D. J. Summers is a freelance journalist covering developments in the cannabis industry in Colorado. Formerly he was a business and investigative reporter for the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

Book details

  • Hardcover: 171 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (March 7, 2018)
  • Language: English

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