The Marijuana Business Takes Root in Pa.

Duane Morris’ Seth Goldberg was quoted in the Philadelphia Business Journal  on the opportunities and risk facing entrepreneurs in the development medical marijuana industry in Pennsylvania.

While the upfront costs to entrepreneurs wanting to enter the market are expected to run into the millions of dollars, the payoff could be substantial. The ArcView Group, a market research firm that studies the cannabis industry, estimates the Pennsylvania medical marijuana market will start out with annual sales at about $125 million and grow at a rate of about 180 percent per year in the program’s first few years.

“There will also be huge opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to create ancillary businesses that are integral to the core growing and dispensing businesses,” said Seth Goldberg, a Philadelphia attorney with Duane Morris who specializes in commercial and health care matters.

Goldberg said those wishing to get involved in the medical marijuana process will also have to be willing to assume some risk.

“It’s a capital-intensive process with some unknowns,” Goldberg said. “You have to get into the process now before the regulations have been provided, and without knowing if you are going to get a license.”

“Businesses need to put their ducks in a row now so they can hit the ground running,” said Goldberg, the Duane Morris lawyer. “If you are a processor you’ll need to acquire technology and space for processing. If you are a dispenser you’ll have to mine for retail locations.”

Goldberg suggested people go online to look at what other states required on the assumption Pennsylvania will model its applications on those in states where medical marijuana is already available.

To read the full text, please visit the Philadelphia Business Journal website (subscription required).