“You will find that the successful marijuana business owners are professionals,” said Chris Walsh, editor of Medical Marijuana Business Daily, an industry trade publication. “They’ll wear a suit to a meeting. They understand their company’s books and finances. … These guys picked up pretty quickly that you’ve got to be professional in this.”
Through information obtained in public-records requests to state regulators, The Denver Post has been able — for the first time — to identify several of the leading medical-marijuana business owners in Colorado. The names of some of Colorado’s biggest marijuana moguls are not well known outside the industry — or in some cases, even inside it. Some like it that way, preferring a low profile in a risky business.
One is a former oil man. Another was the president of a company that produced baby sleep positioners. There’s a boutique real estate developer of an Aspen hotel and a 32-year-old former commercial banker who opened her own consulting company. Many of Colorado’s major marijuana players prefer to keep out of the limelight. Some fear publicity could draw scrutiny from federal law enforcement officials who view dispensary owners as drug traffickers.