And yet, for more 'hands-on' entrepreneurs, there are edible products to consider.
"Even though there are 'leaders' in the market, they are just players," Rea says. "No one has established a dominant brand, primarily because of the interstate commerce restrictions. You go to a grocery store, there's upwards of 50,000 products. If there are 5,000 edible (cannabis) companies in the country I would be surprised."
Once you settle on your Big Idea, there's the matter of implementation. That can mean finding investors while navigating a changing legal landscape.
Day-to-day keeping the DOJ at bay
Hilary Bricken, an attorney with the Canna Law Group in Seattle, works with burgeoning cannabis businesses to keep them on the straight and narrow. Some of the biggest mistakes she sees ganjapreneurs make?
"Overall, a lack of understanding of the state rules and laws in play," Bricken told MainStreet. "The current trend is for states to legalize marijuana cultivation, manufacture, and distribution pursuant to 'robust regulations' as dictated by the Department of Justice. As a result, there’s usually a torrent of state rules and statutes with which to comply and the typical marijuana start-up simply doesn’t have the bandwidth or manpower necessary to constantly meet and comply with those rules."
In addition, she says, there are going to be local laws -- like city or county permitting, coding -- with which the business needs to comply.
"The devil is always in the details with those things," Bricken said. In addition, a start-up marijuana business typically doesn’t have a grasp over what the conflict with federal law actually means for day-to-day business dealings -- it’s more than just the DOJ and DEA raiding the facility these days.