It’s a brave new world, one where marijuana prohibition laws are slowly being chiseled away and legit, legal business opportunities involving marijuana are emerging. The emergence of ganjapreneurship in Colorado and Washington is a wonderful moment for American capitalism, especially for those who believe the damn plant can bring in significant tax revenue on the state and local level. Hell, in Colorado alone, the state is estimating that legal marijuana has already brought in $40 million in state tax revenue in only 10 months.
The marijuana business is starting to boom into a legitimate industry. This is wonderful news for four 20-something Bros in Washington who are the subjects of a must-read Mashable long read by Anna Callaghan called “Money to Burn”. The entrepreneurial group of dudes — all tokers themselves — are literally living the dream after quitting their various post-grad jobs in finance and tech.
Here’s the lede to Callaghan’s article:
Miles and Connor Deife’s grandfather warned them if they ever smoked weed they’d lose their inheritance and never work the family farm again.
Now in their early twenties, not only are they smoking it, they’re running a large-scale grow – on their grandfather’s old land.
Miles and Connor Deife, 25 and 23, respectively, met Josh Chase, 25, and Alex Curry, 24, at Santa Clara University in California. They all dabbled in various professional jobs after college, but then Washington State legalized recreational marijuana.
Miles met fellow student Alex Curry in 2008 at Santa Clara University, a small Jesuit Catholic school in beachy Santa Clara, California. [Ed: The author attended Santa Clara University.] The young men played hard. They drank and smoked. They lived in a house named “Playground,” then later one with a trampoline in the backyard. While in school, Miles sold T-shirts, Christmas trees and long-range Wi-Fi equipment to farmers.
Besides Alex, he hung out with his younger brother Connor and a friend named Josh Chase. When they weren’t studying politics, engineering, physics and economics, respectively, they bonded over pot.
Meanwhile, something was happening in the Silicon Valley business scene. Degrees in hand, their peers flocked to Facebook and Google, to venture capital firms and the temporary warmth of tech incubators.
The hungry market captivated the young men.
Seeing a start-up opportunity, Miles Deife and Connor Deife convinced their farmer grandfather, who “has never liked pot-smoking hippies”, to sell them a 20-acre chunk of his farmland in Washington’s “Kush Valley.” They borrowed $350,000 from family and friends to built a marijuana farm (they still have to pay them back), complete with hand-built greenhouses that they tend to daily. They all their company Amerifarms. The four partners now use the bud they grow to make hash oil, which is basically printing money:
In late December 2014 Amerifarms started selling marijuana to retailers. Their bud is called “Juicy Fruit.”
Until then, they’d already seen returns on large amounts of Butane Hash Oil, used for dabs. Lately, it’s what people have blown themselves up trying to make in their apartments — a la Breaking Bad.
“We make $40,000 a day just on hash oil,” says Miles. “Literally the machine shits out money. Out of garbage.”
We’ll see a lot of stories like this over the next decade or so, especially as consumer demand begin to grow and the marketplace continues to be defined. Honestly, give it 10 years and a couple more big, highly-populated states to legalize marijuana and there will be a legit marijuana billionaire. Just give it time, the dominos are already falling.
But in the meantime, Miles, Connor, Josh, Alex are living every Bro’s version of the American dream, one toke at a time.
For more on the operation, watch the video below: