The Business of Cannabis

New Policies for the New Marijuana Industry

by D. J. Summers


From a commercial viewpoint, cannabis is not special for any reason other than the fact that federal laws influence the market for it.

Print Flyer
Cover image for The Business of Cannabis

March 2018


Pages 171
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Current Events and Issues/Business
  Health & Wellness/General

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.

Policy, however, is changing. Already the world's most heavily consumed illicit drug is in the midst of an international transformation. Globally, a new international trade market has emerged from efforts to legalize it for medical or recreational use, and in the United States, the nascent cannabis industry has acquired lobbyists, well-financed industry kingpins, an extensive ancillary industry, and taxation. 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.


  • Treats the new and growing cannabis industry in the context of more established ones, such as the alcohol, pharmaceutical, and tobacco industries
  • Collects experiences and experiments from all of the regions, states, and municipalities in which marijuana has been legalized
  • Explains how federal regulations or lack thereof (e.g., lack of access to banking) affect the industry
  • Explores the interactions of federal, state, and local laws
  • Sheds light on the evolution of public policy on legalized marijuana
Author Info

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, covering Alaska's recreational marijuana industry since it began in 2015. In addition to cannabis, he has covered health care, banking, politics, and telecommunications, with numerous articles picked up by the Associated Press for national distribution. Previously, he covered cyber security for Fortune and worked as a general assignment reporter for other publications. Summers earned his master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.



"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."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

In the News

Juneau Empire, Trump should legalize marijuana, 7/27/2018

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

Marijuana Politics cover imageThe Politics of Cancer cover imageFood Truths from Farm to Table cover image
Fixing the Food System cover imageThe Wrong Prescription for Women cover imageEuthanasia and Assisted Suicide cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips