Image of Legal Marijuana
 
Big marijuana money is in the D.C. area this week.
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As part of a number of marijuana-related events in town this week, business investor network ArcView Group has brought approximately 200 high-net-worth cannabis investors for a "Shark Tank"-style pitch fest starting Thursday.
 
In all, 15 companies were selected to make their case for funding at the Investor Pitch Forum in Alexandria before the ArcView network, which has backed 53 companies and invested more than $40 million.
 
It's among a growing number of marijuana-related business events that have begun cropping up in the region since limited use of cannabis became legal in the District. In February, the ComfyTree Cannabis Academy, Expo and Career Fair attracted several hundred people to learn about what's been dubbed the "Green Rush."
 
This week's events highlight just how much investment interest has shifted toward cannabis-related business opportunities, said Troy Dayton, co-founder and CEO of ArcView.
 
A report from the group estimates the U.S. legal marijuana market grew from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014. They estimate the industry could increase to $10 billion in sales by 2018.
 
"People are really starting to see this as the next great American industry," Dayton said.
 
Among other events this week, the Marijuana Policy Project planned to mark its 20th anniversary celebration on Wednesday. The National Cannabis Industry Association also held its fifth annual Lobby Days with about 100 cannabis business professionals. They planned to hold multiple meetings on Capitol Hill with congressional staffs regarding marijuana-related policy.
 
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