NEW YORK (AP) — Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever.
The tangle of rules and regulations that govern whether and how it can be grown, bought and sold create complexity and ambiguity that cause major headaches for marijuana businesses — and enticing opportunities for those who want to exploit it.
“It’s a gray market industry, that’s just how it is,” says Kayvan Khalatbari, who owns a marijuana dispensary and a chain of pizza restaurants in Denver.
The big issue: the nation hasn’t decided whether marijuana is a dangerous illegal drug or not much worse than tobacco or alcohol. According to federal law, it is an illegal narcotic like heroin, with “no currently accepted medical use.” But recent legalization pushes have made it legal — for medical use — in 23 states and Washington D.C. In Colorado and Washington State, it can be bought just for fun.