Investing in Weed and 5 U.S. States Angling to Pass Marijuana Legislation: Insights from Ganja Guru Serge Chistov

The marijuana industry is quickly shaping up to be one of the most lucrative investment opportunities of the modern era. The performance of the North American Marijuana Index certainly demonstrates the growth and widespread adoption of cannabis-linked investments.

While the path to full legalization appears to be set in Canada, the picture south of the border is much more muddied. Several U.S. states, including California, have legalized recreational weed. Many others are pondering the question. However, they also realize that legalization at the state level runs contrary to federal DEA laws. This friction will make it difficult for marijuana industry to unlock financing or enjoy many of the same benefits as mainstream business.

Hacked recently had the opportunity to connect with Serge Chistov, the so-called ‘Ganja Guru’ and financial partner to the Honest Marijuana Company. The author knew many ‘Ganja Gurus’ growing up, but their skill was rolling a blunt. Chistov, on the other hand, has some unique insights about the trajectory of the market.

Upon reading our latest cannabis piece, Chistov chimed in on where he thought the market was headed.

Five States Angling to Put Recreational Weed on the Ballot in 2018

Chistov says there are no less than five U.S. states itching to put recreational cannabis on the ballot during the mid-term elections.

“The dominoes continue to teeter and fall. Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Missouri and Nebraska all have marijuana legislation up for vote in 2018,” Chistov said. “That would bring the total number of states with legalized marijuana, in one form or another, to 34 if the people in these five states vote yes (which they likely will).”

As a reminder, America’s marijuana landscape currently looks something like this:

Adds Chistov: “We are quickly approaching a time when all 50 states will have legal marijuana laws on the books. And yet the federal government is still stuck in a time when marijuana was considered to be the scourge of our nation’s youth—which it wasn’t, and isn’t.”

Cannabis Industry Up 150% Year-Over-Year

The cannabis industry has seen truly profound growth in a short period of time. Investment in tthe sector has grown 150% year-over-year to reach $1.8 billion. This figure is likely to grow manifold as legalization continues.

Chistov: “In the next 10 years, we may even see a cannabusiness go public. The potential for profit in this ever-expanding market is high right now and will continue to stay that way as legalization continues to spread.”

No Insurance

For all the opportunity afforded by cannabis growth, significant barriers remain. In Chistov’s view, the insurance industry is one of the biggest inhibitors marijuana businesses currently face.

Dozens of cannabis farms burned down in the recent California wildfires. None of the them were insured because federal law prohibits banks and financial institutions from participating in the marijuana sector. What’s more, many local farms used their savings to satisfy state permits, which typically run as much as $50,000.

“The destruction wrought by the California wildfires has brought this prejudice into stark focus,” Chistov said.

By operating outside the mainstream financial industry, pot growers will continue to face risks financing their business and insuring it against natural disasters.


The cannabis sector is a highly diverse ecosystem that consists of nearly a dozen major industries. Although the tide of legalization is quickly sweeping the continent, the path forward is expected to be rocky as the battle between federal and state jurisdictions continues.


Disclaimer: Author has no active investments in the marijuana industry. 

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi