In Pictures: High tech for high times. What it takes to run a medical marijuana business

In some ways, getting into the legal marijuana industry is a lot like launching any small business. You need capital. You need grow lights. You need Febreze. And you need technology -- which turns out to be the easy part.

An attorney with teeth To the feds, marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance, as illegal to traffic in as heroin or cocaine. Legal cultivation and sale are governed by state laws, which vary wildly, notes attorney Khurshid Khoja with Greenbridge Corporate Counsel in San Francisco. To sell medical cannabis in California, for example, you must belong to not-for-profit collective or a co-op of qualified patients that have a doctor's recommendation. In Colorado you can sell medical cannabis for profit, but you must grow at least 70 percent of it yourself. Some states allow you to advertise, some don't. Some have strict regulatory environments, others are more relaxed. Bottom line: You'll want to consult a sativa-savvy legal eagle to sort out all the rules.

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