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.

The patience of Buddha If you're hoping to strike it rich in the legal marijuana business, you'll need a lot of capital or a lot of patience. “The situation is untenable,” says Aldworth. “The tax code and banking issues need to be repaired, and they can be.” With thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of potential tax revenue at stake, legislators have a strong incentive to fix them, she adds. Meanwhile, small dispensaries like Northern Lights Natural Rx are hoping to ride it out.

“I barely broke even the first two years, and my salary is still half what it was when I was doing tech support,” says Woolhiser. “But I think if you can hang in this business, it will pay off in the long run.”

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