They are a seemingly unlikely pair, but the more you think about it, the more it makes perfect sense — tech startups and marijuana. It may have been a pipe dream just a few years ago, but now companies are sprouting up left and right, providing an infrastructure and support system for the blossoming cannabis industry.

Prior to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, most people opted to steer clear of the industry because of its dubious legal status. While there are fairly robust medical marijuana industries in many states, the industry still lacked many of the everyday luxuries other industries take for granted, like access to banking and other financial services.

But a new breed of entrepreneurs and free market idealists are growing up in a world in which marijuana is not seen as a horribly destructive drug, but rather the next big commodity, and possibly a panacea to America’s economic woes. The fear associated with working in the cannabis industry has been shed in large part, and both state and federal governments are sitting back and watching what happens.

This has left open opportunity — big opportunity — for those with the capital and the willingness to take the risk of jumping on board. Without an infrastructure for banking, sharing information, finding storefronts, and many other aspects of business, the marijuana industry is loaded with opportunity for entrepreneurship to bloom.

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