US venture capital dropped $303.9 million into the cannabis industry in 2017, up from just $1 million in 2012. Most of the top venture-backed companies in the space, are either biotech companies or provide ancillary services, like software platforms and payroll management. The murky legal status of cannabis in the US has given rise to cannabis-focused venture funds, which thrive in the uncertainty.  

The legal marijuana industry is booming, in spite of the federal government’s antagonistic attitude towards the plant. 
According to data and research firm Pitchbook, American venture capital put $303.9 million into 79 marijuana industry deals in 2017, up from just $1 million in 2012, when Colorado first legalized the drug. And 2018 is on pace to break 2017’s record. By the end of February, there were 12 venture-backed deals worth $159.4 million alone. Looking at the highest-valued venture-backed companies in the marijuana industry, there are two clear patterns. Money is flowing into the ancillary-side — tech companies that provide software or payroll services to the cannabis industry but don’t actually touch the plant. The highest-valued marijuana companies of 2017 reveal two key insights about the booming industry

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