Walmart For Weed

by Zoe Pollock

Josh Harkinson reports on Dhar Mann and Derek Peterson's plans to cash in on California's "green rush":

[Mann decided he would] create "the first honest hydro store," one that didn't perpetuate the charade that its customers are spending thousands of dollars growing amazing tomatoes. When the PR shop that was managing weGrow's grand opening in January 2010 handed him a press release that read "Urban gardening megastore opens by airport," Mann fired the firm and rewrote the release himself: "Marijuana Superstore Opens in East Oakland." ...

If everything works out as Peterson and Mann insist it will, GrowOp's projected $2 million in annual profits will give it a $50 to $60 million market cap when it goes public later this year. Together they will own 70 percent of the shares. That's small change compared with a tech IPO, but if it actually happens, it would add to weGrow's legitimacy in the eyes of investors, regulators, and potheads.