The seasoned capitalist
marijuana industry john davis
Entrepreneur: John Davis
Background: Military construction contractor
Weed-related job: Dispensary owner

He currently runs a medical marijuana dispensary, but John Davis can't wait to join Washington's recreational-use industry later this year.

It's an environment in which Davis thinks he'll thrive. His leg-up on competition? He's a veteran dealmaker who spent years as a project manager of a construction firm. He thinks many in the industry are amateurs.

Unlike other dispensary owners, Davis doesn't get caught up with the typical medical marijuana lingo, which calls pot sales "donations" and supply networks "collectives."

"I sell cannabis retail," he said flatly.

His knowledge of commerce also helps him avoid sky-high federal taxes. A provision in the tax code, known as 280E, prevents anyone from writing off the act of selling illicit drugs. So, Davis keeps employees busy packaging and consulting. They're not transactions, so he writes off the time of that labor.

He also maintains careful procedure.

To avoid attention from federal law enforcement, he employs strict rules to ensure every gram of cannabis is accounted for.

To combat criminals, he uses his experience as a military building contractor to establish security measures -- like cameras and tripwires -- that account for employee theft and outside robbers.

"We have to be more professional than the rest of the world, because we're held to higher scrutiny," he said.


  @Jose_Pagliery - Last updated May 06 2013 08:31 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.