In Colorado, where recreational marijuana has been legal since January 1st of 2014, there is a growing trend in the startup community. More and more entrepreneurs are turning to cannabis and cannabis oil as an opportunity to make money off of their ideas.

Cannabis oil is a thick, sticky, resinous substance made up of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, that is extracted from the cannabis plant. Cannabis oil can be used for a variety of purposes, including cooking, as a beauty product, and as a medicine.

For example, Denver-based Green Bits LLC, which provides software that helps companies process transactions with cannabis dispensaries, is looking to grow by 60 percent this year. And the company’s CEO, Bill Zekes, has said that they will add “at least one new product in 2014 aimed at helping businesses manage inventory and track sales.”

The number of startups focusing on the business side of cannabis is also increasing. Earlier this month, a group of investors announced plans to create the first publicly traded company solely focused on the cannabis industry. The company, called Cannabis Sativa Investments (CSI), hopes to raise $10 million from private investors and then use the funds to acquire other companies in the industry.

As legalization spreads across states around the country, there is a growing expectation that online commerce will play a major role in the sector. And, it looks like we’re finally getting closer to that reality. In July, it was reported that the National Bank of Canada made its own pot stock available for investment. Although the bank did not list any individual stocks, analysts believe that the move could pave the way for other banks to do so in the future.

But, while the banking system may seem like an obvious place to turn when thinking about investing in the cannabis industry, it’s actually not. For one thing, marijuana laws vary drastically between different states. Some states have legalized recreational or medical use, but some still consider cannabis a Schedule I drug under federal law. This means that banks can’t legally provide services to any business dealing with weed, even if that business isn’t violating state law. So, until the federal government changes its stance, the only way to get your money out of the sector is to store it yourself.

This presents a problem because cash is notoriously hard to hide. If someone were to search your house for drugs, chances are good that they would find a lot of them. Not only that, but you wouldn’t be able to prove that you were actually selling weed to begin with.

So, what does this mean? Well, if you’re planning on starting up a cannabis-focused website, you might want to think twice before trying to set up shop online. After all, if you don’t have access to traditional banking services, then how are you going to pay for your server costs?

How to Set Up Your Own Website (or Ecommerce Store)

If you want to start your own site, you’ll need to decide whether you want to focus on medical or recreational cannabis. As mentioned above, it’s difficult to navigate these waters without having direct access to banking services. But, if you’re willing to take the risk, there are ways you can work around this limitation.

You should probably start by building your personal brand and gaining a reputation within the community. You can use social media to market your products and build connections with local dispensaries, and you can even try to negotiate deals with the bigger players in the industry. Once you’ve proven that you have a solid enough following, you can look into setting up a storefront on one of the bigger platforms: Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, and SquareSpace.

SquareSpace is one of the most popular options for small businesses. It offers simple tools that allow you to sell products online, as well as easy customization features that make it possible to design a website that matches your aesthetic perfectly. It’s also free to use, making it a great option for anyone who wants to get started.

Another platform worth considering is Shopify. While it doesn’t offer quite as many features as SquareSpace, it’s easier to use and has built-in integration with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Analytics. Plus, it allows you to customize your shopping experience based on your customer’s needs.

Finally, you can choose to go with an ecommerce store that specializes in cannabis. One such store is 420Store, which lets its customers browse through thousands of products while providing payment processing capabilities. If you’re interested in taking things even further, you can also set up your own dispensary and sell directly to users.

Get Paid With PayPal or Bitcoin

One of the biggest advantages of choosing to run a cannabis-related business is that you can accept payments in either PayPal or Bitcoins. This makes it possible for people outside of the U.S. to purchase your wares. However, there are some downsides to accepting both currencies. PayPal charges a service fee of 3% per transaction, whereas bitcoins charge a flat rate of 5%. So, if you’re hoping to make big bucks, you’d better hope that you attract a big audience.

On top of that, you’ll need to deal with all of the security issues associated with operating a business that accepts cryptocurrencies. For instance, you’ll need to ensure that your website is secure from hackers. And, if a customer buys something using bitcoin, you’ll need to convert it back to dollars before cashing out. It’s definitely not a straightforward process, but it’s not impossible either.

To learn more about how to start a cannabis business, check out our article on everything you need to know about running a dispensary. Also, keep reading below to find out what kinds of jobs you can find working in the cannabis industry.