As more and more states move toward legalizing marijuana, investors are exploring how to capitalize on the increasing growth of the industry. But there's still one thing giving some capitalists pause: branding.
Alex Theirsch, managing principal for Salveo Captial, a private equity firm investing in legal weed, told HuffPost Live on Thursday that the stigma of marijuana is a turn-off for potential customers who don't fit the typical stoner stereotype.
"Unfortunately, a lot of the industry is still kind of hanging out in the shadows," Thiersch said. "There's a significant counterculture element to this that we're working very strongly to get out of."
That counterculture vibe is "always going to exist," Thiersch said, and his firm doesn't seek to completely eliminate it. Instead, Salveo aims to work with companies that brand legal pot to appeal to a higher-end customer.
"There's a whole other generation of people that's looking for an experience, but they don't want to deal with that counterculture image. They don't want to be going into a dispensary and seeing pictures of Bob Marley and the Grateful Dead and having individuals behind the counter with tattoos and piercings -- and that's not to take anything away from that particular element," Thiersch said. "But what we're focused on is providing a different type of experience that's more akin to the J. Crew, to the Eddie Bauer, to the women and more affluent culture."
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about the booming business of marijuana here.
Also on HuffPost: