Meet the new pot entrepreneurs

Washington State's budding marijuana industry has drawn entrepreneurs from all careers and backgrounds.

The mad scientist

legal marijuana industry brandon hamilton
  • Entrepreneur: Brandon Hamilton
  • Background: Architect
  • Weed-related job: Scientist

Brandon Hamilton is on a quest to create the most concentrated, potent marijuana around.

What's the point? Pot concentrates allow him to convert the more traditional versions of cannabis into other products. His potions end up as breath sprays or tiny crystals you can bake to inhale. He's working on creating hand lotions and pills.

To him, the future of marijuana is in catering to customers who don't fit the typical description of a pothead.

He's thinking about the grandmother with arthritis who isn't willing to smoke weed -- but would rub an ointment on her wrists.

He's an architect by training, but that doesn't stop him from taking on weed science.

In his nondescript office in suburban Seattle, he runs a small lab. Inside is a silvery-colored machine which converts a two-pound bag of cannabis into a few, amber-colored droplets. Hamilton uses plant trimmings most growers throw away, turning cheap supplies into valuable products.

For now, he generates sales by processing raw material in oil. He buys plant trimmings from growers and dispensaries, then sells the oil back to them.

He dreams of turning his business into a pharmaceutical company that assists research of the anti-tumor properties of cannabis. He thinks of patients like his girlfriend, a six-time cancer survivor.

"I want to find out if this can treat cancer," he said. "I want to take the oil I make, and send it right over to a hospital and say, 'Here, study this.'"

  @Jose_Pagliery - Last updated May 06 2013 08:31 AM ET

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