As marijuana legalization spreads across the USA, entrepreneurs are racing to get in on the ground floor of this nascent market. Many established companies are wary of the sector because contradictory state and federal regulations make the business of pot a risky proposition. Start-ups on the other hand, have lots less to lose, so the race to secure funding is really heating up. A Seattle-based private equity firm is at the head of the pack with $82 million in funding and another asset that could prove to be even more valuable: a licensing agreement to use Bob Marley’s name and image to create the sector's first highly-visible brand. Called Marley Natural Fine Cannabis, the brand is promising marijuana-infused products like lotions and balms, as well as accessories and the herb itself by late 2015. As legalization marches forward, it was only a matter of time before big business got smart about dope. With so much money behind it already, an plenty of smokers as potential customers, the legal marijuana market is one of the largest to watch in 2016 and beyond.