>> Mike, you stay out for questions and the answer's the end, right? I might want you to answer->> Ten years ago, Derrick Peterson was working on Wall Street when the financial crisis hit, wondering if he'd be the next one pushed out the door. But Peterson stumbled upon the first legal medical marijuana dispensaries and that's when his Wall Street instincts kicked in.
>> When I started to look at revenue per square foot of these facilities around California, I started to see numbers that were off the charts. So if you look at an average retailer like a Target or a Walmart, you're looking at a few hundred dollars of revenue per square foot.
If you look at some of your higher end retailers, your Louis Vuittons and your Cartiers, 1,000. When I started to kind of put on those investment banking analytics with the cannabis industry, we saw 3, 4, 5, $6,000 of revenue per square foot as a common theme. And that's kind in that proverbial white bulb went off that this industry has some legs to it.
>> Peterson now runs Terra Tech, one of the only publicly traded pot stocks. He's not the only former Wall Street banker who survived the financial crisis by moving to the weed industry. Just as it was emerging from the shadows and into the spotlight in some States says Reuters' investment correspondent David Randall.
>> One person told me, I can't write codes, I can't make a startup, I don't know medicine so that can do biotech. So there's got to be something else out there and that's how we found cannabis. One person I spoke with, he has a hedge fund that invests in cannabis companies.
Other people are actually in the finance of the companies themselves, whether that's a SCFO role or CEO role.>> Alumni from storied Wall Street firms, such as Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, were lured to an industry that brought in nearly $6 billion last year. And is poised to double or triple that over the next four years according to one estimate, but this career switch is not without risk.
The Trump Administration is against the federal legalization of marijuana. If there's a crackdown on states, jobs will disappear and some of the bankers who were burnt by the financial crisis may get burnt all over again.>> But I'm one of the best.