Drive through the outskirts of Pueblo, Colorado, and you'll see the remnants of a steel economy -- giant, empty brick buildings with towering smokestacks and parking lots with crumbling asphalt.
The southern Colorado town has a well-known industrial history -- its nickname, Steel City, says it all. But since 1982, when the steel market crashed, the area's economy has been more precarious, tied to the ebbs and flows of manufacturing industries like the Vestas windmill facility. Pueblo's third largest employer, after the school district and an area medical center, is Walmart, which isn't exactly full of high-wage jobs.
Now, there's a new industry in town, marijuana growing and processing. Whether you're a construction worker, a realtor, or a businessman looking to invest in the marijuana economy, chances are you believe your region's economic fortune is turning -- because of weed.