From Recreational Apparel to Weed, Here Are Our Best Cities for Niche Industries

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Historically, niche industries developed in certain cities due to access to raw materials (Pittsburgh and steel), distribution (any major port), climate (Hollywood sunshine and movies), educational institutions (Stanford and tech) or cheap labor (Alabama and cars). 

Today, some of those same forces are in place, but several new ones have risen up to influence where and why certain business categories have clustered--and thrived--in specific cities. Politics, parent companies and revolutionary new laws, such as the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, are developing new economies from scratch. The result is a diverse collection of cities with specialties that no other location can match.