Polls suggest increased support for decriminalizing and taxing the drug, but policy may not change soon.
Some firms, including Morgan Stanley, race to prove they can fund themselves by turning to private investors.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is getting brighter," says one economist.
As Army bombs the area, militants are digging in and preparing for ground battle.
The administration also ends accounting practices that kept war funding from public scrutiny.