According to Forbes this week, millions of investor dollars are circling the cannabis industry even after Marijuana Business Daily forecasted that sales could hit only eight billion dollars in just four years. That, by the way, is a year further down the line than their previous prediction, and represents a slight slowing in industry growth, but investors don’t seem to be bothered—they still want a piece of the pie.
This is probably because eight billion is a big number. According to Steve DeAngelo of the Arc View Group—which operates to connect cannabis investors with companies—the sector has changed dramatically. Arc now has 54 companies that have benefitted from $21 million raised.
Why the slower growth? The 2015 MBD Factbook blames the problems at state level for the slowdown and noted Massachusetts and Washington where marijuana programs have been delayed. Take for example California, where regulation troubles have led to the closing-doors of many dispensaries.
DeAngelo thinks that after the 2012 election a new wave of much more confident investors hit the marijuana scene. When that happened, people began to feel safer, and the cannabis industry ceased to look as risky as it had previously. MBD Factbook says that there has been more than a 900 percent increase in the amount of money available to fund pot-related start-ups and expansions.
Douglas Leighton of Duchess Capital is concerned that a bubble is being created, and that too many investment dollars are chasing too few worthy companies. Leighton is not the only one to speak of the bubble effect taking place in the pot industry right now either. “Too much money and too few deals.”
This is great news for the cannabis industry, and for hosts offering cannabis-friendly accommodations.
Top Investment Companies in the Cannabis Field:
Privateer Holdings, received a $75 million investment from San Francisco based venture capital firm Founders Fund. This is the firm behind Facebook, Spotify, Airbnb and Space X, so getting investment from these folks is something to be excited about. Privateer has invested in Canadian weed grower Tilray and the online marijuana review site Leafy. They have also helped Marley Natural, a lifestyle brand that sells cannabis-related accessories.
Poseidon Asset Management is a cannabis hedge fund that was founded by Emily and Morgan Paxhia. The bother and sister team lost both of their parents to cancer, and were drawn to the cannabis industry when the hospice recommended weed as a treatment. Emily Paxhia has also voiced concerns about the amount of money chasing investments. Poseidon is focusing on point of sale technology and software and they are hoping to raise between 15 and 20 million dollars.
We’ve already mentioned Duchess Capital, which is a manager for investment funds that was established in 1995. Leighton, the firm’s founder, entered the cannabis space when Massachusetts legalized medicinal marijuana, as this is where Duchess Capital is based. Leighton says the portfolio is currently valued around $25 million and they are looking to add another $10 million in 2015.
The High Times Growth Fund, launched in 2014, have ambitious plans to raise $100 million in two years. The focus here is on ancillary businesses, but other than that little is known about the progress that has been made. Other companies to watch include Emerald Ocean, whose management team includes the founder of Weedmaps.com, Justin Hartfield, and Doug Francis of Ghost Group.