One year ago, Crunchbase News published a quarterly report on the cannabis industry in the wake of recreational legalization in California—one of the largest markets for adult use in the world. Investors and companies were excited about the future of the industry, yet remained wary of the regulatory challenges that remained for both consumers and entrepreneurs.
Now one year and a key resignation later, the industry continues to light up. Today, we’ll dive into the new numbers and share insights from experts in the field for a closer look at how the startup and venture world is handling this budding industry.
All The Way Up
It’s important to note that not all cannabis companies are dispensaries. Their work can range from working on biotechnology solutions that focus on THC, to growing plants, to ancillary activities focused on operations and other supporting categories that don’t deal directly with cannabis.
According to Crunchbase data, funding for cannabis companies more than doubled from 2017 to 2018 with more than $1.3 billion directed toward startups and other private companies in the industry last year.
Though dollar volume in Q1 2019 was slightly lower than the immediately preceding quarter, it was still double that of the year ago quarter. However, private market reporting lag may account for the quarter-over-quarter decline.
Taking a closer look at the largest rounds for cannabis startups since 2017, many of the top fifteen rounds were directed toward companies that touch the plant. That includes a $90 million round for Grassroots Cannabis in March 2019, a $75 million round for cannabis brand Caliva, and a $125 million round for cannabis producer and distributor Flow Kana.
Published: April 22, 2019