The cannabis industry has been a whirlwind scene for investors observing and getting involved in the space. Not just in the changes in legislation and governing bodies that have opened up new markets and created insights into where this industry can go, but also on the private sector in seeing the startups and technology advancements that support the ancillary side of this industry, in preparation and speculation of it going mainstream in the coming years.
Whenever a multi billion dollar industry opens up, it’s worth taking note of. And in today’s age of technology, rate of change and speed to market of massively adopted ecosystems makes this modern day 1933 “prohibition era” the wild west of demand-driven opportunity.
Some notes from Zero Hedge provide 5 facts for further context:
1. Recreational cannabis is already legal in four states and D.C. It is also available for medical purposes in 20 other states, as well as Canada. Viridian Capital Advisors, which provides research to the cannabis sector, estimates between 6 to 13 states will legalize recreational usage by end of 2016.
2. Legal cannabis was a $700 million industry in Colorado last year. In 2014, Colorado retailers sold $386 million of medical cannabis and $313 million for recreational purposes. The two segments of the market generated $63 million in tax revenue, with an additional $13 million collected in licenses and fees.
3. Stocks in the sector have boomed over the last two years. The Viridian Cannabis Index, which covers 60 publicly traded cannabis companies in the United States and Canada, was up 77.5% in 2013, 38.4% in 2014, and 23.6% in 2015 Q1.
4. Total legal cannabis sales have sailed in recent years With $1.6 billion in sales in 2013, it is expected to increase to $3.5 billion in 2018, which is good for an expected 17% compound annual growth rate.
5. Nearly half of U.S. states and all of Canada now have access to medical cannabis. That includes 23 states (148.6 million people), 1 district (0.7 million people) and Canada (35.2 million people). That’s 52% of the entire population of the United States and Canada.
The talented team at Visual Capitalist put this into a visual representation.