These are the companies shaping the future of cannabis
Last year, cannabis businesses raised $593 million in funding.
It’s not every day that an entire industry is established virtually overnight. It’s even rarer that this industry is based on a prohibited commodity that already enjoys widespread popularity, both for its recreational and medical properties. It’s no wonder that many see marijuana as the business opportunity of a lifetime.
A new report by the machine intelligence platform CB Insights details the cannabis companies that are most taking advantage of this opportunity. The report, called the 2018 Marijuana Trailblazers report, offers marijuana enthusiasts a glimpse into the cannabis companies and startups that “could help shape the future of legal cannabis.”
These insights are based on the dollar amount raised by cannabis companies, how recently this money was raised, and the quality of the investors. This year’s report divides the cannabis companies into six major categories: Healthcare, Compliance, Operations, Data & Insights, and Digital Content.
In the Healthcare category, for example, are startups that research or distribute medical marijuana products. Leaders in the healthcare category include Tilray, HelloMD, and TEEWINOT Life Sciences. Tilray’s disclosed funding—a Canadian company that produces medical cannabis—comes in at a staggering $47 million.
In the Digital Content category, for startups offering digital content “with social communities or educational platforms,” Herb is currently listed as the leading trailblazer with over $4 million in funding.
“Herb provides a content platform and community focused on the cannabis industry, helping educate the general public in all things cannabis,” reads the report. “In addition to informative content on relevant cannabis news, culture, and recipes, Herb also helps users find the exact strains for their mood or medical condition…this company is looking to become a leading resource for all cannabis-related content.”
According to the report, funding for cannabis companies went from $121 million in 2015 to $278 million in 2016. Then, in 2017, that number more than doubled from the previous year to $593 million.
This number is expected to grow alongside the public’s increasingly positive view about legalizing marijuana, which has affected change in a number of U.S. states and countries.
In the United States so far, recreational marijuana has been legalized in nine states and medical marijuana has been legalized (in some form) in 29 states. This fall, Canada plans to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use, which will make it the second country on earth to do so.
According to the report, so far, the most well-funded cannabis startups are all in the Healthcare category.