The Cannabis Industry Is Growing Fast. Need Proof?

There has been a considerable spike in capital investment for companies in the cannabis industry in the last few years. This would come as no surprise to industry insiders and investors, but the numbers recently compiled into a graphic by Marijuana Business Daily (MBD) are nonetheless striking.

According to data compiled by the investment research firm CB Insights - which formed the basis of the MBD chart - there were only nine investment deals in 2013 totalling $9-million. In 2015, there were 98 that received a total of $215-million in investment.

Viridian hosts investment series event

Many of these investments come from individual entrepreneurs fundraising on their own, but many such infusions of capital are facilitated by investment groups such as Viridian Capital Advisors, which is hosting its third Viridian Cannabis Investment Series event June 8 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It's the first-ever cannabis investors conference in the state.

Civilized is one of eight "Select Presenting Companies" from a variety of industry sectors. The private industry event - titled "Investing in the Emerging Cannabis Industry While Managing Risk" - will look at the investment opportunities and risks, and feature presentations and networking sessions with leading companies, investors, scientists, and thought leaders from the following sectors: real estate, security and compliance, biotechnology, cultivation and retail, agriculture technology, lab testing, consumption devices, infused products, and digital media (which is, of course, us).

In addition to participating companies, the event will feature two guest speakers: Dr. Suzanne A. Sisley, a leading researcher on the potential uses of medical marijuana to treat veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and former ambassador to the Bahamas, Ned L. Siegel, who will address the opportunities in the hemp-derived cannabinoid (CBD) market, the importance of defining and branding the products for a new generation of consumers, and the prospects of guiding politicians and regulators toward a more sophisticated legal approach.

A busy time for investment in the cannabis industry

The Viridian conference is taking place at a busy time for cannabis industry investment - situated as it is between two Demo Days for companies in the CanopyBoulder business accelerator program. One took place in Colorado two weeks ago, and Civilized profiled a company that took part, Stashbox. The next Demo Day will take place June 18th in Oakland.

It's definitely been a transformational few years in industry, as Viridian Chief Executive Scott Greiper noted in a Reuters interview during the Viridian investments series event in New York City in January.

The industry is full of newcomers with valuable experience, not just capital investment, said Greiper. They have operations and governance experience in big companies, which will be invaluable as the marijuana industry continues to grow.

"This industry, which has a DNA and a culture of Deadheads and pot heads, is actually undergoing an industrial revolution and it's not just state legalization," said Greiper. "It's the type of people who are coming into the industry."

h/t Reuters.


Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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