The American marijuana industry is in a far better place for businesses seeking to raise money than it was a year ago.
In fact, the landscape has grown leaps and bounds from three or four years ago, when there were fewer than 20 medical cannabis markets in the U.S., and Colorado and Washington were the only states with recreational cannabis companies.
That was a time when marijuana businesses had little capital available to them, and investors were outliers on the risk-tolerance chart.
“The risk factors three and five years ago were so much greater, and the types of people investing were different,” said Sheri Orlowitz, who founded Artemis Capital, a marijuana-focused private equity firm in Washington DC, after serving as a prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice
“A few years ago, you were talking about real gamblers, penny stock people. It was a whole different risk tolerance and personality back then.
“Today, you have far less risk. There is a ton more legitimate money out there now.”
Family offices and people of high net worth continue to invest heavily in marijuana businesses, but a broader spectrum of investors are now seriously looking at the cannabis industry, ranging from private equity firms to angels to venture capital.
Some of the lessons learned include:
Meanwhile, some finance veterans who have transitioned to the cannabis sector share their insights on how American cannabis companies can find funding:
Finally, more and more U.S. firms are turning to Canada to raise money.
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