Despite being a federally illegal industry in constant scrutiny, the U.S. marijuana industry is blossoming more than ever. Investors from all walks of life are risking millions to get into the “green rush,” which generated over $5 billion in sales in 2015.
Investments into marijuana startups surpassed $200 million in 2015. In total, there were 98 investment deals in 2015, up from 63 in 2014. The fourth quarter of 2015 saw an unprecedented 30 deals funded into marijuana-related startups, up from 2 deals in the same quarter of 2013, according to CB Insights, an investor database. Funding exceeded $65 million in Q4 of 2015.
Many investments in 2015 were primarily towards operations (MJ Freeway) and products. Lately, investors have been funding payment systems (SericaPay), packaging (FunkSac) and compliance (Compliant Cannabis) businesses.
A majority of the most active investors are investment companies that specifically focus on the marijuana market. Outside investors are still rather timid about investing in a politically unstable market. CanopyBoulder, a marijuana-focused mentorship-driven accelerator, and ArcView Group, a marijuana focused investor network, are the two most active investors in the marijuana space.