Interest in the marijuana industry is soaring due to increased public acceptance and reduced regulation in US states as well as in countries around the world. The multibillion-dollar global industry is experiencing strong growth, though the newness of the market and variance in regulation across geographies creates major barriers to entry. The industry includes medical marijuana dispensaries and stores that sell marijuana for recreational use.
Investors and entrepreneurs are confident of the market's potential, but determining which business approaches are most viable is challenging. Legal and financial risk parameters are difficult to define, and industry data and analysis are minimal. Regardless, increased capital is flowing steadily into the industry. Startup resources including finance, logistics, software, and consulting are materializing rapidly.
The US has between 3,400 and 4,700 marijuana stores, according to Marijuana Business Daily. No major companies dominate the industry. Revenue for the US industry is $5.7 billion and is growing about 25% a year, according to ArcView Group. Marijuana is legal for medical use in 25 states and for recreational use in four states. Worldwide revenue is difficult to estimate, but the multibillion-dollar global market is growing rapidly.
Demand is driven by demographics, public awareness of the marijuana plant's medicinal properties, and the desire for natural health treatments. Following decades of prohibition in the US, marijuana has gained greater public acceptance. Baby boomers with health conditions are driving medical marijuana sales, while recreational users include younger...