Capital raises in the global cannabis industry have reached a staggering $1.8 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, up from $720 million a year ago, according to Viridian Capital Advisors’ Cannabis Deal Tracker.
The raises are a compilation of deals brokered by 164 public companies and 105 private ones, with an average raise of $6.7 million. That’s more than twice the average raise amount from a year ago of $3 million, Benzinga reported.
More than $1.5 billion of those raises were in exchange for company equity, however, while only $247.5 million were for debt, according to Viridian, meaning that most marijuana entrepreneurs are still having to trade stakes in their businesses in exchange for capital necessary to either get started or expand.
The raises are another sign of the ongoing financial surge in the global cannabis industry, which is moving closer to the mainstream as more nations like Canada and U.S. states move to legalize either medical or recreational marijuana.