News that California-based Green Asset International will spend $100 million to acquire cannabis businesses sent the medical marijuana community into a tizzy last week. The firm – led by well-known cannabis advocate and fashion marketer Cheryl Shuman – will buy and invest in ancillary medical marijuana companies, primarily those in the medical and social media sides of the business.
Here are three reasons why we think this is a watershed moment for the industry:
#1. The move will pump some much-needed money into medical cannabis, giving legal marijuana businesses the financial support they need to grow and become major players in the industry. Raising money to expand is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for most MMJ companies given the legal status of medical marijuana and public perceptions of the drug. These investments will help companies reach the next level.
#2. Green Asset could usher in a new era for medical marijuana by moving investment transactions out of the shadows. Shining the spotlight on MMJ investments could convince other investors to take a look at the industry and ease some concerns they have about being tied to medical marijuana.
#3. It will help the entire industry by establishing a professional investment infrastructure, which will encourage more entrepreneurs to get involved in the industry.
#4. It will go a long way toward removing the deep-rooted stigma of medical cannabis by bringing professionalism and legitimacy to the industry.
#5. It shows that people are stilling willing to make big bets on MMJ – and take on a hefty amount of risk – in the fact of a government crackdown that has created doubts about the future of the industry.
Of course, all of this depends on whether Green Asset goes through with everything as planned. But at this point it’s worth getting excited about.
Also last week, we got word that Oakland officials have given tentative approval to four new dispensaries, the first of which could open sometime this summer. Oakland is one of the few cities actually working to expand the MMJ industry rather than force a contraction. The move effectively double the number of medical marijuana centers in the city, funnel more tax dollars into Oakland’s coffers and present new opportunities for MMJ vendors and suppliers.
Other top stories in MMJ Business Daily last week: