Lately, the cannabis industry has continued to grow. Especially with the recent legalization in several states. We can see this happening in states like Virginia and New Mexico. This legalization trend in the U.S. has opened the door for those who want to start their own cannabis business. Additionally, the growth of the cannabis industry has made it more attractive for those contemplating jumping in. This type of growth has created the space for different types of cannabis businesses to open up. They range from dispensaries to cultivation farms to independent cannabis services. Specifically, cannabis entrepreneurs from California have found incredible success due to our market.
COVID-19 heavily impacted many businesses across the country. Some suffered negatively while others experienced exponential growth. Fortunately, the marijuana business was able to prosper. In 2020, legal marijuana sales across the U.S. hit a record of $17.5 billion. This is an increase of 46% from 2019. California is the country’s largest cannabis economy which caused us to have big earnings. Our $3.5 billion cannabis economy increased sales by $586 million. Because of this, cannabis entrepreneurs from California have an advantage.
There are three things that may have contributed to this rapid growth.
Firstly, the pandemic. Many states where weed is legal, deemed dispensaries as “essential businesses”. This meant that they remained open and served people throughout the lockdowns. Let’s not forget the anxiety and stress that most of the nation was experiencing. It’s safe to say many relied on weed to keep us all right.
Secondly, many customers had the experience of participating in a matured market. States like Colorado, Oregon, and California had years to develop an efficient cannabis market. So by the time lockdowns arrived, buying weed was easy and accessible to customers.
Lastly, other states recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana. States that only allowed medical use are now open to adult use for example, Illinois and Arizona. This has created a new market space in those states because now customers will be able to buy weed for recreational use.
Joel McClure, Bridges Academy Farms
Joel McClure is the owner and Director of Cultivation at Bridges Academy Farms from Willow Creek, California. McClure had experience growing cannabis plants for years, both indoors and outdoors. He had also smoked weed recreationally. Unfortunately, McClure suffered an on-the-job injury. Because of this, he developed an appreciation for its medicinal properties. The herb helped him heal and return to work. After working on another farm, he began developing Bridges Academy Farms. It’s a small-scale connoisseur cannabis farm and an educational academy. Their courses are designed to teach people how to grow cannabis legally and sustainably. Their main focus is on the principles of nature, humanity, and justice when dealing with cannabis.
Daniella Davis, Dine in with Daniella
Daniella Davis is the chef behind Dine in with Daniella. Davis was originally an executive chef from New York. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed and struggled with sickle cell anemia. This forced her to quit her job. Instead, she became a private chef. This granted her more flexibility and creative freedom in her profession. Due to her health condition, Davis relied on marijuana treatment to ease her pain. After medical marijuana became legal in New York, Davis began including it into her business. As a cannabis entrepreneur, she struggled to find sponsors and partners. Luckily, she pushed forward with her business. She found people who supported her and her business. Now, Davis works in Los Angeles and New York as a private cannabis chef.
Carolina Vasquez, Ciencia Labs
Carolina Vasquez is the founder and chief scientific officer of Ciencia Labs. Vasquez studied chemistry at the University of Southern California. After that, she spent some time as a consultant for various food companies. After 2017, she was approached by several cannabis companies. She took the job as a chief scientific officer at an edible manufacturing company. As someone who suffered from insomnia, Vasquez was fascinated by cannabis products. She began developing her own cannabis-derived compounds. Eventually, this turned into her own brand, Ciencia Labs. Ciencia Labs is a Los Angeles-based manufacturer of innovative cannabis brands and products.
Derek Peterson, Terra Tech / Blum Dispensaries
Derek Peterson is a former Wall Street investment banker who launched his own cannabis agricultural company. This Laguna Beach resident decided to become a cannabis entrepreneur after a surfing accident. The accident left Peterson with a fractured vertebra in his neck. Since then, he’s relied on cannabis to help ease the physical pain. This sparked empathy and understanding with other cannabis patients. Terra Tech is an agriculture company with a focus on medical cannabis production. They aim to create sustainable solutions while cultivating the highest medical cannabis. Peterson is also the Chairman at Blum Dispensaries, a brand Terra Tech works with. Specifically, Blum Dispensaries is a retail space that prides itself on providing dependable products and services.