By Rob Meagher
Anytime a new industry emerges, regulators and speculators become very active. In the case of the Cannabis Industry, state governments have been charged with the task of playing the regulator role with each state having successes and failures in overseeing cannabis-related commercial activities, but in all cases, establishing the rules of engagement for business anxious to jump on the green wave.
From a consumer investment perspective, it’s incredibly challenging to find real time revenue and expense data that determine which casino (or Cannabusiness) you want to place your bets on since the majority of the businesses are privately capitalized or listed on the less-than-credible small cap exchange.
And frankly, it’s not much easier for the media in light of the scant details available from the core businesses that are driving an industry that The ArcView Group projects will grow from $2.7 billion legal retail & wholesale sales in 2014 to $3.5 billion in 2015 — which clearly makes it the fastest growing industry in the U.S. In short, many companies are skittish about providing revenue details or seeking press coverage due to the lasting stigma associated with cannabis,
With that in mind, CBE Press decided to take on the task of identifying what we feel are the 10 Most Important Companies in the Cannabis Industry, based on criteria that is directional at best but good enough for us to feel confident that these companies are the best bets to have success and are clearly establishing best practices in driving their businesses to the top of their respective competitive areas.
The criteria used to determine this year’s Top 10 (and look for CBE Press to publish the 2015 CBE 100 of the top businesses in the industry in November.) includes consideration of the following:
- First Mover Advantage;
- 2014 revenues (not all companies on the list provided this);
- Management teams;
- Human Capital investment;
- Plant & Equipment investment;
- Brand Strength;
- Current & Future Market Footprint;
- Competitive Segment Environment;
- Regulatory Influence.
One of the things that struck CBE Press while compiling the list and reviewing hundreds of companies under consideration were how similar many of these companies are. In each case, they are passionate about the benefits of cannabis from a medical perspective. All of the companies were investing heavily in human and intellectual capital to manage growth and grab the best technical and business people available. In many cases they are charitable in giving back to their communities, and in all cases, they are very focused on building sustainable brands and strategies that will provide plenty of benchmarking and case study fodder for future generations of entrepreneurs.
So, congratulations to this year’s Top 10 and the teams that helped to put them on the list.