Cannabis has gone from a criminalized drug to a multibillion-dollar global boom in just a few years. Here's everything you need to know about the emerging legal cannabis industry.
Barbara Corbellini Duarte
- Legal cannabis is one of the world's newest and most dynamic industries. Since Colorado legalized the drug in 2012, the previously illegal plant has birthed multibillion-dollar public companies, minted billionaires, and brewed social change not seen since the end of Prohibition.
- As cannabis companies scale up, they're seeing interest from institutional investors, major consumer corporations, and Group of Seven governments.
- Business Insider reports regularly on the latest developments of the cannabis industry. You can read our stories by subscribing to BI Prime.
Here's what we know about what's going on inside the world of the fascinating legal cannabis industry right now, from the largest publicly traded companies, to venture-backed startups, to the rapidly shifting federal policies around the drug.
- A Canadian investment bank is quietly pursuing a critical regulatory approval that would solve one of the biggest pain points for the US marijuana industry
- Top cannabis CEOs say Canopy Growth's $3.4 billion purchase of pot cultivator Acreage 'shakes the foundation of what has been true' and will spur a cannabis M&A boom
- Canadian marijuana companies are quietly pushing the Toronto Stock Exchange to allow them to invest in the lucrative US market and it could be transformative for the $75 billion industry
- The lawyer who led Canopy Growth's groundbreaking $3.4 billion purchase of the US marijuana cultivator Acreage Holdings says the sale will 'untap the market' for companies hunting similar deals
- Marijuana retailer Curaleaf is snapping up Cura Partners for $949 million in the largest US marijuana merger to date as a wave of consolidation sweeps the industry
- Marijuana companies are using a 'backdoor' strategy to tap the public markets - and it's fueling an M&A boom
- Sullivan & Cromwell, an elite Wall Street law firm, is working with a Canadian pot company on a $1.8 billion M&A deal. Here's why that's 'momentous' for the marijuana industry.
- A top marijuana CPA says the 'bubble will burst' for weed M&A deals
- A competitor is emerging to challenge the marijuana retail chain dominating the industry, and it just closed a $640 million acquisition
- Marijuana retailer Cresco Labs is buying up a competitor for $825 million in one of the largest US pot deals as the company looks toward a US listing
Weed on Wall Street
- Some Wall Street firms are reevaluating policies for drug testing employees. Here's where the biggest banks stand on testing workers for marijuana use.
- A $1.2 billion asset manager that's quietly built one of the largest portfolios in the cannabis space is now raising a pure-play fund to chase down deals in the booming sector
- Citigroup is considering working with pot companies as banks figure out ways to chase a $75 billion market
- BNY has quietly started working with a marijuana ETF - and it's about to be the first major bank to help the world's largest funds invest in the booming industry
- Citigroup is reevaluating its policy on testing job applicants for marijuana use as Wall Street banks weigh whether to work with the $75 billion cannabis industry
- Big asset managers like BlackRock are sitting on the sidelines of the $75 billion US marijuana industry because of one big pain point
The CBD boom
- Square has started working with a select group of CBD startups while other payments rivals shy away from the trendy substance
- CBD companies were courted hard by a unit of US Bank - but they got ghosted despite having a 100% legal business
- A California company tested 20 popular CBD products and found 'insanely high levels' of dangerous chemicals and misleading labels
- A top venture investor that's backed companies like Bird and TheRealReal explains why CBD is primed to explode
- The CEO of Whole Foods just dropped a hint it could soon start carrying marijuana products. It's a sign the biggest consumer companies are 'looming' over the industry.
Startups, venture capital and private equity
- We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck buzzy marijuana tech startup Headset used to raise $12 million and ink deals with Nielsen and Deloitte
- Top cannabis investors reveal where they're placing bets, but say there's 'pain to come' in the crowded CBD space
- A New York private equity firm founded by JPMorgan and Guggenheim veterans is raising the largest-ever fund dedicated to the booming marijuana industry
- Biotech, CBD drinks, and a hot vape company: Here's where all the top marijuana VCs are looking to write checks this year
- The CEO of one of the hottest marijuana-vape startups says he's talking to bankers about an IPO in 2020
- Illinois is poised to become the first state to legalize marijuana sales through the legislature - here are all the states where marijuana is legal
- The FDA is putting together a group of experts to figure out how to handle the $1 billion CBD industry
- Canada's rocky legal-marijuana rollout has been plagued by product shortages, out-of-control lines, and distribution issues - and people are turning to the black market
- Lawmakers just took a huge step toward passing a critical bill that could pave the way for banks to work with marijuana companies
Profiles and interviews with industry leaders
- A top Aurora cannabis exec dishes about what it's like working with famed investor Nelson Peltz, and reveals why he told the company not to rush into any CPG partnerships
- The CEO of a cannabis company with a slick new dispensary in Brooklyn talks about expansion plans following the company's $1.4 billion public debut
- A cannabis CEO who led turnarounds at FAO Schwarz and Patagonia explains why he's looking to poach 'nimble' people from small companies - rather than big-name execs
- The CEO of the biggest cannabis company in the US reveals what's next following a $682 million acquisition
- Green Growth Brands' CEO says he's gearing up for an M&A tear and explains the types of companies he's going after
- These execs are leaving behind careers at companies like Coke and Victoria's Secret to tap into the $194 billion marijuana industry
- The CEO of the newest cannabis company to list on the NYSE says it's a 'perfect time' to open up to investors as it goes head-to-head with Aurora and Canopy Growth
- Top venture investors say these 11 tech startups in the red-hot cannabis sector are set to blow up this year
- Top investors say these 11 buzzy, under-the-radar consumer cannabis startups are set to raise fresh rounds and blow up this year
- The top 12 venture-capital firms making deals in the booming cannabis industry that's set to skyrocket to $75 billion
- Meet the bigshot lawyers who are turning weed into a $194 billion industry
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