The Denver Post provided a comprehensive review of the Colorado cannabis industry as it nears the end of its second year of existence as fully legal, pointing to how legalization has removed stigma and allowed entrepreneurs to thrive after struggling prior to 2014, when it was legal for medical patients only.
Only 15 percent of businesses with the word “cannabis” in their names that registered with the state between 2008 and 2013 remain in good standing.
But nearly 60 percent of cannabis businesses that launched in 2014 are in good standing, as are 93 percent of those formed so far this year.
The article covers a lot of ground, focusing on the experience of Peak Marijuana Dispensary, which, like many businesses in the industry, was born out of the real estate crisis in 2009. While the owner, Justin Henderson, says that 50% of his visitors are tourists, the article cites statistics from the Colorado Tourism Office that only 7% of out-of-state visitors actually visit a dispensary. At a time when many are taking advantage of new laws that allow retailers to no longer grow the majority of their own supply of products, Peak is becoming more vertically integrated.
The article includes observations from many industry leaders, including Mike Elliott, who heads the Marijuana Industry Group, Taylor West from the National Cannabis Industry Association and Patrick Rea and Micah Tapman, who run CanopyBoulder, a cannabis-focused accelerator based in Boulder. Rea compares the cannabis industry to the early days of the natural products and supplements industry. It also touches upon a big trend: Cultivation moving from indoor warehouse grows to greenhouses.