As Conglomerates Close In, Cannabis Companies Consolidate

Many big time acquisitions and investments are happening right now.

Cannabis companies
Photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

With legalization passed and ready to open its doors to the public in Canada, many big time acquisitions and investments have either happened or are happening. Huge amounts of money are exchanging hands and the beauty of it all is that, with cannabis legalized, banks, accountants, money managers and stock mavens are digging their hands in and saying, “Let’s go!”

Constellation Brands, which brings us the likes of Corona, Modelo and Pacifico beers, has invested heavily in the Canadian mega-cultivation operation, Canopy Growth. They got started with a 9.9 percent stake last October, then a third of the brand was bought up by them in June. Many on Wall Street are predicting a full acquisition at some point.

But what about cannabis based growth in the U.S.? We know that it’s a burgeoning market set up to make billions in the coming years, but with marijuana remaining federally illegal, truly enormous acquisitions like the ones being made in Canada are still off on the horizon.

Sure, the U.S.’s MedMen just bought up Treadwell Nursery in Florida for over $50 million, but that’s about the size of it. Other U.S. companies are also making acquisitions in the cannabis sector, but the theme seems to be more along the lines of, “Let’s try to be ready to compete when the big dogs come in,” rather than “The big dogs are here.”

And this may be a very good thing for diversity of market down the line.

Strategic partnerships are happening, from product companies merging with their distribution systems, grow operations and packaging gurus to large dispensaries absorbing smaller, potentially struggling mom and pot shops. It seems that when larger scale cannabis deals are made in this tender moment in U.S. history, there is a much better chance of traditions being upheld and of people’s original ideas living on throughout the changes that will come with bigger business.

When the U.S. does legalize it federally and ends the vestiges its of a deadly and sadly petty Drug War, not only will venture capitalists and idea persons be investing and inventing, it will be a whole new world, packed with mega-conglomerates with their major investments; large mergers and acquisitions will change the landscape of cannabis business in the blink of an eye.

It’s up to everyone already embedded in the marijuana movement, the people who got us here and the listeners who have learned from them to keep cannabis honest, no matter how big it gets. We’ll always want access to compassionate care, plant flowers, full plant extracts and the myriad of goodies from salves to edibles that come with a legalized landscape and big money inevitably coming in should facilitate that, not phase it out.

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