Business

This 4/20, Not All Cannabis Investors Are Celebrating

For most industries, we tally up investments based on calendar year or quarter. But the cannabis space warrants something different.

As the calendar marks another 4/20, the quirkily derived date that’s become a cultural touchstone for marijuana fans to celebrate their favored substance, we thought it’d be timely to take a quick peek at Crunchbase funding data for the cannabis space.

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And, to misquote the Grateful Dead, what a long, strange, venture capital-heavy trip it’s been.

For the past year, cannabis-related companies raised over $1.3 billion across close to 90 private funding rounds of $500,000 and up, per Crunchbase data. By comparison, in the prior year-ago period, investors put $989 million into 98 such rounds.

The largest rounds in the past 12 months include:

  • Dutchie, a platform for operating dispensaries, raised $350 million in an October Series D financing, bringing total funding to date for the Oregon-based company to more than $600 million.
  • Holistic Industries, an organic, medical cannabis provider, raised $55 million in a May financing backed by Harbert Growth Partners.
  • Kadenwood, a Newport Beach, California-based wellness brand company featuring products containing CBD, raised $50 million in a June Series B.

Private companies eyeing a potential future exit onto public markets, however, have some bad news with which to contend.

Cannabis stocks have been poor performers of late. Per The Wall Street Journal, the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (YOLO), one of the larger funds tracking the sector, is down 22 percent this year even after a poor 2021. In the U.S., the failure earlier this year to pass anticipated legislation reforming marijuana laws at the federal level hasn’t helped the performance of cannabis shares.

Also, while the past 12 months have been pretty good for private fundraising at cannabis-focused startups, most of that occurred before the new year. So far in 2022, cannabis-related companies have raised just $153 million in known private funding across 18 rounds of $500 million and up.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

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