Early Investing

Digging Into the Marijuana Business in Vegas

Digging Into the Marijuana Business in Vegas
By Vin Narayanan
Date November 17, 2018

This week Early Investing Co-Founder Adam Sharp and I traveled to Las Vegas to attend MJBizCon, a marijuana business convention, looking for investment ideas and opportunities. I’ve been going to business conventions in a variety of industries for a long time. I exhibited at conventions for about a decade. And I can honestly say that this is one of the most exciting conferences I’ve ever been to.

But before I get to the marijuana conference, we need to talk crypto. On Wednesday, Adam asked if I had seen the price of bitcoin. I looked it up and saw the price was around $5,500.

I wasn’t surprised. Adam had predicted this in the most recent issue of First Stage Investor. (Adam and Andy Gordon are usually ahead of the curve.)

But I was curious as to what triggered the sell-off. And as usual, there were differing theories. Some blamed the bitter fight over bitcoin cash’s hard fork (CNBC).

Some blamed low trading volumes, while others said the technicals showed bitcoin was vulnerable (MarketWatch).

In the end, the only thing we can say for certain is that two old friends – fear and doubt – had raised their ugly heads and roiled the market. Much like in poker (hey, I’m in Vegas, after all!), fear and doubt chases weak hands out.

While it’s not fun to see crypto prices drop 10%, I’m not worried about it. I believe it’s a good time to buy – especially with some big catalysts coming up. In about a month, we’re going to see a fresh wave of institutional money enter the market when Bakkt – a crypto trading platform owned and operated by the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange – launches.

Then there’s the potential for a bitcoin ETF to be approved early next year and the countdown to the bitcoin halving – which in the past has spurred bull markets.

Market corrections are not fun to go through. But there are better days ahead.

Now back to the marijuana business conference…

Imagine more than 600,000 square feet of exhibition space devoted to a marijuana industry that’s legal only in 33 states and Washington, D.C. (with only 11 jurisdictions permitting recreational use). Now imagine what this convention would be like if marijuana use was legal throughout the country!

Every aspect of the cannabis industry was represented at this conference. The growers. The people who make the floors and walls for growing facilities. CBD companies. Security companies. Extractors. Supply chain management. Packaging experts. Child-proof packaging experts. Payments companies. Trucking and logistics. Label printers. Scientists. Doctors. Manufacturing experts. Compliance experts. Software providers. They were all here.

I lost my voice talking to all of them.

The marijuana industry is poised to take off. In 2017, the legal cannabis industry in the U.S. was worth $8.5 billion. It’s projected to grow to $23.4 billion by 2022 (Forbes).

And here’s the best part: The industry needs investors. Entrepreneurs and business owners can’t raise money from the usual suspects – investment banks and venture capital funds. So many are considering going the private equity crowdfunding route. They need private investors. They need startup investors. They need you.

I will be writing more about some of the interesting opportunities I saw in Vegas in upcoming weeks. And as we spot investment opportunities, we’ll share them with you.

Top Posts on Early Investing