Capital, The Coronavirus and the Shifting Cannabis Industry

Posted by Brendan Kelly on

As global capitalism faces the slowest downturn in history since the great depression, investors and industry leaders all recognize how the cannabis industry's position, as an essential business, offers much promise. That's the positive long term. In the short term, let’s look at large cannabis capital and the state.   

Jonathan Cooper offers two graphs:

The first is the declining stock value of the largest cannabis corporations for the last 12 months.

Cannabis companies have not had a single free cash flow positive quarter since the second quarter of 2018.

As an affect, raising Capital has never been more difficult, with poor performing top companies. MedMen has given up control to its lender, while iAnthus has recently defaulted on debt obligations. On the other side, retail software company Greenbits raised 23

million. This demonstrates the failing of the first largest corporate cannabis companies, while those producing applicable structure such as software for retail are valued. Your angle must be sharp. These general downturns demonstrate most of the business models used for the favorable 2017-18 investment period did not understand the economic realities to come. As a result, investors should seek a completely different business model. Sure enough the Coronavirus is demanding just that.

The State, Cannabis and the Coronavirus

The Bureau of Cannabis Control “BCC” of the State of California imposed such high taxes on cannabis it generated a large illicit market with a developed informal infrastructure.

Due to the Coronavirus, Forbes reported recently that Federal and State enforcement have been ramping up against the illicit market, including the “probing companies like Weedmaps.” The State of California Assembly Bill 2094 would all the BCC to collect $50,000 per day from landlords or a person that provides a mortgage to an illicit market operator. The illicit markets will be squeezed and many in between customers could shift towards legal retail, but such people will culturally align themselves with the rebellious character of the historical illicit markets. This widens the political landscape of the legal market, offering new waves of customers and increasing market share.

Back to Public Health

Amazon's business strength to be able to deliver to millions of goods to homes, with a company value rise from $1,940 per share to $3,000, an almost 55% gain, soaring to $1.14 trillion in total value, is clearly cutting through the dynamics of the looming economic depression. Amazon’s business model has cut through the brick and mortar fat, while the Coronavirus is being exchanged at brick and mortars of all types, producing the growth of delivery systems. Cannabis delivery services have all reported an upswing in business since the quarantine, demonstrating a component of the business solution needed. Within the community, local production of medical goods, masks and sanitizers have been moving through informal networks.

A New Needed Cannabis Business Model

A completely new business model could and should be developed during the Coronavirus, eliminating the old 2017-18 models. We can see ingredients for a competent distribution - delivery systems for customer/patients, with competitive pricing, residential delivery service; all with a serious focus on human health. As hospital infrastructure is stressed, business developments that ease such pressures have a hidden market to tap into. Nevertheless, IRS tax code 280 E, and high California cannabis taxes rates create a difficult terrain. Adding rent, payroll and insurance usually destroys all the operating margins. But public demand for clean accessible medical grade cannabis with recreational based access is in demand. A new advanced business model must be formed to withstand this prickly field, but the demand is surely waiting with open arms..

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