As cannabis becomes increasingly available for both medicinal and recreational use, new businesses are cropping up throughout the industry at a rapid pace. The following are some of the more noteworthy examples from the northeast. If their current performance is any indication, they’re primed to make a major impact in the cannabis and CBD industry in 2019.
Leaflink helped further the idea that cannabis can be a legitimate business when Fast Company named it one of Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Enterprise for 2018. The NYC startup is the first business in this sector to earn that distinction.
Leaflink stands out as the largest wholesale cannabis marketplace around right now. It already serves hundreds of brands and thousands of retailers. With more states embracing cannabis in 2019, you should expect that trend to continue.
Not all cannabis businesses need to be growers, retailers, or wholesalers. Companies in this field also need help from consultants, just like any other company.
MariMed fills this niche as a “nationally recognized integrated business solutions provider for the highly regulated legal cannabis industry.”
The company aims to provide a variety of services, such as helping pediatricians offer pure CBD to the parents of children who would benefit from it. MariMed is based in Massachusetts, where cannabis was recently approved for recreational use. That’s a good reason to believe the company will be very successful this year.
Altitude Investment Management
Cannabis businesses also need investors to succeed. Luckily, Altitude Investment Management, based in NYC, recently raised $30 million after a round of funding. The firm is currently invested in 16 businesses across the legal cannabis industry, and hopes to seek out future investment opportunities as legalization becomes more widespread.
CBD is also becoming very popular among people who want the therapeutic benefits it offers without the high that comes from THC. Brands like Recess, based in New York, are taking advantage of the trend by offering sparkling drinks which contain CBD. The Millennial-friendly branding and convenience the product offers (it’s obviously easier to sip a drink than take a tincture throughout the day) may position Recess for major success in 2019.
Cultivate Holdings has already established itself as a reliable medical dispensary. However, now that cannabis is legal for recreational use in Massachusetts, the company is also selling to non-patients. The fact that Cultivate Holdings got in on the ground floor of recreational cannabis in Massachusetts means its on track to enjoy major profits in the coming months.
Greenhouse Ventures, LLC
The team behind Philadelphia-based Greenhouse Ventures wants the company to serve as an accelerator for cannabis startups. They offer a training program to help entrepreneurs develop a business model, as well as helping them raise funds. This could make Greenhouse Ventures a very useful resource to green rush entrepreneurs in the near future.
Cannabis may not be legal for recreational use in New York just yet, but that hasn’t stopped some entrepreneurs from getting involved in the industry. Pollen Gear is an NYC-based startup from Ed Kilduff, a successful industrial designer who now focuses on designing high-end, childproof cannabis containers. The company offers major benefits to customers. Because each state has its own laws regarding container safety, it helps to have containers that meet those standards while also looking visually-appealing.
Acreage Holdings had a very good 2018, closing a round of funding at $119 million. John Boehner also joined the board in April. Politics aside, it certainly helps to legitimize the business when a prominent figure gets involved. This New York company already has a diverse portfolio of cannabis properties, and will likely continue expanding through 2019.
Although this Massachusetts business has been around for a few years, 2019 may be its most successful yet. That’s because CannaKorp recently came to an agreement to distribute its patented herbal vaporizer and pods in Colorado. Entering into this market could be very lucrative for the company.
It’s no secret that people in low-income areas have often been disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition. To help such people find jobs in the growing industry, Massachusetts has implemented a social equity program. Earthwise Outreach, based in Boston, will participate by providing training and consulting services to new businesses in the sector. This gives the firm an opportunity to demonstrate its value.
Although many entrepreneurs are striving to join in the gold rush, these are a few examples of northeast businesses with particularly high growth potential in 2019. Pay attention to them in the coming months to see if they live up to expectations.