CANNAINVESTOR Magazine August 2016 - Page 75

The edibles marketplace since January has seen 99 different brands clocking sales at Colorado dispensaries. Of them, the top 10 held 71 percent of market share and the top 20 accounted for 87 percent. Nearly half of the brands — 45 — doing business in Colorado this year are brand new, with zero sales during the same period the prior year. Among the new brands, three stand out with sales of nearly $1 million each in just the first five months of 2016: Leafs by Snoop, Americanna and Stratos.

All of this commercial ferment is bubbling within the context of the overall industry’s rapid growth. In Colorado last year, consumer sales were $996 million (up 42 percent from the year before). During the first five months of 2016, consumers spent $486 million in cannabis dispensaries, a boost of 36 percent over the same period in 2015.

The innovation boom is not inexplicable — profound (and long pent-up) consumer demand coupled with fair Colorado regulations and effervescent entrepreneurial activity all joined for a perfect storm of commercial vigor. Regardless, Colorado's extraordinarily spirited approach to building a new industry was not fully anticipated.

"Building a new company in most established industries demands enormous investments and quite a lot of time," said Bingham. "But entrepreneurs in Colorado — and we are confident the same level of commercial zip characterizes markets in Washington and Oregon — are just leaping into the water, quickly figuring out how to swim, and building islands of financial security and commercial energy. It is breathtaking."