CBDWire Editorial Coverage: The legal marijuana market has been growing by leaps and bounds in North America. Sales jumped 30 percent in 2016, accounting for $6.7 billion in retail activity in the United States and Canada. For companies like SinglePoint, Inc. (SING) (SING Profile), which recently formed a joint venture with First Bitcoin Capital Corp. (BITCF), strategic marijuana-centered acquisitions are helping fuel corporate growth while increasing the availability of equipment and packaging and payment solutions for the broader marijuana market. The cannabis industry also benefits from the activities of American Cannabis Company, Inc. (AMMJ), a producer of a proprietary growing medium, as well as from industry players AeroGrow International, Inc. (AERO) and AbbView, Inc. (ABBV). A closer look at the massive demand for marijuana shows the incredible market opportunity presented to publicly traded cannabis companies as they carve their own niches in a burgeoning industry.
Just two weeks after the State of Nevada legalized the sale of recreational marijuana on July 1, the nearly 50 dispensaries licensed to sell weed found themselves running out of supply. With more than $1 billion of possible tax revenue on the table2, Nevada state officials declared a state of emergency to allow the creation of new rules that would expedite the licensing process to support public demand.
A report1 by The Washington Post claims that over 40,000 transactions of recreational cannabis occurred in the days following the start of sales. The number of transactions reveals the depth of demand, along with the dire need for adequate payment options as consumers bring their goods to the counter. Because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, most banks are on the sidelines when it comes to offering banking services to the cannabis industry, giving dispensaries few choices other than dealing in all-cash. This is where SinglePoint (SING) steps in.
In June, SinglePoint secured funding (http://nnw.fm/2MkXl) to continue its acquisition strategy and further the development of its bitcoin payments solution in partnership with First Bitcoin Capital Corp. (BITCF) (http://nnw.fm/fY78J). The joint venture is developing a proprietary bitcoin payment solution that can be implemented in any point-of-sale machine and will allow customers to purchase cannabis products using debit and credit cards without the backing of banks or the FDIC. SinglePoint also recently purchased the domain name www.SingleCoin.com as part of its planned potential initial coin offering (ICO), which would specifically support transactions for the marijuana industry and other high-risk industries.
Recognizing other opportunities in the high-demand marijuana market, SinglePoint is fattening its acquisition portfolio to create new investment opportunities and boost the availability of equipment, products, and technologies to support the sector’s continued growth.
SinglePoint’s (http://nnw.fm/LSj7x) Discount Indoor Garden Supply (“DIGS”) subsidiary recently inked a supply agreement (http://nnw.fm/slK6I) with Premier Biomedical, Inc. (OTCQB: BIEI), providing SinglePoint with expectations for “significant revenues increase.”
“This opportunity for both SinglePoint and DIGS Hydro is fantastic. We have been working very hard on making acquisitions and inside sales to boost revenues. To have this subsidiary execute on its business plan and generate major revenue for SinglePoint is exactly what we want to see. We are very excited about the second quarter financials and showing the significant revenue increase,” SinglePoint CEO Greg Lambrecht stated in the press release.
SinglePoint’s portfolio also includes an investment in Convectium Labs, a move that will support the accessory-side of consumer demand. Convectium provides equipment, branding and packaging solutions to the cannabis industry and is the developer of the first cartridge and vape pen oil-filling machines offered through wholesale distribution to cannabis dispensaries. Convectium’s 710Shark and 710Seal machines, currently sold through the EquipCanna.com website, are capable of filling and packaging more than 100 cartridges or disposable vape pens in 30 seconds. Convectium also operates a consumer brand that includes BlackoutX and HazeSticks products.
Before marijuana ever hits the display case in a dispensary, careful cultivation determines its marketability. On July 13, American Cannabis Company (AMMJ) reported that its proprietary SoHum® Living Soil was designated “Best Potting Mix” with the 2017 High Times STASH award. Containing only natural ingredients, this growing medium allows users to add water and be ready to fully nourish cannabis plants. It can improve plant yield and quality while reducing the time and labor needed to go from growth to market. The soil includes helpful microbes and reduces the effort and work in keeping plants fed. Also, the company recently announced two active clients have submitted applications to operate medical cannabis operations in Ohio.
Also in the growing category is AeroGrow International (AERO), which recently posted full-year revenues of $23.6 million, an increase of 20 percent over the year prior, along with zero debt and more than $8.8 million of cash on hand. The indoor gardening systems company said its fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, was the strongest year in its history, noting strength in its online and retail presence and making mention of its hydroponic offerings. “And all of this is against the backdrop of our product line becoming increasingly well positioned in the market place – smart gardens, indoor gardening and hydroponic gardening all appear to be trending significantly upward, and we are uniquely qualified to address each of these major trends,” AERO president and CEO J. Michael Wolfe stated in the press release.
While recreational use of marijuana is making most of the headlines these days, the demand for the drug’s application to the medical industry shouldn’t be overlooked. Though cannabis isn’t its primary focus or main revenue driver, AbbView (ABBV) is worth noting, as the pharmaceutical giant has performed well in the market, with shares 30 percent higher on July 14 than they were in November, according to a report by InvestorPlace3. Aside from other drugs in its portfolio, AbbView since the mid-1980s has marketed an FDA-approved cannabis-based drug, Marinol, for the treatment of nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy, and some that treat AIDS and other diseases. Marinol includes Dronabinol, a compound that is chemically identical to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
While the marijuana industry navigates uncharted territory, experimenting with various measures to smooth out the kinks of supply and demand, licensing, distribution, banking, cultivation and application, investors are presented a playing field ripe with opportunity. From bitcoin payments and accessories to hydroponics and medical treatments, the potential of cannabis companies is on the high side.
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