Cannabis Industry Competitive Analysis

Part
01
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Part
01

Cannabis Beverages

The top three cannabis-based beverages in the North American market include Legal Beverages made by Mirth Provisions, ZootBlasts made by Db3, and Cannabis Quenchers made by VCC Brands. Another leader in the cannabis-products industry is Dixie Elixirs, which makes energy drinks of the same name. Each of these companies and brands is very well-known among cannabis consumers, with the top three companies holding 85% of the market share for cannabis-based beverages, and the fourth company being one of the top companies in the overall cannabis products market.
Our findings are briefly outlined below and detailed on the spreadsheet.

MARKET OVERVIEW

Verdict details a report from Colorado consultancy Cannabiz Consumer Group that estimates that legal cannabis drinks may take about $2 B in sales from the North American beer industry each year in the coming years. This is especially true considering that 27% of beer drinkers already report substituting a marijuana product for beer, or admit to planning to make the switch if/when pot-infused drinks become legal in their states. With Canada legalizing all cannabis-based products by mid-2019, and about 30 states in the US having already legalized cannabis in some form (and others expected to follow in the coming years), this industry is bound to take off within the next five years, and to be booming within 10 years. Distillery Trail reports the growth already showing in this area is a sure sign “that the trend is about to go mainstream”.
There are many different kinds of cannabis-based beverages, including cannabis water, CBD-infused energy drinks, THC-infused sodas, lemonades, and tonics, cannabis-infused coffee, wine made from hemp and wine grapes, and cannabis-infused beers. There also will soon be marijuana-powered beers, which are alcohol-free, but “are said to have a similar ‘dose-response curve’ to alcohol, which means a similar power to intoxicate the drinker,” according to Verdict. They report that this new type of beer will come from Province Brands whose goal is to create “safer and healthier alternatives to alcohol”.

METHODOLOGY & FINDINGS

In searching for the top cannabis-based drinks across all types, we consulted best of/top lists compiled by leading media and ranking companies. These included Greendorphin, The Spot 420, CBC, Forbes, DinaFem Seeds, and VCC Brands. Across these lists, we compiled the following best of / top list separated by category, as shown below.
• CANNABIS WATERS: CBD Living Water
• CANNABIS ENERGY DRINKS: Lift Energy Drinks by Dixie Elixirs, CannaRelief
• THC-INFUSED SODAS: CannaCola, Blaze American Cola, Keef Cola, Sprig
• CANNABIS JUICES & LEMONADES: Cannabis Quencher, CannaPunch, Zasp, Dr. Robert’s Wild Cherry (Evergreen Herbal Beverages)
• CANNABIS TEAS: Subtle Tea
• CANNABIS TONICS: Legal by Mirth Provisions Tonics, Legal Tonic
• CANNABIS COFFEE & COCOA: Catapult Coffee, Catapult Hot Cocoa, Canyon Cultivation Coffee
• CANNABIS WINE: CannaWine, Know Label Wine
• CANNABIS-INFUSED BEERS: CannaBeer, Quigley’s Cannabis Shotz
To create our own best-of list, we pulled the top three from the Forbes list, since the article noted these were the best-selling brands in this industry. This gave us Legal Beverages (Mirth Provisions), Zoots (Db3), and VCC Brands, makers of Cannabis Quencher. Forbes reports that these three companies hold 85% of all sales in this industry, so it made the most sense to include them here.
Since we needed a fourth brand, we consulted our findings from the 2016 and 2017 lists, and took those that were mentioned most-often as being the top brands or that appeared most often across the lists – and whittled them down to Dixie Elixirs, since that company is one of the best-known (and highest-earning) cannabis brands overall.

Please note, there is no publicly-available data to track Dixie Elixirs market share of the canna-beverage market. We know that the remaining dozens of companies currently within the market hold only 15% of the total market, but just what percentage each of these companies holds does not appear to be publicly tracked. Since most of these companies are private and do not publish financial data or product-sales breakdowns, there is no way to triangulate any kind of figure to use toward an estimation.
Based on our research, we present you with the following findings – outlined below and detailed on the spreadsheet you provided.

TOP CANNABIS-INFUSED BEVERAGE COMPANIES / Top BEVERAGES

1. LEGAL BEVERAGES (Mirth Provisions): Legal Beverages Sparkling Tonics
2. ZOOTS (Db3): ZootBlasts
3. VCC BRANDS: Cannabis Quencher
4. DIXIE ELIXIRS: Dixie Elixirs Energy Drinks
As noted, please find more details on the spreadsheet.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

There have been multiple major announcements in both Canada and the US from companies working toward selling cannabis-infused beers and other types of cannabis drinks. One of the biggest North American announcements on this front came from global alcohol brand Constellation Brands, which “bought a 10 percent stake in Canadian marijuana company Canopy Growth Corp for £141 M,” according to Verdict. This announcement is huge news since this is the first Fortune 500 company to invest in this space.
If you’re interested, the Cannabis Drinks Expo will take place in San Francisco, CA in July 2019. This will be “the first event to tackle the issue [of cannabis-drink legislation] head on and give the worldwide drinks industry, and North America in particular, the chance to come together and look at ways it can start addressing what has been described as the biggest ever threat to its future”.

If you’re interested in learning about how cannabis-based beverages are disrupting the Drinks Industry, this report from Gemic is perfect for you.
Lastly, Ackrel Capital offers three free reports on the 2018 Cannabis Market, including the 2018 Cannabis Investment Report, the Top 100 Private Cannabis Companies 2018, and The Green Field 2018.

SUMMARY

Four of the top cannabis-based beverage brands in North America are Legal Beverages (Mirth Provisions), Zoots(Db3), VCC Brands, and Dixie Elixirs.

Part
02
of three
Part
02

Cannabis Wellness Competitive Analysis

On the attached spreadsheet, information has been entered for AbbVie Inc., The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, INSYS Therapeutics, Inc, and Cronos Group Inc. Although these companies cannot be compared directly, as they do not all sell the same products, we have provided as much detail about these companies as possible. Please see the following notes for details about our methodology and limitations of the research.

Notes

The first note is about Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. Scotts Miracle-Gro owns a subsidiary, Hawthorne Gardening, which produces hydroponic gardening tools to grow medical cannabis. While products were listed and the categories were listed in the spreadsheet, prices for the products varied greatly by store and location because they are gardening products rather than something more deterministically priced such as drugs. In order to keep the chart accurate rather than relative to the whims of a store, prices were not listed. The other note concerns Cronos. Cronos is an investment company that funds and owns companies that own medical cannabis producing companies. Product listings and prices were not relevant for Cronos. Additionally, the website has a flash based interface which does not have individual pages so only the main website was cited.

Conclusion

The linked spreadsheet has all of the sources used as well as detailed information. Keep in mind that the companies you asked to compare have a few small caveats which were noted above.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Cannabis Greenfield Opportunities

There are a multitude of greenfield opportunities in the cannabis industry including marijuana delivery services, cannabis friendly hotels, financial services for cannabis businesses, cannabis focused lounges and clubs, cannabis related medical and health products, hobby groups for cannabis consumers and cannabis food and alcohol products. A significant greenfield opportunity in the cannabis industry is the development of consultancies to help establish and develop cannabis businesses.

With the increasing legalization of marijuana, more businesses and greenfield opportunities are arising in North America. The legal market for marijuana and associated products is considered to be worth around $4 billion. The following is an overview of multiple greenfield opportunities within or related to the cannabis industry. The reasons for the unexploited nature of these opportunities are discrepancies in federal and state regulations, changing political views and the general newness of the market. Information concerning each of these greenfield opportunities was identified using recent and reputable sources.

Financial services

Currently, due to complex legislation many banks and finance providers have been reticent to work with companies associated with cannabis. However, with the opening up of the cannabis industry there is considered to be a large amount of greenfield opportunities in banks and financial service providers working with cannabis companies.

Cannabis companies have to date been mostly cash based meaning they are limited in the payroll insurance and 401k investments they can provide to their employees. Therefore, with the legalization of cannabis in many states there is significant potential for the development of financial and account services directed towards businesses which deal with cannabis.

Headway has already been made in this greenfield opportunity with MoneyTrac Technology Inc attending the 2017 Marijuana Business Convention to establish meetings and collaborations with cannabis industry entrepreneurs. MoneyTrac Technology is already working towards developing financial services and solutions for cannabis related organizations.

Medical and health

Marijuana has proven medical benefits. However, as the product is still considered to be a class 1 drug in a number of states, legislation still limits the use of the product in medical treatments. If this legislation is changed, there could be significant greenfield opportunities to exploit in developing cannabis related medicinal products.

GW Pharmaceuticals is leading the way in capitalizing on this opportunity in some states. Cannabis has been used GW Pharmaceutical's drug, Epidiolex, which is being developed to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. This drug has been proven to reduce both the frequency and severity of seizures in epilepsy suffers. The safety of this product has also been proven.

Should the FDA change its position on cannabis, the use of the substance in pharmaceutical products could present a significant greenfield opportunity, however there is consensus that to date the market has not yet been fully exploited.

Hobby Groups

There is considered to be large greenfield opportunities in cannabis related hobby groups, including groups which focus on cannabis consumption and groups which focus on other activities whilst the participants consume cannabis products. The large greenfield opportunity associated with hobby groups is related to the low start up costs of such groups which can be as low as $2000. One entrepreneur who developed the "Puff, Pass and Paint" cannabis and painting groups runs classes where students pay between $49 and $64 per person. Such developments are still in their infancy but showing massive potential for growth and huge popularity.

Cannabis delivery services

With the rise in popularity of app based, on-demand transport and food services such as Lyft and UberEats respectively there are a number of entrepreneurs who believe that there is a significant greenfield opportunity in developing a marijuana delivery service. A medical marijuana "dispensary-to-door" service called Eaze was launched in 2014. It has been a massive success and generated around $20 million in venture capital investments. There are large greenfield opportunities to develop this type of service for recreational users of cannabis.

Similar to businesses such as Uber and Lyft there is no special licenses required to run such a cannabis focused delivery service. Furthermore, the delivery drivers associated with such businesses are not employed by the cannabis related delivery companies, they are employed by the dispensaries who are then contracted to the delivery company.

The limitations of such greenfield opportunities are the technological expertise required to design, develop and maintain apps.

alcohol products

There are multiple greenfield opportunities available in cannabis infused alcohol products. Both beer producer Lagunitas and wine producer Rebel Coast Winery are investigating the opportunities around this cannabis-alcohol opportunity. Alcohol infused with cannabis is considered to potentially hold the same benefits as medical marijuana in pain relief and relaxation.

Food products

There is considered to be a large greenfield opportunity in developing marijuana-based food products. Reports suggest that, similar to medical marijuana, food products infused with cannabis can help with relaxation and pain relief. Potential producers believe that there are multiple greenfield opportunities in cannabis infused food products. Firstly, there are many business opportunities in developing and selling such a product, but secondly creating such products may reduce the taboos surrounding cannabis.

Lounges and clubs

There is significant room for growth in cannabis focused clubs and lounges. Whilst this is a new opportunity in the U.S. and Canada it is not new in the Netherlands and due to this, the development of clubs and lounges focused on cannabis consumption is considered to hold huge potential. Denver and Las Vegas as currently investigating the development of spaces for cannabis and coffee enjoyment.

Cannabis friendly hotels

With a stigma still attached to cannabis, even in states where the product has been legalized, there is a greenfield opportunity in hotels and lodges which allow their guests to smoke and consume cannabis. With startup costs of $30,000 - $40,000 and potential earnings over $1 million a year there is significant potential for cannabis focused hotels, lodges and bed and breakfasts. Such locations come with greater opportunities in selling and producing cannabis infused food and alcohol and paraphernalia.

Cannabis consulting

With a significant amount of greenfield opportunities in businesses, there is also a greenfield opportunity for consulting firms which focus on assisting cannabis focused companies to design and market their companies successfully as well as assisting with regulations and legal aspects of business establishment.

One entrepreneur who has established a Denver-based consulting firm for cannabis related businesses with a start up cost of around $5000, recorded a gross revenue of $1.2 million in his second year of trading and in this third year he recorded a gross revenue of $2.7 million.

In summary, there are a wide range of greenfield opportunities in the cannabis industry relating to developing and selling cannabis products, the development of groups for those who enjoy using cannabis and companies which assist in the development of cannabis focused businesses.
Sources
Sources