The retail, non-medical cannabis industry was born approximately a decade ago in Washington & Oregon, with the Evergreen State preceding the Beaver State by a couple of years in the legalization of marijuana.  In truly a “gentlemen start your engines” race in the entrepreneurial community, the industry has seen strong business models accelerate and lead the business community in providing quality products, superior customer service, and the creation of growing, profitable privately held companies and family-owned businesses.   Unfortunately, as is common in an industry in its infancy, there has also been company failures due to poorly executed business models, inferior products, non-compliance with government regulations, and insufficient capitalization.  It is anticipated that historic winners and tragic failures in the industry will continue for years as the industry sector grows, evolves, and modifies in coordination with state and federal government regulation.

Firmly established as states of national leadership in technology innovation and entrepreneurship through their private sector companies, the Pacific Northwest is quickly establishing itself in also a leadership position in the cannabis industry in the United States, where as of the November 2020 election thirty-six states have approved marijuana as medically legal with fifteen of them also allowing legal adult use access to the product.  To provide a reference point to the size of the state economies in Washington and Oregon presently, it was documented that the Washington State sales of marijuana exceeded $2 billion in 2020 with approximately $1.2 billion coming from retail sales and the balance coming from sales by producers and processors.  The following Washington State University report provides an excellent overview of the state of the cannabis industry in Washington (WA_Cannabis_Final_v2.pdf (wsu.edu)).  Oregon a smaller state than Washington by population, exceeded $1 billion in revenue from the sale of marijuana in 2020 with the state now routinely topping $100 million in revenue on a monthly basis.

This marketplace in transformation often produces entrepreneurial decision points requiring business owners to select from a menu of management & investment choices ranging from additional investment and business model modification to business sale and acquisition.  IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest in terms of knowledge, experience, and professional skill, was uniquely positioned to serve as a resource to marijuana industry entrepreneurs based on our transactional experience involving new & evolving marketplaces and our knowledge and experience working with similar license transition requirements for wineries, distilleries, and other manufacturing, agricultural, and hospitality industry companies.

IBA professionals serving the cannabis industry have already gained leading edge, industry specific knowledge & experience through participation as deal facilitators in transactions in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. Previous projects worked on by members of the firm include outside & inside growing operations, processors creating a spectrum of variations for use from extracts to joints to edibles, and retail dispensaries.   We would welcome the opportunity to talk with any cannabis industry entrepreneurs that would like to discuss selling or acquiring a marijuana industry business, leasing or acquiring real estate for this specialized use, or staging a business for future sale. IBA has a long history of successfully facilitating transactions in emerging industries where entrepreneurs are battling at a high velocity for market share & racing to perfect business models that will create competitive advantages.  The members of our cannabis industry transaction team have the ability & knowledge to value, market, and successfully negotiate the sale of growing facilities, producer processors, and retail businesses serving the marijuana marketplace that are in leased locations or include real estate.  IBA professionals have also successfully represented & sold businesses that support the cannabis industry ranging from hydroponic equipment & nutrient businesses to trade contractors such as electricians, plumbers, and heating & air conditioning technicians.

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