Legal weed isn’t the boon small businesses thought it would be

As California opens its market Jan. 1, Washington state’s experience serves as a warning
FiveThirtyEight (US)
Friday, December 29, 2017

The business of selling legal weed is big and getting bigger. North Americans spent $6.7 billion on legal cannabis last year, and some analysts think that with California set to open recreational dispensaries on Jan. 1 and Massachusetts and Canada soon to follow, the market could expand to more than $20.2 billion by 2021. So it’s no surprise that you see eager business people across the country lining up to invest millions of dollars in this green rush. But here’s a word of warning: The data behind the first four years of legal pot sales, with drops in retail prices and an increase in well-funded cannabis growing operations, shows a market that increasingly favors big businesses with deep pockets.