50% of Americans Have Tried Marijuana

Marijuana Use
Marijuana Use

A nationwide poll shows that approximately 50% of Americans have tried marijuana at least once. The results of the poll confirmed what many cannabis industry observers have long known: that cannabis use is becoming more and more popular, particularly among younger adults. What does the increased acceptance of marijuana use mean for the future of marijuana legalization efforts? Keep reading this blog to learn more.

Gallup Poll: Roughly Half of All Americans Report Using Marijuana At Least Once

A recent poll conducted by Gallup, the company known for large-scale public opinion surveys, found that 49% of U.S. adults have used marijuana. The poll asked respondents whether they had “ever happened to try marijuana,” and nearly half of respondents answered “yes.”

Voters in several states passed marijuana legalization measures in the 2020 election, and additional states like New Mexico, New York, and Virginia have also legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2021. These new cannabis laws have passed at the same time that cannabis use has become more accepted, and the Gallup survey results are just another indication of how normalized and mainstream marijuana is these days. Whereas earlier versions of the Gallup poll found support for cannabis legalization holding steady at roughly 30%, there was a noticeable surge in support in the most recent poll.

The numbers also show a noticeable difference between young adults and older adults when it comes to marijuana use. While roughly 50% of Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers responded that they have “experimented” with marijuana, that number drops considerably to just 19% among people who were born before 1946. It is also worth noting that marijuana use by men (16%) is nearly twice as high as marijuana use by women (9%).

Regular Cannabis Use Also on Rise Among U.S. Adults

Although there are nearly as many people who have tried marijuana as those who have not, the number of individuals who “actively” smoke marijuana is significantly lower. According to the Gallup poll, 12% of adults in the United States use cannabis on a regular basis. However, this still represents an increase over earlier polls: in 2013, just 7% of Americans answered “yes” when asked if they routinely use cannabis. Additionally, Gallup observed that the percentage of American adults who admit to smoking marijuana in 2021 is nearly as high as the percentage of American adults who admit to smoking cigarettes.

It is also possible that some survey respondents answered “no” when asked whether they actively smoke cannabis because they use cannabis through alternative methods of consumption like vaping or cannabis edibles. Both of these methods have become very popular as consumers grow more sophisticated and educated about cannabis potency and THC levels.

Overwhelming Support for Legalization of Cannabis for Adult Use

The results of the 2021 Gallup poll match the results of a Gallup survey conducted in 2020. That earlier survey showed overwhelming support for cannabis reform measures to legalize marijuana for recreational use: 68% of respondents indicated that they were in favor of cannabis legalization, the highest number ever recorded. The disparity between cannabis use (roughly 50%) and support for cannabis legalization (68%) suggests that many Americans don’t need to have tried marijuana in order to back legalization efforts. It also bodes well for future attempts to legalize cannabis, particularly as more states look to either put cannabis reform measures on the ballot in 2022 or pass legalization bills directly through the legislature.

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate

Are you a cannabis operator looking to secure financing as you expand into a new cannabis market or attempt to bolster your existing operations? Scythian Real Estate is a privately held cannabis fund that can assist you. Email us today.


Columbia Care Q2 2021 Sets Record for Quarterly Cannabis Revenues

Columbia Care Q2 2021 Cannabis Revenues
Columbia Care Q2 2021 Cannabis Revenues

Cannabis company Columbia Care has reported another record quarter for cannabis revenues. For the second quarter that ended on June 30, 2021, Columbia Care generated roughly $110 million. The company’s success continues a trend that pre-dates the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is no indication that the positive results will slow down anytime soon. What does the future hold for the cannabis industry generally, and for Columbia Care in particular? Keep reading this blog to find out.

Columbia Care Generates $110 Million in Cannabis Revenues in Second Quarter 2021

According to financial and operating results reported to investors on August 12, Columbia Care generated $109.7 million in cannabis revenues during the second quarter of 2021. This was a 19% increase over revenues from the first quarter of 2021, and a staggering 232% increase over revenues from the second quarter of 2020.

Nicholas Vita, the CEO of Columbia Care, said that the cannabis company’s strong financial results are evidence of its commitment to expanding and scaling in different markets throughout the U.S., including California, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. Vita noted that Columbia Care increased its overall wholesale activity in “new and maturing markets” to strengthen the company’s national portfolio of cannabis properties. Vita also emphasized the recent acquisition of Green Leaf Medical, which was officially completed during the second quarter.

Columbia Care also continued a major rollout of its Cannabist retail storefront. The company currently has five (5) Cannabist dispensaries that sell company-branded cannabis products directly to consumers, as well as related in-house brands and products like Plant Sugar edibles, Seed & Strain flower, Triple Seven flower, and Amber and Platinum Label CBD.

Columbia Care Dispensaries Show Strong Results in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

The quarterly financial results from Q2 2021 indicate that the top five (5) markets for Columbia Care were California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. This should not be surprising, since most of these are mature cannabis markets in which Columbia Care has a strong retail presence.

Columbia Care also posted impressive quarterly financial results in the following states:

  • Arizona: Columbia Care showed 54% growth in Arizona cannabis revenues when compared to Q2 2020, with the higher revenues fueled by competitors’ flower shortage that led to increased demand for the company’s Seed & Strain flower brand.
  • Florida: Columbia Care focused on expanding its in-house product lines, including edibles and other cannabis products. The result was a 46% increase in Florida cannabis revenues over the previous quarter, and a 335% year-over-year increase when compared to Q2 2020.
  • Illinois: Columbia Care launched several new cannabis products in Illinois, including Seed & Strain vapes and Triple Seven flower, which increased foot traffic to the Cannabist Villa Park dispensary.
  • New Jersey: The company’s NJ cultivation facility completed its first harvest, which will provide cannabis products to medical marijuana patients via wholesale partnerships. Columbia Care also continued development of Cannabist dispensaries located in Deptford and Hamilton Township.
  • New York: Columbia Care received preliminary approval to start operations at a cannabis cultivation facility located in Long Island, NY. The company also began the process of adding four (4) more medical marijuana dispensaries in New York.
  • Virginia: Columbia Care continued its active pursuit of five (5) retail dispensaries in Virginia, which would give the company a total of 12 dispensaries in the state.

Not only is Columbia Care succeeding in the current climate that is favorable to cannabis legalization, but there is also plenty of optimism among cannabis industry insiders about what the future holds for the company. Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita pointed toward the many states that have recently legalized marijuana for recreational use, including New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. Vita said that as these states transition to adult use, Columbia Care will have more opportunities than ever before to reach new cannabis markets.

Contact Denver-Based Scythian Real Estate for Information About Cannabis Property Financing

Columbia Care is a leading cannabis operator in Colorado, where the company has a number of The Green Solution (TGS) dispensaries. The Green Solution, and by extension Columbia Care, has an established relationship with Scythian Real Estate, a privately held cannabis real estate fund with more than a dozen properties currently serving as TGS dispensaries.

For more information about Scythian Real Estate, send an email today.


Curaleaf Has Record Second Quarter 2021 for Cannabis Revenues

Curaleaf Q2 2021 Cannabis Revenues
Curaleaf Q2 2021 Cannabis Revenues

Cannabis company Curaleaf had a record second quarter 2021 for cannabis revenues. Curaleaf recently released its financial and operating results for Q2 2021, and the results show that the global business generated more than $300 million from cannabis operations over a three-month period. This represented a significant increase in returns for Curaleaf over the previous quarter, as well as a continuation of an upward trend dating back to last year.

What does Curaleaf’s continued success mean for the cannabis industry in general Keep reading to find out.

Curaleaf Generated Record $312 Million in Cannabis Revenues During Q2 2021

Curaleaf’s official financial results for the recent quarter ending on June 30 confirmed the company’s status as one of the world’s largest providers of cannabis products for consumers in both the United States and Europe. Those results were revealed to investors, as well as the public, in a company earnings call on August 9. Curaleaf achieved more than $312 million in cannabis revenues during the second quarter, with U.S. operations accounting for $307 million of that total. This was a 20% increase over Q1 2021, and a remarkable 166% increase over total revenues of $117 million in the second quarter of 2020.

Some of Curaleaf’s most notable domestic business transactions during the second quarter included the following:

  • Acquiring Los Suenos, a 66-acre outdoor grow facility located in Colorado.
  • Opening new cannabis dispensaries in Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • Launching a strategic partnership with Rolling Stone, including a specific focus on Curaleaf’s Select brand.

Cannabis Industry Excited About the Curaleaf’s Future

Boris Jordan, Curaleaf’s executive chairman, said that the company’s future is bright in no small part because it has “a strong foundation” that includes expansion into burgeoning cannabis markets in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. According to Jordan, these new adult-use markets in the Eastern U.S. offer up to $8 billion in “annual addressable market opportunity” for Curaleaf.

Joe Bayern, the Chief Executive Officer of Curaleaf, said that the company’s record second quarter results are a strong indicator of its position as an industry leader for both cannabis cultivation and distribution. Bayern added that Curaleaf’s “strategic investments in innovation and technology will deliver processing advantages and consumer-focused product differentiation” to fuel company growth in the years ahead.

Curaleaf International Gives Cannabis Company Strong Presence in European Market

During Q2 2021, Curaleaf also completed its acquisition of EMMAC, the largest vertically integrated cannabis business in Europe. Additionally, the company established Curaleaf International in the second quarter, which should provide further opportunities for financial growth. Curaleaf Executive Chairman Boris Jordan noted that Curaleaf’s entry into the Greater European cannabis market gives the company access to “a potential market size twice that of the United States.”

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate Today

Curaleaf is one of the largest and most successful cannabis companies in the United States, with 108 dispensaries in 23 states, as well as 22 cannabis cultivation sites and more than 30 cannabis processing sites. One of Curaleaf’s partners is Scythian Real Estate, which works with many of the country’s most sophisticated cannabis operators. Scythian leases the properties for three (3) dispensaries operated by Curaleaf through Grassroots Cannabis in North Dakota and Pennsylvania.

If you are a cannabis operator interested in expanding into a new cannabis market, contact Scythian today.


Colorado Cannabis Sales Set Record in Q1 2021

Colorado Cannabis Sales
Colorado Cannabis Sales

Colorado continues to set new records when it comes to cannabis sales. Data maintained by the state government shows that marijuana sales in Colorado surpassed $560 million during the first three months of 2021, marking a quarterly high. The staggering success of legal cannabis bodes well for cannabis dispensaries and operators Colorado, as well as the cannabis industry more generally. Keep reading this blog to learn more.

Recreational & Medical Marijuana Sales Hit Record Highs in Colorado

Sales data from the first quarter of 2021 shows that cannabis is more popular than ever in Colorado. Dispensaries that sell recreational marijuana reported more than $560 million in sales in January, February, and March of this year. The cannabis sales figures come from the Colorado Department of Revenue, which tracks retail sales through tax revenues collected from dispensaries. (While the state keeps track of both recreational and medical cannabis sales, it does not monitor sales figures for cannabis accessories or related products such as pipes and grinders.)

In March of 2021, dispensaries reported approximately $207 million in cannabis sales. These sales came with three different taxes imposed by the state:

  1. Sales Tax: There is a 2.9% sales tax on any recreational or medical cannabis sold in dispensaries.
  2. Retail Tax: Colorado imposes a heavy 15% tax on the front-end for cannabis operators who sell adult-use cannabis in dispensaries.
  3. Retail Excise Tax: There is also a 15% tax paid directly by the businesses, which is similar to the tax typically imposed on goods like gas, alcohol, and cigarettes.

Cannabis Sales Generate Tax Revenues to Fund Colorado Government Programs

The remarkable surge in Colorado cannabis sales during the COVID-19 pandemic merely continued an upward trend that has been clear since adult-use cannabis became legal in 2014. Since that official beginning to the legal Colorado cannabis market, the state has generated more than $1.7 billion in tax revenue from dispensary sales.

The popularity of cannabis among Colorado residents and tourists has pumped money back into Colorado: the state uses cannabis tax revenues to fund the public school system, health care, police departments, important infrastructure projects, and other state and local government programs in need of financing. Under laws established by Colorado legislators when marijuana was first made legal in 2014, the state must place at least 71% of all cannabis sales tax revenues into a Marijuana Tax Cash Fund, and this fund is then used for many of these government programs. Another 12% of sales tax revenues must be used exclusively for the Colorado Public School Fund, and the remaining 17% goes into a General Fund to support health care, human services, and the state’s correctional system.

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate for Information on Sale-Leaseback Deals

Scythian Real Estate is a Denver-based cannabis real estate fund that helps sophisticated cannabis operators get needed financing through sale-leaseback transactions. Scythian works with large cannabis companies across the U.S., including operators with a presence in the nation’s most mature cannabis market in Colorado. If you are a cannabis company interested in adding capital, email Scythian today.


Amazon Changes Its Workplace Cannabis Policy

Amazon Cannabis Testing Policy
Amazon Cannabis Testing Policy

Amazon has one of the largest workforces in the entire country, with more and more warehouses and shipping centers popping up in every state as demand for convenient deliveries continues to grow. For years, Amazon’s workers were required to take random drug tests to screen for cannabis use. This cannabis policy has begun to seem outdated recently, especially as many states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Now Amazon has finally adapted by changing its policy and ceasing testing for cannabis use in most workplace roles.

Do Amazon’s changes to its workplace cannabis policy suggest more significant changes on the horizon for federal cannabis law? And what could this mean for the cannabis industry? Keep reading this blog to learn more.

Amazon Will No Longer Test Workers for Marijuana Use

Amazon recently announced that it will be altering its corporate drug testing rules for most of the company’s workers. As a result of the changes, workers in non-transportation roles with Amazon will no longer be screened for marijuana use. This will not only have an impact on people currently working for Amazon, but it will also affect individuals who apply for Amazon jobs since they will no longer be required to pass a drug test before being hired.

There are still a few exceptions to the modified cannabis testing policy at Amazon. For example, the retail giant will still conduct random checks of workers to ensure that no one is impaired by drugs or alcohol while working on the job – especially when impairment could place other workers, or members of the public, at risk of injury. Additionally, Amazon will still conduct drug tests when there is an on-the-job accident.

Amazon Expresses Support for Federal Cannabis Legalization with the MORE Act

While several states, including Alabama, New Mexico, and Virginia, have legalized adult-use cannabis in the aftermath of the 2020 election, the legalization of cannabis at the federal level has not yet happened due to strong opposition from most Republican lawmakers in the U.S. Senate. However, there appears to be momentum for federal legalization efforts, with a majority of the public voicing support for an end to the criminalization of marijuana possession and use.

Amazon has now joined the chorus of people, businesses, and other institutions that are calling for legalization. In addition to changing its employee drug testing policies, the business behemoth has publicly expressed support for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021. That proposed legislation, also known as the MORE Act, was recently reintroduced for consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and remove marijuana from the list of federally banned substances. Beyond that, the proposed law would potentially allow individuals currently serving prison sentences for cannabis offenses to be resentenced.

After Amazon issued an official announcement about its support for the MORE Act, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) issued a statement for the non-profit advocacy group. Paul Armentano, speaking on behalf of NORML, said that drug screenings of applicants for employment are a “discriminatory” remnant of the past that have no place in a country where marijuana is now legal for either recreational or medical use almost everywhere.

Contact Denver-Based Scythian Cannabis Real Estate

Scythian Real Estate is a Denver-based cannabis real estate fund that works with sophisticated cannabis operators in Colorado, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and across the United States. If you are a cannabis company looking for capital or other assistance with your operations, send us an email.


LivWell Runs Cannabis Ads on Colorado TV

Colorado Cannabis TV Ads
Colorado Cannabis TV Ads

LivWell Enlightened Health, one of the largest cannabis operators in Colorado, recently started running television ads for marijuana dispensaries. This marks the first time that cannabis commercials have aired on Colorado TV. Now that LivWell is running cannabis ads on television, will other retail marijuana operators follow suit? And what could this mean for the state’s cannabis industry more generally? Keep reading this blog to find out.

Marijuana Dispensary Commercials Begin Airing in Denver, CO

LivWell Enlightened Health is one of the largest cannabis companies in Colorado, with more than 20 retail stores selling recreational marijuana and/or medical marijuana. LivWell recently started to run a number of cannabis TV ads on KUSA, a Denver NBC affiliate station. The ads feature testimonials from satisfied customers who have used LivWell cannabis products. The testimonials also praise LivWell staff and mention the cannabis retailer’s customer rewards program.

The historic commercials are the first-ever television advertisements for a retail marijuana store to air in Colorado. There have been previous attempts to air cannabis commercials in Colorado, but legal concerns and fear of action being taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prompted local networks to reject the commercials. However, as the cannabis industry becomes more accepted by the public and a part of mainstream culture, advertising restrictions for television and radio have been eased considerably.

Cannabis industry observers believe that the recent cannabis commercials could be a key moment for cannabis advertising in mainstream media like TV, print, and online ads. Michael Lord, the CEO of LivWell, noted that the marijuana retailer has been interested in generating brand awareness through traditional media “since Day 1.” Lord also said that the cannabis company hoped the TV commercials would reach consumers in the 55-and-older demographic.

Restrictions on Colorado Cannabis Advertisements

There were some limitations on what could – and could not – be said in the LivWell television ads. For example, the commercials do not explicitly use words like “cannabis” and “marijuana.” Additionally, the commercials do not depict any of the LivWell cannabis products, nor do the ads show images of LivWell dispensaries.

Other limitations on the cannabis commercials were mandated by Colorado marijuana regulations. Under current law, a cannabis TV advertisement must be broadcast to an audience of mostly adults: an ad with viewership of more than 28.4% of people under the age of 21 is not allowed. (That age is not a coincidence: a person must be at least 21 years of age in order to buy marijuana in Colorado.)

Contact Scythian Real Estate for Information on Cannabis Operator Financing

Restrictions on cannabis ads are similar to restrictions on financing for cannabis companies. Until there is clarity about federal law on marijuana, many banks won’t offer services or provide loans to cannabis businesses. If you are a cannabis operator in need of financing, Scythian Real Estate can assist you. Scythian is a privately held cannabis real estate fund that helps cannabis operators like LivWell Enlightened Health secure long-term control of their assets through sale-leaseback transactions. In fact, Scythian is currently partnered with LivWell on dispensaries located in Aurora, Berthoud, and Mancos.

If you are a cannabis operator and would like to learn more about Scythian, send us an email today.


Cannabis Flower Prices Soar During Pandemic

Cannabis Flower Price Increase
Cannabis Flower Price Increase

The prices of cannabis flower, along with the prices of other recreational marijuana products, have risen to record highs during the coronavirus pandemic. New data from retail cannabis stores throughout the United States shows that increased demand for cannabis flower has resulted in higher average sales prices, providing some indication of just how strong the cannabis market has become. What could this mean for the cannabis industry going forward, and could the increased demand and higher sales figures continue after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides? Keep reading this blog to learn more.

Higher Prices for Cannabis Flower in Colorado, California, Nevada, and Washington

While retail sales prices for cannabis flower have been increasing nationwide over the past year, prices have seen a significant spike in four states: Colorado, California, Nevada, and Washington. According to Headset, an analytics company based in Seattle, WA, wholesale flower prices are up considerably in these states over the past three (3) months when compared to sales data from late 2019 and early 2020. On average, the four states have seen prices for cannabis flower rise by approximately 17%.

The higher prices are seen as a reflection of healthy demand for cannabis product during the pandemic. When a lot of businesses either closed down or began to operate remotely, many people found themselves stuck inside for days, weeks, and months on end, and cannabis consumption became more popular than ever in states where marijuana is legal for either recreational use or medical use. This, in turn, led a lot of cannabis consumers to explore new ways of smoking or otherwise consuming cannabis. What cannabis operators soon began to notice was that some of their more popular cannabis flower products began to fly off shelves.

In Colorado, the demand for cannabis flower was particularly strong. This caused a spike in wholesale flower prices in the state, with the average market rate per pound going up by 30% over a three-month period at the end of 2020. For premium marijuana flower in Colorado, prices have gone even higher because consumers are seeking out top-tier cannabis brands like Cookies, Kaviar, and Snaxland that offer artisanal cannabis. For certain brands, the price of high-grade flower in Colorado currently exceeds $4,000 per pound.

Increased Demand for Marijuana Pre-Rolls, Capsules, and Concentrates During COVID-19 Pandemic

The increased demand, and subsequent rise in retail prices, for cannabis flower during the COVID-19 pandemic certainly stands out to cannabis industry observers. However, cannabis flower is not the only retail product that has benefitted from cannabis consumers seeking out new ways to smoke marijuana. For example, the average sales prices of pre-rolled marijuana have risen by 15% when compared to the first few, pre-pandemic months of 2020.

In addition to setting higher average sales prices for cannabis flower and pre-rolls, dispensaries in Colorado, California, Nevada, and Washington have also responded to increased demand for cannabis capsules and cannabis concentrate by raising prices on those products as well. According to data compiled by Headset, the average retail price of cannabis capsules rose by more than 11% since early 2020, and the average retail price of cannabis concentrate rose by more than 3% since early 2020.

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate Today

Higher prices and increased demand for certain cannabis products certainly bodes well for the cannabis industry as a whole and especially for cannabis operators in Colorado, California, Nevada, and Washington. Scythian Real Estate is a privately held cannabis real estate fund that works with some of the most sophisticated cannabis operators in these states and others. If you are a cannabis operator and would like to learn more about Scythian, contact us today.


Cannabis Concentrate Sales on Rise

Cannabis Concentrate Sales Rise
Cannabis Concentrate Sales Rise

Sales of cannabis concentrates like wax, shatter, hash, kief, badder, crumble, and live resin have risen sharply as more and more cannabis consumers turn to new products during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many other industries struggled over the past year, the cannabis industry thrived as people in states where cannabis is legal sought out the product for consumption in their own homes. What does greater demand for marijuana concentrate mean for the cannabis industry as a whole? Keep reading this blog to find out.

Cannabis Concentrate Market Exploding in Adult-Use States

According to the most recent retail data, cannabis concentrate sales in adult-use states are up more than 40% since the beginning of 2020. Nationwide, total sales of cannabis concentrates went from $567 million in 2019 all the way to $797 million in 2020. This meant that concentrates accounted for a larger share of the cannabis retail market, with other products like edibles, tinctures, and vape pens seeing a corresponding decrease in sales and market share.

One reason that people began to flock to concentrate products is that they became more comfortable with some of the more complicated ways of consuming cannabis. For example, dabbing usually involves the use of a dab rig, which is essentially a water pipe that diffuses heat and allows users to consume waxes and concentrates. Generally speaking, when people gain more experience using these complicated devices, they begin to explore different types of concentrate, including more expensive artisanal products. Moreover, new technologies such as portable, handheld vaporizers have made it easier for cannabis users to consume concentrate.

Marijuana Concentrates Are an Alternative to Vape Products

Recent health concerns about vaping have caused a lot of cannabis consumers to shift from using vape products to using concentrates like rosin and live resin because those concentrated products are solventless and don’t contain additives. For consumers who are worried about developing a lung condition from vape oils, cannabis concentrates provide a relatively healthy alternative.

Not only do these kinds of cannabis concentrates pose fewer health risks than vape products, but they also offer stronger doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than more traditional products like cannabis flower and pre-rolls. Greater THC levels typically mean a more potent high for the user. When it comes to marijuana concentrate, the THC content can be four to five times higher than the THC content for flower. Interestingly, the concentrate market tends to feed itself because frequent concentrate users may build up a tolerance for THC that makes it impossible for them to get a good high from using cannabis flower or smoking marijuana joints; hence, these users continue to seek out concentrate. This helps to explain why the cannabis concentrate market often grows at the expense of the flower market as more time passes.

The Future of the Cannabis Concentrate Market

Globally, concentrate is one of the most popular of all cannabis products. Worldwide sales of cannabis concentrates reached $1.8 billion in 2019. The more sophisticated consumption habits of cannabis consumers, spurred in part by the coronavirus pandemic, could mean that demand for concentrate will continue to increase in the years ahead. Cannabis industry experts estimate that total annual sales of marijuana concentrate in the U.S. and throughout the world could reach nearly $6 billion by 2026.

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate

Scythian Real Estate is a privately held cannabis real estate fund that works with major cannabis operators in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and other states where cannabis is legal for either recreational use or medical use. Scythian also provides opportunities for individuals to invest in the cannabis real estate market. To learn more, send us an email.


Cannabis Industry Ready for Minimum-Wage Hike

Cannabis Salaries & Minimum Wage
Cannabis Salaries & Minimum Wage

As more and more states increase the minimum wage that businesses must pay to their employees, some have wondered whether this might affect the financial bottom line of the cannabis industry. However, industry experts do not believe that a minimum wage hike will have much impact on growers, cultivators, dispensaries, or the industry as a whole because most cannabis companies already pay their workers more than the proposed minimum wage. Keep reading this blog to learn more.

Cannabis Companies Pay More Than Minimum Wage in Most States

According to the 2020 Cannabis Industry Salary Guide, budtenders who work at dispensaries in states where cannabis is legal are paid, on average, $15 an hour. This is significantly more than the minimum wage in many of these states. Additionally, a lot of cannabis companies attract workers with generous benefit packages that put the workers’ annual pay well above the minimum wage. A recent survey of cannabis businesses found that roughly 90% offer benefits such as health insurance, paid leave, or a 401(k) plan to full-time employees who work at least 40 hours per week.

Some major nationwide retailers, like Target and Walmart, have announced that they will be moving toward a $15 minimum wage for all employees. However, many small businesses have not yet made that move – and it is here where cannabis companies are extremely competitive and, in many cases, are more likely to attract highly qualified job applicants.

So, why does the cannabis industry tend to offer higher salaries and greater benefits to employees? The specialized knowledge required to work in the industry and to serve knowledgeable customers often makes it difficult to find qualified workers. Moreover, cannabis businesses recognize the importance of retaining employees who are able to effectively do the job because continuity is critical to business growth.

Cannabis Businesses Thrive During COVID-19 Pandemic

While there were a number of thriving industries that paid good wages before the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn caused by the pandemic forced many industries to scale back their operations and cut costs by either reducing their workforces or slashing salaries and benefits for employees. This was especially true of smaller businesses that needed to close their doors due to state lockdown orders. However, the cannabis industry actually managed to surge during the coronavirus pandemic because states declared dispensaries “essential businesses” that could remain open. The end result was that a lot of cannabis companies were able to maintain their workforces and, in some cases, even expand their workforces with increased pay rates and benefits.

Cannabis Operators Likely to Be Unaffected by Federal Minimum Wage Hike

While there has been talk in recent weeks and months of the U.S. Congress passing a $15 federal minimum wage, it appears increasingly unlikely that this will happen anytime soon. Despite the lack of a higher federal minimum wage, however, many states have been increasing their own minimum wage requirements for businesses. The highest minimum wage imposed by any state is California’s $14 an hour requirement, which applies to all businesses in the state that have more than 25 employees.

For cannabis operators with retail stores and cultivation facilities in states where cannabis is legal, the rise in minimum wage in many of these states has not made much of a difference to the businesses’ bottom lines. That’s because the majority of these cannabis operators are already paying their workers above the state-imposed minimum wage. Looking forward, any additional increases to state minimum wage requirements are also unlikely to affect cannabis companies in these states because most successful cannabis operators already factor in a higher cost of doing business – whether it’s higher salaries for workers or a “cannabis premium” imposed on real estate purchases.

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate Today

Scythian Cannabis Real Estate is a privately held cannabis real estate fund based out of Denver, Colorado. Scythian has a current portfolio of cannabis properties used as retail dispensaries in Colorado, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania, as well as a pipeline of future acquisitions in states like Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and throughout the United States. If you are a cannabis operator looking to raise capital, or an individual looking to invest in the growing cannabis market, Scythian Real Estate can assist you. Contact us for more information.


Curaleaf Ends 2020 with Record Quarter

Curaleaf Q4 2020 Cannabis Revenues
Curaleaf Q4 2020 Cannabis Revenues

Major cannabis company Curaleaf recently reported record earnings to close out 2020. According to financial and operating results for the fourth quarter of 2020, Curaleaf generated all-time high revenues for both an entire year and a single quarter. What could the recent success of Curaleaf mean for the company going forward? And what could it mean for the cannabis industry and major cannabis operators more generally? Keep reading this blog to learn more.

Curaleaf Revenues Hit Record Highs in 2020

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of consumer cannabis products in the United States. Curaleaf operates more than 100 dispensaries in 23 states, and the company also has numerous cultivation and processing sites, as well as nearly 4,000 employees and team members. Additionally, Curaleaf is a vertically integrated cannabis provider with its own in-house brands, including the popular Curaleaf and Select brands.

In 2020, Curaleaf revenues hit record highs. Moreover, the final three months of 2020 continued an upward trend that suggests 2021 could be even more profitable for the cannabis company. According to fiscal and operating results that were recently made public, Curaleaf’s Q4 2020 saw the company’s total revenues exceed $230 million. This represented a sizable 23% increase over Curaleaf’s Q3 earnings of $182 million, and a massive 205% increase over the company’s Q4 2019 earnings. These financial figures for the final three (3) months of 2020 built on the already-strong results of the preceding nine (9) months. For the entire fiscal year 2020, Curaleaf had total revenues of more than $626 million. This represented a 184% increase over company revenues for 2019.

Curaleaf Cannabis Sales Fueled by Retail Operations

A significant portion of Curaleaf revenues and profits can be attributed to the company’s cannabis sales. For 2020, Curaleaf recorded a gross profit of approximately $275 million on sales of cannabis products at dispensaries in states where marijuana can be legally sold for either recreational use or medical use. In fact, Curaleaf launched a total of 84 new cannabis products last year, with 32 of those products debuting during the last three (3) months. Curaleaf’s new product lines were the culmination of heavy investment in research and development, and many of the finalized products were sold at dispensaries acquired by Curaleaf. During 2020, Curaleaf completed acquisitions of eight (8) smaller cannabis businesses and product lines, including Grassroots Cannabis, Alternative Therapies Group (ATG), Arrow Companies, Cura Partners (Select), Curaleaf NJ, Prime Organic Therapy (MEOT), Remedy Compassion Center, and Virginia’s Kitchen (Blue Kudu). The acquisition of Grassroots Cannabis, in particular, allowed Curaleaf to expand its presence into six (6) new states, including Illinois and Pennsylvania.

As evidenced by the acquisition of ATG in Q4, the expansion of Curaleaf’s retail and wholesale operations across the United States showed no sign of abating as 2020 came to a close. In fact, Curaleaf saw its total number of retail operations expand from 51 to 96 over the course of the last year, and its retail footprint also expanded from 14 states to 23 states. The company’s retail growth was matched by its expansion in cannabis cultivation and processing: Curaleaf added nine (9) cultivation sites and 15 processing sites last year. While much of the company’s growth was a result of corporate acquisitions and mergers with other cannabis companies, Curaleaf also had organic growth that allowed for entry into new and emerging cannabis markets.

Looking Ahead to 2021: Continued Growth as Curaleaf Expands into New Cannabis Markets

So far in 2021, Curaleaf has already completed a number of significant acquisitions and deals. For instance, Curaleaf recently opened new retail stores in Florida, Maine, and Pennsylvania. Although Curaleaf already had a robust presence in all three states, the additional dispensaries should bode well for the company as it looks to continue expanding operations. Additionally, the recent store openings give Curaleaf a total of 101 retail locations that sell either adult-use or medical cannabis.

Like other cannabis companies, Curaleaf is expected to thrive as more and more states legalize cannabis for adult use. Joe Bayern, Curaleaf’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), anticipated further growth for the company in 2021 as Arizona and New Jersey finish implementing their own rules for new adult-use cannabis markets. Both states officially legalized cannabis for recreational use in November 2020 when voters overwhelmingly supported ballot measures. According to Bayern, the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey may “accelerate the potential of future adult-use in key states such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.” Since Curaleaf already has a strong presence in those states, the success of legalization efforts at the state level could be very good for Curaleaf’s financial bottom line in the years ahead.

Curaleaf Expected to Enter European Cannabis Market

Perhaps the biggest development for Curaleaf so far this year is its possible entry into the burgeoning European cannabis market. Curaleaf is nearing the finish line of discussions to acquire EMMAC Life Sciences Limited, the largest vertically integrated independent cannabis company in Europe. If the deal is finalized, Curaleaf would become the global leader for retail cannabis sales, and gain access to medical cannabis markets in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Boris Jordan, Curaleaf’s Executive Chairman, called the Curaleaf-EMMAC deal a “milestone transaction” that will give Curaleaf access to a market with nearly 750 million people.

A Curaleaf press release noted that the acquisition would cost roughly $286 million and could close during Q2 2021. Once complete, the deal would provide Curaleaf with strong international cannabis revenues for the foreseeable future.

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate

Scythian Real Estate is a privately held cannabis real estate fund that has relationships with several of the top cannabis operators in the country. One of the companies that Scythian works with is Grassroots Cannabis, which was recently acquired by Curaleaf. If you are a cannabis operator looking to add capital, Scythian Real Estate may be able to help you. For more information, email Scythian today.