If you receive the CrunchBase Daily report in your inbox, you know it's not unusual to find that every day new startups are created, funded and acquired. And if you read the report for any number of days in a row, it's easy to start to spot a few trends.
Recently, marijuana startups have been popping up left and right, and for good reason. It seems with the advent of pot legalization in certain key states in the US, more and more founders (and investors) are rapidly entering the space — there's Serica ("Financial Services for Cannabis"), Billowby ("Zappos for Smoking Accessories") and Nancy ("The Birchbox of Cannabis"), to name a few.
At the time of this posting, a search for "marijuana startups" on AngelList returns 374 companies with an average pre-money valuation of $3.9 million. Many are on-demand delivery companies. A few are hardware startups focused on lighting, tech and other equipment for hydroponic growing systems. And last week, Snoop Dogg announced the launch of Merry Jane, a "Pot-Flavored Lifestyle Media Platform," at TechCrunch Disrupt 2015.
It's safe to say that pot is about to go mainstream in the US, if it hasn't already. The question is, is the US poised to take control of the global market, or will the regulatory climate and restrictions placed on US corporations restrict startups' ability to seize this moment (and a big piece of the pie)?
Dennis Mitzner (@DennisMitzner) of TechCrunch believes that Israel (and not the US) is poised to become the first "global marijuana startup superpower." Already known for its dynamic tech startups, agricultural innovations and security solutions, Israel's regulatory climate around marijuana could be the key to its position as a world leader in the marijuana business — and soon.
“Israeli growers have agreements with companies in USA, Canada, Czech Republic and Australia. Israel has the oldest and largest regulated medical cannabis programs in the world with over 22,000 registered patients. The Hebrew University holds a rich IP bank of cannabis patents. It is easier to conduct cannabis research and clinical studies in Israel than in any other country in the world,” said Saul Kaye, the founder of iCan and CannaTech, a yearly cannabis innovation and investor summit in Israel.
Governments and multinationals are currently flocking to Israel where clinical testing faces fewer hurdles.
Do you know any founders headed for Israel to start their marijuana startups? Share this post and let us know!