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As the medical cannabis industry grows in confidence and reputation, more and more nations are starting the slow shift towards legalisation. According to reports from PitchBook, 2019 has already seen a cool $1.6 billion in investments as compared to the still significant figure of $1.2 billion in 2018.
The cannabis market in the US is expected to grow at 24.1% over the next six years, again according to Grand View Research. To date Florida-based Phyto Partners boasts the largest portfolio with a total of nine deals. The early-stage VC was founded in 2015 and focuses on investments in the cannabis industry.
Notable deals in 2019 include Green Flower, which operates a cannabis education platform and Wurk, the developer of a payroll and HR platform for marijuana businesses. The firm also holds a stake in Eaze, the provider of an on-demand marijuana delivery service; it was valued at $315 million in December. Gotham Green Partners, which is tied with Arcadian Fund as the second most active investor in cannabis startups, participated in a $125 million round for Flow Kana in February. Founded in 2014, the business partners with small family farms to cultivate sun-grown cannabis flowers.
The use and possession of cannabis is illegal under federal law, however 33 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalising marijuana in some form. The U.S. Congress has already held a historic committee hearing on the benefits of legalisation and the FDA is contemplating rules for CBD.