California's legal cannabis market will grow 23% to $3.1 billion in 2019, according to a new report by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. And by 2024, the state's legal weed industry could exceed $7 billion in annual sales.
Strict testing regulations and local bans on commercial sales of cannabis weighed on California's recreational marijuana sales in 2018. An industry shakeout occurred, and many smaller cannabis companies folded. But the remaining players are now better situated to profit from the long-term growth of California's legal pot market.
"California companies that survived the dual 'extinction events' of 2018 have emerged stronger and well-positioned to grow their market share going forward," Arcview Group CEO Troy Dayton said in a press release. "More than that, they are battle-hardened, and kicked off a merger and acquisition flurry in the first half of 2019 that will allow them to leverage their positions in California to compete across the country."
Arcview and BDS' report also noted that California represents a largely untapped opportunity for cannabis retailers. The state currently has a low number of marijuana stores relative to its population, with only one licensed retailer for every 35,147 adults over the age of 21. That's in stark contrast to states like Oregon and Colorado, which have one dispensary for every 5,567 and 4,240 adults, respectively.
Let's look at some of the companies striving to meet the need for cannabis retailers in California's booming market.
Dispensary operator Cresco Labs (OTC:CRLBF) has cannabis operations in 11 states. But it's the company's pending megamerger with Origin House (OTC:ORHOF) that makes it a great play on California's weed market in particular.
Origin House possesses one of the few cannabis distribution licenses in California. Once the deal is finalized, Origin House's license will allow Cresco to distribute its cannabis products to more than 500 licensed dispensaries in California.
In turn, analysts forecast that Cresco Labs' revenue will soar 370% in 2019 and another 240% in 2020. If the company can deliver on its tremendous growth potential, its stock could provide investors with an excellent way to profit from the massive demand for legal marijuana in California.
Planet 13 Holdings
While Cresco Labs is working to get its pot products into hundreds of retail locations, Planet 13 Holdings (OTC:PLNHF) is opening its first store in the Golden State. But don't let that stop you from taking a look at its stock, because it's no ordinary store.
Planet 13's SuperStore in Las Vegas will span 112,000 square feet when completed. That's slightly bigger than the average Walmart. Beyond its massive size, Planet 13's SuperStore differentiates itself with a destination-type consumer experience. A sleek design; personalized service; and a huge selection of cannabis flowers, edibles, beverages, and concentrates have all proven popular with shoppers. In turn, Planet 13 has seen the number of people visiting its SuperStore and average spending per visitor rise sharply since it opened in November.
Planet 13 plans to bring this type of experience to California. In June, the company announced its intention to open a 40,000-square-foot cannabis store in Santa Ana. The new site is a 10-minute drive from Disneyland and only three miles from the South Coast Plaza mall, which hosts 24 million visitors a year.
If Planet 13 can replicate its Vegas-based SuperStore's success at this new location, investors who buy its stock today could be well rewarded.