“Consider each state to be a different country when it comes to their laws, amount of licenses issued, what the qualifying conditions are for entry into their medical program, as well as what the political climate and current illicit market looks like,” said Nic Easley, one of New Leaf’s market consultants.
New Leaf makes money from about 350 pot proprietors and other subscribers who buy reports and custom analytics. It has raised money from investors who want exposure to the cannabis sector without the risk of breaking federal law.
Under the new rules in that state, dispensaries must purchase cannabis from registered producers, who are required to track their sales and report them to the government. Previously, dispensaries could buy more liberally through a medical marijuana program.
Still, the metrics are imperfect. State regulators increasingly perform quality tests to ensure safety, but no one checks to make sure that what someone is selling as “Green Crack” really matches weed branded under the same name elsewhere.
Davies, a farmer in Humboldt County, California – a region renowned for its premium cannabis – said growers have historically done and still do handshake deals with counterparts vouched for by shared acquaintances. Davies sells directly to dispensaries, essentially relying on the rumor mill to set prices.
The data show variations in demand for various brand among regions. For example, Blue Dream has reigned as the most popular strain for flower in Colorado and Washington since 2014. But in Oregon, tokers favor a strain known as GG – formerly “Gorilla Glue,” until its purveyors got sued by the makers of the actual glue by the same name.
That left Rubin and Laird puzzled on the investment value of a dispensary, a weed farm or a factory making pot-infused candy. The problem spawned a different investment: The founding of New Leaf Data Services LLC, a Stamford, Conn.-based wholesale price data service that fields reporters to take on the steep challenge of cataloguing going rates.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – In 2014, as Jonathan Rubin and Ian Laird considered investing in the booming U.S. cannabis industry, they hit a problem: How to value pot start-ups with little verified data on the price of the weed itself?
The task is much harder for pot, and New Leaf’s experience stalking prices sheds light on the murky trade of what might be the fastest-growing U.S. commodity, sold legally and illegally for untold billions of dollars.
In 2014, as Jonathan Rubin and Ian Laird considered investing in the booming U.S. cannabis industry, they hit a problem: How to value pot start-ups with little verified data on the price of the weed itself?