A new study just published by CB Insights found that in 2015, venture capitalists invested a grand total of $215.2 million into startups working in the cannabis space. Those investments took place over the course of 98 business deals.
There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about the ongoing “green rush” of the cannabis industry.
Some see the whole thing as a fluke that will simply fade off into the sunset, but others see it as the early stages of what could become a huge—and hugely profitable—new industry.
In fact, some think the cannabis sector could become such a big industry that they’re willing to invest millions in up and coming marijuana businesses.
The report also pointed out that both of those figures are up from the year before. In 2014, VCs invested $97.1 million across 63 deals.
One of the biggest investments of 2015 came when Privateer Holdings received $75 million worth of funding. Privateer Holdings is a private equity firm that owns some legal cannabis companies including Marley Natural, the cannabis company run by several members of Bob Marley’s family.
This latest report comes on the heels of a more comprehensive overview of the entire cannabis industry, which was published earlier this year.
That report found that the legal cannabis industry has experienced explosive growth over the past couple of years.
In particular, it said that 2015 saw an 184% increase in adult cannabis sales. The report estimated that the legal cannabis industry is on pace to rake in somewhere around $22 billion by the year 2020.
For the most part, the CB Insights report seems more or less in line with these larger trends. But the CB Insights report also pointed out that while there were a growing number of investments across the board last year, many of those investments are coming from the same small group of VCs.
“Though the industry is still growing (like a weed),” the report explained, “there aren’t that many active investors in the space currently.”
It could be that many potential investors are waiting to see how things pan out with this year’s upcoming presidential election.
Many market analysts have said that November’s elections will be one of the most important events to affect the cannabis industry in 2016.