Cannabis Industry Evolution: Insights and Opportunities

We launched in 2018, marking the start of the Cannabis revolution—an era reminiscent of the Wild Wild West. Numerous people dove headfirst into the industry, anticipating incredible wealth and readily investing in almost any idea or product. Fortunately, we achieved success early on. The adrenaline rush from handling stacks of cash as payment for our services quickly subsided as reality set in. Not all operators were honest and many who experienced overwhelming early success lacked a critical ingredient—people at the helm who truly understood how to run a business.

Over the past six years, through increased regulations and governance, our sector has undergone mandatory “business adulting.” Surviving in the cannabis industry now requires treating it like a bona fide business. This pivotal shift is a hallmark of the Cannabis Industry Evolution. Recently, I’ve started reaching out and connecting with more professionals involved in cannabis and I’ve been impressed. Our discussions focus on regulatory updates, supply chain issues and banking challenges—we talk business! It’s refreshing to see professional operators steering organizations into the next generation of cannabis growth.

There has been a significant investment in branding, online marketing and a broader array of products to meet consumer demands. My social media feed is now filled with ancillary businesses offering products to adult users, a concept that was unheard of during Cannabis 1.0. Our industry has now become much more mainstream and no longer carries the stigma it once did, with more celebrities and high-profile spokespeople joining the fray. This acceptance and expansion are vital components of the Cannabis Industry Evolution.

Like any maturing industry, there are mergers and strategic alliances happening primarily for survival. The marketplace has expanded globally, creating tremendous opportunities for investment. Capital markets and venture capital, once reserved for synthetic pharmaceuticals, are now embracing more natural and truly “green” alternatives. According to the Cannabis Market Annual Report 2023, the global cannabis market size was valued at $20.5 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5% from 2023 to 2030, reflecting the rapid pace of the Cannabis Industry Evolution.

When High Bluff Group (HBG) first launched, we provided recruiting solutions and initially filled roles such as budtenders, drivers, trimmers and sales; now, it’s more about accounting and eCommerce. Solutions we typically provide to our traditional customers, such as managed services and strategic consulting, are now HBG offerings. The increased need for oversight of the entire human capital ecosystem is more relevant than ever as businesses strive to maximize efficiency and profits. The great news for our space is that many of these solutions are proven and supported with best practices, something overlooked in the past. And as unions begin to influence revenue and impact the industry, politicians are not far behind, eager to secure votes.

I’m excited to see what happens next in cannabis as rescheduling is on the horizon, cultural views are shifting rapidly and it’s becoming clear that cannabis (along with psychedelics) is emerging as a legitimate medicinal solution with measurable benefits





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