Earlier this year, BDS Analytics, a market research company that concentrates on the sector, reported strong growth in the hemp/CBD markets at a members retreat for the United Natural Products Alliance. BDS started out gathering data on the sales of medical and recreational marijuana products sold through dispensaries, but has more recently expanded to include hemp products sold as dietary supplements. BDS CEO Roy Bingham reported that the hemp market is forecast to reach $20 billion by 2024.
Curaleaf Holdings is a Wakefield, MA-based company that manufactures hemp based dietary supplements as well as recreational cannabis products and sells them through company owned dispensaries. Curaleaf recently reported third quarter financial results, which supported the story of meteoric growth in the category. The company reported $61.8 million in total revenue for the third quarter, which was a $40.5 million increase over the same period a year previously. That amounts to an almost 190% year over year increase.
Curaleaf has also embarked on an aggressive course of acquisition, which mirrors the tide of consolidation in the wider industry. Curaleaf is in the midst of finalizing terms for the acquisition of Select, a company that manufactures oils for use in vaping cartridges and capsules. The deal, which was first announced in May, was reported to make Curaleaf the world’s biggest cannabis company by volume. The Select deal was first said to be worth close to $1 billion, but terms are being renegotiated, according to Curaleaf Executive Chairman Boris Jordan. The deal is now expected to close in January.
Curaleaf has also acquired Grassroots, a cannabis retailer. The acquisition will put Curaleaf products in front of consumers in 19 states. That transaction is also pending, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. When the deal is done, the combined company will operate as many as 131 stores.
The company has achieved these results while at the same time shrugging off a warning letter it received from the US Food and Drug Administration. In July FDA issued the letter, which alleged that Curaleaf was claiming its products could help treat Alzheimer’s disease, opioid withdrawal, pain and pet anxiety, among other diseases and conditions.