The opportunities of the ancillary segment are significant, though they vary by state and sub-sector of the market. While ancillary companies have already made in-roads in each niche, there are still many openings to grab market share. Several segments of the ancillary market (such as staffing/HR) are still largely underdeveloped. The addition of new Medical Marijuana (MMJ) states and the emerging recreational market will create hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenues for ancillary firms in coming years, making it arguably the most promising segment of the industry. Further, ancillary companies are more poised for national expansion because they do not face the same legal risks as businesses that touch cannabis.
There is also plenty of opportunity to expand into multiple markets and even develop industry-wide brands. Nearly 38% of ancillary companies serve more than one state, with the bulk of this group involved in three or more states, according to a survey conducted by CannaBusiness Media. This makes ancillary businesses the highest percentage of multi-state businesses of the industry.
Although opinions differ on which ancillary segments will grow the quickest and which offer the most potential, due to the fact that each segment will vary greatly by market and state. The graphic below provides a breakdown of the variety of ancillary services that are needed by operators in the marijuana business the most.
PRODUCTS & TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
- Software Providers
- Technology Providers
- Paraphernalia manufacturers (pipes, vaporizers, etc.)
- Packaging and labeling companies
- Security Firms
- Hydroponics Products
- Growing Equipment
- Grow-room build out companies
- Land acquisition of the industry
PROFESSIONAL & FINANCIAL SERVICES
- Lawyers, Accountants, Insurance Agents, & Consultants
- Real estate agents and renovation specialists (HVAC, plumbing, electricians, interior design, etc.)
- Payment processing & banking firms
- Private Equity funds / Angel investors
- Marketing, advertising, PR
- Staffing and Human Resources
- Training, education, and Business Information
DIRECT TO CONSUMERS
- Recommendation clinics for patients
- Head shops
- Cannabis Related Accessories
- Information (books, videos, etc.)
- Hemp Products
It is extremely difficult to calculate a reliable market size estimate for the ancillary segment due to its diverse range of offerings and types of businesses included. However, the market easily stretches into billions of dollars when taken into consideration the amount of money dispensaries and infused products companies spend on equipment and services to operate the businesses.
This figure below shows the estimated number of cannabis businesses in the United States as of 2016. It is estimated that in 2016 there were a total of between 21,000 and 33,000 cannabis businesses.
US MARIJUANA INDUSTRY TOTAL ECONOMIC IMPACT
Beyond cannabis sales at a retail level, the industry’s total economic impact is substantial. Using the concept of an economic multiplier that quantifies the “ripple effect” of an initial dollar spent at retail, the chart below highlights the total impact of the industry on the U.S. economy based on cannabis retail sales to be between $14 billion and $22 billion in 2017, and up to $44 billion by the end of 2020.
Overall, for each dollar spent/earned by cannabis companies, an additional three dollars in economic benefit will be realized. For example, a cannabis dispensary/store makes a sale for $100. The business then uses a portion of that money to pay an employee, who in turn uses a portion of that money to buy groceries at the local grocer, and so on – a process that creates a ripple of economic value, most of which remains in local communities. Another example: An infused products maker pays $1,000 to a wholesale grow company, which then uses that money to buy supplies from a vendor, which then uses a portion of that money to pay employees, who then go out and spend their money in the community, etc. This multiplier can be applied to any dollar amount of spending or revenue along the supply chain, and can also be used to demonstrate the economic contraction associated with a reduction in revenue or other expense or tax cut.
ANCILLARY SEGMENT OVERVIEW
Ancillary companies, such as Doyen Elements, provide a wide range of products, technology solutions, and services to the industry. These businesses are not involved in the growing or distribution of cannabis; however, they service the industry operators that do. Companies in this niche industry have seen relatively high demand from the growing Cannabis industry, and aim to directly target these companies to provide a wide range of business management and technological resource support.