Industry insiders expect substantial consolidation in cannabis

ICR Inc. held its retail conference in Orlando, FL this week. This “invitation only ” event is mostly retail operations and restaurant/food businesses. It is heavily attended by the investment community looking to get updates on big names like Lululemon (LULU), but also to see where the buzz is for up and coming private companies. This year the conference started to include cannabis companies in the mix.

On the public side, MedReleaf’s (MEDFF) CEO Neil Closner made a presentation and on the private side emerging company Acreage Cannabis Holdings (formerly High Street Capital) presented to a packed room. MedMen’s Jim Carmack was part of a panel that was hosted by Cowen & Co. analyst Vivien Azer, which included MedReleaf, Acreage and me for Green Market Report. There was tremendous interest in the industry from the crowd that had little awareness of the size and growth of cannabis companies.