The Cannabis Economy: Mapping the threats and opportunities in an emerging multibillion-dollar industry.

by Sara Gilgore and Pete Danko

Eight years after Giadha DeCarcer founded D.C. research firm New Frontier Data to bring information and transparency to the then-nascent legal cannabis industry, she’s now setting out to help clear another massive hurdle in the space: access to capital.

It’s no shock that institutional investors and others see too much risk in an industry that’s federally illegal. But post-pandemic market forces — including a slowing of consolidation trends, the drying out of equity markets and the increasing price of debt — have made things worse, recently paving the way for “a potential contraction phase” in the industry, she said. “The one thing that became extremely clear is that capital was stopping going into the industry,” DeCarcer said, “and we began to see businesses go out of business.”

One solution, DeCarcer said, is to help cannabis companies fix their operational and financial problems before they get to the point of liquidation.