Legal Marijuana Industry Challenges

Charlie Bachtell, CEO and co-founder of Chicago-based Cresco Labs, believes the strong sales this year are driven by growing demand for marijuana and the fact that retailers were considered important businesses during the pandemic. In fact, Cresco Labs started manufacturing marijuana for legal sales as a small company in Illinois in 2015, and now has expanded to nine states and Canada. It’s sales more than tripled in the first half of this year to nearly $161 million. Its shares are listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange and the US OTC markets. Bachtell recently spoke to The Associated Press about how Cresco has succeeded during the pandemic and the challenges facing the US cannabis industry.

“The main constraint on the industry is access to capital that will build infrastructure and then create growth, jobs and income. The fundamental limitation that still exists over this industry is that it is difficult to extract from it, but once that obstacle is removed, even if nothing is done, you will see explosive growth.”