The Denver Post has been fighting for months to get information about the license holders in Colorado. At this point, it hasn’t been able to do so for the entire state, but the newspaper was able to unveil the license holders in Denver. The newspaper found that the owners associated with Native Roots (Peter Knobel, Josh Ginsberg and Rhett Jordan) and with LivWell Enlightened Health (John Lord) hold almost 10% of the city’s 1046 issued licenses. Six other individuals associated with four companies, including Lightshade Labs (John Fritzel), Sweet Leaf (Anthony Sauro, Christian Johnson and Matthew Aiken), Strainwise (Shawn Phillips) and The Clinic (Max Cohen), hold an equal amount of licenses, meaning that six companies control almost 20% of the city’s cannabis industry.
Most of these entrepreneurs were not involved with the medical cannabis market that preceded the adult-use market that commenced in 2014. Given that the city recently imposed caps that will make it very difficult for new entrants and that some of the existing players are struggling, these dominant companies could consolidate the market further. Additionally, several of them have already expanded via partnerships into other states, setting the stage for potential national cannabis companies as legalization unfolds in the coming years.
Read Ricardo Baca’s and David Migoya’s “For the first time, we know who is behind Denver’s pot industry”: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29863847/five-men-lead-denvers-pot-biz