Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries has opened its first cannabis store in California, the nation’s largest legal pot market. The new Essence store is located in Pasadena, and it brings the number of Green Thumb’s branded stores to 53 in 11 states. Essence is one of the company’s four retail brands, which include Rise.

Green Thumb Industries opens dispensary in California

According to CNBC, Green Thumb Industries’ new store in California gives it access to the world’s largest recreational marijuana market. The state’s economy is larger than that of most countries. California’s legal cannabis market hit $4.4 billion in sales last year, a 57% year-over-year increase, based on data from Marijuana Business Daily.” Pot sales doubled in 2019 from the $1.4 billion observed the year before, the first year California legalized cannabis.

Green Thumb Industries saw a 170% increase in sales last year through September; it’s scheduled to release its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results next week. CNBC reports that experts believe California will produce $6.9 billion to $8.1 billion in adult-use sales by 2024.

Cowen estimates that the entire U.S. marijuana industry could touch $100 billion by 2030, up from $61 billion last year. Cannabis is now legal for recreational use by adults in 14 states, although it is still illegal at the federal level, which is holding back the industry.

Cannabis stocks on the rise again

Green Thumb Industries stock fell on Wednesday despite the news about it opening its first retail store in California. However, CEO Ben Klover wasn’t worried about it, saying that it created a buying opportunity for investors. He called it a “long-term game.”

On Thursday, Green Thumb Industries shares climbed by as much as 3% in early trading, rising alongside other cannabis stocks. Tilray gained by more than 2%, while Aphria was up less than 2%. Canopy Growth was up more than 2%, Aurora Cannabis rose less than 1%, and Cronos Group climbed more than 1%.

Cannabis stocks have been largely disconnected from company-specific news, rising and falling as a group instead of individually. Speculations about the legalization of marijuana at the federal level continue to circulate, and investors have been pouring into cannabis stocks since President Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election late last year.

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