The Canadian cannabis industry is quantum leaps ahead of the US market, now that THC and CBD products have been legal there for some time. In our report on the blooming weed industry, we looked at nearly a dozen companies involved in the production, distribution, and sale of marijuana products.

But most of the movement in the cannabis industry has been sequestered to the north as the United States grapples with local laws. But one sector of the cannabis industry — that of non-psychoactive CBD — has taken off stateside now that it's legal to produce as part of the December 2018 farm bill.

This week, Cronos Group ($CRON) has taken a piece of the growing US CBD industry with its acquisition of Redwood Holding Group, owners of popular CBD beauty brand Lord Jones. Why? Brightfield expects year-over-year sales of CBD products to grow 706% in 2019, and sees sales of $23.7 billion by 2023.

The $300 million deal is a sign of growth not just into CBD, but also into the United States Cronos.

But perhaps what really tells the tale of the company's expansion is the size of its workforce, and how it's changed over time. In short, it's doubled since the new year.

On January 1 of this year, just 97 people listed Cronos Group as their employer. As of this week, that number has raced to around 200. That means the company is adding an average of 17 new employees per month — and that doesn't include the employees it will gain in this latest acquisition.

To say that Cronos is growing like a weed would be too easy, but a doubling of LinkedIn members citing the company as their employer is clearly a sign of massive expansion and determination to scale. And now that Cronos has a foot in the door of the US retail market — Lord Jones is sold at Sephora — its future is clearly primed for expansion once the laws catch up.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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