Dive Brief: Waitr has announced its intention to acquire Cova, a cannabis dispensary point-of-sale company, for $90 million. In a statement, Waitr CEO Carl Grimstad said transactions on the Cova platform could reach approximately $2.3 billion. This isn’t Waitr’s first play in the cannabis space. In March, the company announced a partnership with Flow Payments to create a compliant marketplace, delivery and payment solution for dispensaries selling cannabis. The global licensed dispensary sales of cannabis is expected to grow to $40.6 billion by 2024 with a compound annual growth rate of 24%, according to a report from ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics. The report predicts the U.S. will account for about 73% of that market. Dive Insight:
The Cova acquisition comes as Waitr expands its footprint and grows into more markets and verticals, including alcohol. By increasing its foothold in the cannabis space, Waitr shifts into a market with major money-making potential, but also a lot of unknowns — particularly in terms of regulations — that could stifle growth.
The cannabis business is highly profitable and popular, especially since the pandemic began. One delivery service located in Northern California experienced a 500% increase in sales after lockdown orders in