The legal marijuana industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. This is spurred not only by the legalization of recreational marijuana in many states in the US as well as in countries like Canada, but also the growing adoption of cannabis as a pharmaceutical product.
According to the State of the Legal Cannabis Markets report from BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research, legal pot sales will hit $40.6 billion in 2024. This represents a 24.5 percent growth over the period 2018 to 2024.
The burgeoning cannabis retail industry is, therefore, a prime target for cybercriminals who look to steal valuable and sensitive information ranging from credit card information, trade secrets, and personally identifiable information (PII).
Aside from the consumer information they store and manage, online cannabis retailers are being targeted because many of them have yet to incorporate cybersecurity practices. Small to medium-sized online marijuana retailers are also highly vulnerable to cyberattacks because they normally don’t have the resources to hire an IT staff who can implement security measures to mitigate cybersecurity risks.