COLORADO: Two hundred applications in just two weeks came flooding in when Wendy Robbins and Karen Paull put the call out for marijuana entrepreneurs interested in entering their internet-TV business competition, “The Marijuana Show.” Most were very small enterprises or just in the idea stage Robbins said. The wide variety of concepts included a cannabis country club, a line of hemp butter products, and a marijuana delivery phone app. “We couldn’t believe the amount of interest,” said Robbins.
The two hundred entrepreneurs were whittled down to twenty-two, based on their business’ viability, scalability, founder personality and potential interest to a viewing audience. To make it to the next round each was given a specific challenge. One was told to raise $5,000 in seed money (investment money, not cash for cannabis seeds.) Another was asked to call on 100 marijuana retailers to sell them her product, while a third was told to do three things on her bucket list to get her motivated to keep achieving things. “Some were business challenges and some were emotional challenges,” said Paull, because running an enterprise manifests both.
From the twenty-two semi-finalists, ten were invited to Bud Camp (like boot camp) and tested on their knowledge of marijuana laws, compliance issues, marketing tactics and accounting methods. Mentors worked with each to improve their business plans.