Berkeley Marijuana Lab Raising Millions For U.S., Overseas Expansion

CALIFORNIA: Berkeley-based Steep Hill Labs Inc. is raising $5 million to expand into two states and Jamaica this year as well as pursue innovations in its testing equipment and genetics-related products.

Steep Hill, which employs 30 people, generated $1.2 million in revenue in 2014 and has raised $4 million since its founding in 2008. The company is taking advantage of the Jobs Act to raise its next round of financing from accredited investors, who meet SEC qualifications involving their annual income or net worth to participate in the offering.

In the offering documents, Steep Hill describes its core business as “testing and analyzing medical and recreational marijuana to ensure compliance with public safety standards.”

These 'Bitcoins For Marijuana' Try To Solve Legal Weed's Big Heist Problem

Bitcoin isn’t the only digital currency changing the way we pay for things. Two new cryptocurrencies aimed at allowing people to safely buy drugs — legal or illegal — may provide new payment alternatives to the largely cash-only industries.

Their developers promise safety and security — and they just may change the course of the drug war in the process.

PotCoin and DopeCoin won’t be the first digital currencies to follow the headline-grabbing, wildly fluctuating and unregulated Bitcoins that took the digital world by storm last year. But they’ll be the first dedicated solely to the drug marketplace, which has been largely shunned by traditional banks, even in its legal forms in some U.S. states.

GrowLife Wants To Be Legal Weed's Financier

CALIFORNIA:  People will soon be able to purchase marijuana legally in Colorado and Washington State. Who will get high, financially speaking, from this emerging market? One aspiring company is GrowLife (PHOT), a publicly traded business in Woodland Hills, Calif., with cheeky ticker symbol PHOT. It doesn’t actually sell pot; it caters to marijuana growers, dealing them hydroponic gardening equipment. More intriguingly, GrowLife wants to be their lender.

I talked to Rob Hunt, executive vice president of GrowLife (and his public-relations guy, Kurt Divich), about the company’s big plans and the last time he got stoned. The following transcript has been edited and condensed.

What exactly are you guys selling at GrowLife?

Rob Hunt: We sell hydroponics and organic equipment to be used in [marijuana] cultivation facilities. [Read more…]

Department Of Justice Paves Way For Banks To Work With Pot Shops, Citing Public Safety

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Financial institutions and other enterprises that do business with marijuana shops that are in compliance with state laws are unlikely to be prosecuted for money laundering or other federal crimes that could be brought under existing federal drug laws, a senior Department of Justice official said Thursday. [Read more…]