Marijuana Industry Hosts Big, Three-Day Investor Summit In Denver

COLORADO: The convention floor at Denver Airport’s Crowne Plaza this sunny Tuesday afternoon in April could be the trade show for any well-established industry — gray-haired execs in conservative suits mingling with office park dads in polos and fresh-out-of-college types in brand-emblazoned T-shirts. Only this is a new kind of business conference with a special Colorado theme: legal weed.

As states and cities follow Colorado’s lead and consider legalizing marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, the cannabis market looks less like a music festival and more like a Silicon Valley confab, upscale, data-driven and focused on investors.

Vendors and potential financiers at this month’s Marijuana Investors Summit say the current market for legal marijuana is more than $3 billion in the 23 states that have already legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use. Expanding that market, they say, will require not just drug reform legislation, but also a consistent infusion of capital at a time when the marijuana economy still exists in a legal gray area — one where the drug is permitted in some states, but still outlawed at the federal level.

Marijuana Financier Sees Profit In Restrictions

WASHINGTON:  MJ Holdings (MJNE) is aggressively seeking to acquire real estate in Washington state for the purpose of leasing to regulated marijuana-related businesses. The Florida-based penny stock company plans to ante up $100 million towards warehouses for growing and small retail properties to serve as dispensaries.

“There is a demonstrated urgency in Washington for capital support for the real estate component of this industry and a call for mature seasoned financial investors to provide leadership experience and help marijuana businesses establish themselves,” said Shawn Chemtov, co-chairman of MJ Holdings.

But since the state of Washington has limited to 2 million square feet the total amount of land allotted to grow cannabis, MJ Holdings is in a hurry.

“There is urgency to control the grow space,” said Adam Laufer, co-CEO of MJ Holdings in Miami. “You need space available to grow and those with a first mover advantage will benefit in the long run.”

 

 

Canada Opens Floodgates For Marijuana Investments In The U.S.

CANADA:  It’s a thorny subject, no matter whom you talk to or whether it’s in the U.S. or abroad. The debate over legalizing marijuana — be it medical or recreational — has raged for decades, and has only just started to see the seeds of fruition stateside.

Now, however, Canada is weighing in on this controversial industry, by changing its production and distribution laws, making it legal for any licensed company to grow and ship medical marijuana to patients, and illegal for patients to grow their own. For their efforts, the country is seeing potential backers — both U.S. and Canadian — flocking to invest.

“It’s a much different time than it was a year ago,” Mark Gobuty, the chief executive of Peace Naturals Project Inc., told the Wall Street Journal. “Before, it was a reputational risk. Today they’re lining up.”

 

Illinois Investors Jump Into Marijuana Business

ILLINOIS:  Investors around Illinois are jockeying for positions in the marijuana business as they wait for the state’s new medical marijuana law to kick in. And some of them are politically connected.

According to the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises, Sam Borek has reserved at least three-dozen marijuana-related business names. Borek was a college roommate of the legislator who sponsored the law, Democratic state Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie.

Those companies have names like Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales Inc., Illinois Cannabis Realty Inc. and Cannabis Medical Centers of Illinois Inc.

And then there’s David Rosen of Chicago. He was Gov. Pat Quinn’s chief fundraiser in 2010 and also raised money for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Al Gore.

 

Legal Weed Lures Investors To Marijuana Industry

COLORADO: Robert Frichtel is chief executive officer of Advanced Cannabis Solutions, a Colorado Springs company that leases indoor spaces for growing pot.

On Jan. 23, he and representatives of 11 other marijuana companies will seek funding from as many as 70 investors at a Las Vegas meeting organized by ArcView Group, an investment firm focused on the industry. “Everybody is running toward this as the next entrepreneurial wave—the green rush,” Frichtel says.

Investment interest in the marijuana industry has surged since Colorado and Washington voters in 2012 legalized sales to anyone 21 years and older. Long lines formed when Colorado shops selling pot opened on Jan. 1. A total of 20 states, including California and Massachusetts, now allow the medical use of marijuana, and New York may be next under a plan announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

ArcView projects the market for legal marijuana will grow to $2.34 billion this year.

Joint Venture: Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs Seek Out Unusual Backers

MASSACHUSETTS: Shut out of traditional bank loans, budding entrepreneurs who want to sell medical marijuana in Massachusetts have been forced to get seed money from a host of unconventional sources — from restaurant and nightclub owners to friends and family, landscapers and even former legislators. [Read more…]

Joint Venture: Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs Seek Out Unusual Backers

MASSACHUSETTS: Shut out of traditional bank loans, budding entrepreneurs who want to sell medical marijuana in Massachusetts have been forced to get seed money from a host of unconventional sources — from restaurant and nightclub owners to friends and family, landscapers and even former legislators. [Read more…]

For Marijuana Entrepreneurs, Sticky Red Tape Remains In Colorado

COLORADO: Once a quarter for the past two years, the ArcView Angel Investor Network plays matchmaker between individuals curious about investing in the newly legal marijuana market and pot entrepreneurs who need capital to expand. Skeptical financiers at each of these pitch sessions have had to price in an enormous risk: that even with more states moving to legalize the drug, the federal government could still step in and block the trade. [Read more…]