Cannabis means big business to creative companies and forward thinking investors. At a conference held last week in Las Vegas, a dozen hopeful entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their ideas for 140 would-be investors. ArcView Group, a San Francisco-based association of investors, organized the forum.
ArcView Group president Steve DeAngelo (co-founder of Harborside Health Center) described the unique opportunity: “There will never, ever be another time when the deals for investors will be as good as they will be over the course of the next couple of years.”
Among the pitches featured at the conference was a product called MyDx – a hand-held device that allows users to detect potential pesticides in their stash. The creators of MyDx are looking for an investment of $1.25 million for a 20 percent stake in the company.
A Denver-based company called Ebbu introduced a labeling system that aims to identify the different highs produced by different strains – from “chill” and “giggle” to “bliss” and “energy.” Ebbu’s founders believe such a labeling system could speed up and improve the process of choosing the ideal strain at a dispensary. “No more half-hour conversations with the budtender,” Ebbu contends. “It’s simple, and it’s going to change the world.”
Ebbu may not change the world but there’s little doubt that pot has become mainstream. A number of high-profile investors attended the ArcView conference to hear pot pitches from cannabusinesses, including Joby Pritzker, the wealthy scion of the Hyatt Hotel chain family, and Tom Bollich, co-founder of the online social gaming company Zynga.
Missouri-based investor Leaster Gibson said: “Marijuana is the best growth industry probably in the next five to 10 years … I think there’s a tremendous amount of money to be made.”