I live near a city where many things cannabis related happen, most recently a pitch event by the Cannabis Investment Network (C.I.N).
Held in Lane Powell Attorneys and Counselors office spaces, we had a scenic view of Seattle’s horizon. There was an eclectic crowd of investors, people with a pitch, and me. Three pitches by well-established cannabis companies were there asking for 500k to 3 million for expansion and growth.
The Kush Marketplace is using the network they created via tourism and are creating a Craigslist safe place for producers, processors, and retailers.
The next pitch and my favorite because of it being monumental for marijuana, something up there with porn choosing VHS as a medium, was POSaBIT.
POSaBIT is making cannabis transactions safe for everyone, soon the days of cash only can be a thing of the past or at least an option. Let me explain how this works; after you make your selection, your choices are tallied then the clerk will use your debit/ bank/ credit card to swipe in the smart reader. Behind the scenes, you just made a bitcoin purchase, after that purchase is made another one will happen where the bitcoin will be used to buy the pot.
When it comes to money, I’m still old school and don’t understand how Bitcoin works but the fact I was able to use my card to buy cannabis tells me I don’t have. Just like I only understand the basics of how my cell phone works, the same applies to the financial market but know this works.
Besides convenience and giving the industry one extra safeguard against crime. POSaBIT is on the forefront of rebuilding the American economy. In Washington State, it has the backing of The Department of Financial Institutions. By being backed by an established department and having something like marijuana as a commodity, it helps establish bitcoin currency. I can safely say POSaBIT is a leader in Washington because it has no competition.
The final pitch was by Vuber, and yes you say it like the app. Vuber is a brand of vaporizer for flower to concentrates that can be found in 90% of the Washington Retail Marijuana Stores. With its sleek packaging and patented heat technology, Vuber wants to be your pen of choice. They are so sure of their product that it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Vuber was there asking for 3 million based off their product history, pending new products that will burn to the consumer’s taste, and the fact that their history is based on one state and their intentions are to go national.
In a follow-up article I will be reviewing the Vuber Nova that was given to me, an older model with heat adjustment and flower/ concentrate burning capabilities.
I attended this event out of natural curiosity for what is needed to pitch a million dollars but also wondering how so many people managed to get bamboozled in this green rush industry.
The idea of belonging to one of these investment or angel groups is one way I see how individuals protect their million dollar ass. When I asked a group of investors how do they protect themselves in a still outlaw market where a Google search doesn’t cover all of a person’s history, one pointed out that he invest only in the market he knows, the Washington State market. To invest in say the Michigan or Arizona market is to put yourself in a higher risk margin, which I think is pretty solid advice but I imagine you would also want to follow the culture through sites like Weed News, High Times, Toke Signals and Celebstoner. Sites that highlight the struggles of activist and business people because in the cannabis industry the two can come hand in hand.
As for what it takes for a pitch. In my head I went over 100 scenarios, none of which played out, but I did learn that people of influence are willing to take a hopeless romantic hippie seriously through investment. Things get clouded for me when it comes to doing what I’ve been doing for the past seven years and collecting a paycheck which many of us have yet to. If one stirs the wrong pot, the financier can ask you not to, and I have a problem with that when it comes to social justice. Like Dave Chappelle said in his recent special on Netflix “If Martin Luther King Jr. had a Nike deal we could all still be sitting at the back of the bus.” but like the three businesses pitching, I want to expand, and expansion doesn’t get done through hugs and hippie rhetoric.
All I had was an LLC and no plan but this event has made me realize now is a good time to have one. The green rush is real and comes in many forms; it’s not just the plant but all about it. When you come to these events, one must have a clear message in mind if you’re hoping to get to the next level.
One of the investors told me part of pitching is about the exit strategy and I think that’s where I get lost because I don’t see an exit strategy for what I do because I love what I do. I might not make any money, but I help change opinions, enlighten folks, and even make some smile while other’s cry.
It’s for the person in North Carolina and other prohibition states that can’t speak up that we do this for. People still afraid that shouldn’t be because you are on the right side of history or at least common sense. We do this because while I was sitting in an event for people hoping to expand their pocketbooks, people sit and are slowly dying behind bars for what would just be business today.