“We’re verifying that they’re not breaking any laws, not evading taxes, not doing anything that could be a legal or ethical violation,” the executive said. “We assume we’re going to be investigated at some point by our regulators and maybe by the IRS or the DEA.”
Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Assn. and a working group member, said one idea that’s caught his interest is the creation of a “bankers bank” — some kind of private entity that could do upfront due diligence and compliance work.
A medical marijuana patient pays for product through a teller window at Medex, a dispensary on Century Boulevard in South Los Angeles.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Cash payments are a hassle for governments too. Todd Bouey, L.A.’s assistant director of finance, told Chiang’s group that the city had to buy new currency-counting machines because office workers were spending so much time counting and recounting cash tax payments from marijuana businesses.
Because of that, many banks won’t even take the risk.
“Our members would go through a week or 10-day-long screening process and, if they meet the requirements, they’d be able to open an account with one of a dozen banks,” Allen said.
The startup is the latest to use mobile and Web technology to connect buyers to dispensaries as medical and recreational marijuana become legal in more states. Meadow is a San Francisco startup that connects Bay Area residents to on-demand medical marijuana delivery, and is funded by Mountain View accelerator Y Combinator. The company recently launched CannabisMD, a new service to send a doctor to your house for an at-home medical cannabis evaluation. Wikileaf in Washington is an online auction site where consumers post how much they want to spend on marijuana, and dispensaries will respond with the quantity and strain of weed they are willing to sell at that cost. The sites includes about 1,000 California dispensaries, including most of those in the Bay Area.
Other top investors have backed the cannabis industry. Peter Thiel, through his San Francisco venture-capital firm Founders Fund, has invested several millions into Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm that is propping up the legal cannabis industry. Seattle-based Privateer invests in Tilray, medical cannabis distributor in Canada; cannabis information company Leafly; and Bob Marley s namesake pot company, Marley Natural.
Smoke weed everyday, Snoop Dogg famously rapped, and now he s putting his money where is lyrics are.
Snoop invested through his newly formed venture firm Casa Verde Capital, which makes seed and growth-stage venture capital investments into tech-cannabis startups. He was joined by DCM Ventures, which led the round., and repeat investor Fresh VC.
Eaze is an app for ordering medical marijuana and getting it delivered to your front door. The app pulls information from marijuana dispensaries around California, and provides a menu of cannabis products complete with in-depth descriptions and lab results. The company quickly gained traction in San Francisco and expanded across the Bay Area, and has processed more than 30,000 medical marijuana on-demand deliveries.
Snoop Dogg has long been vocal about his affection for marijuana. Last year, he told Jimmy Kimmel that he smoked weed in a bathroom at the White House. In 2012, he changed his name to Snoop Lion after a trip to Jamaica, and reinvented himself as a Rastafarian and reggae singer and put out an album with the hit song called, simply, Smoke the Weed. (But after fans and the press continued to call him D-O -double G, he changed it back.)
The artist behind Doggystyle has invested in San Francisco-based on-demand marijuana delivery service Eaze, joining at $10 million round that is one of the biggest raised by a startup in the cannabis industry, the company announced Tuesday. The Series A is the latest evidence that investors — of celebrity and non-celebrity status — are embracing the burgeoning cannabis business, despite continuing battles between federal and state regulators. By 2019, the legal cannabis market is projected to be worth $11 billion, according to some investor estimates.