Big Money Investors Descend Upon Cannabis Company Pitch Network in Boston
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Adam Guild paid $5,000 to attend the Arc View Group Investor Network in Boston this week . The entrepreneur wants to coordinate a group of investors to create a mutual fund for the cannabis industry as well as potentially sell his company Herbalist.com to a larger investor.
"The investor network is a great opportunity because there's so many players in one room," Guild told MainStreet. "It's my first time attending an Arc View conference but I have already noticed a high level of professionalism."
The legal national cannabis market is estimated to be a $1.5 billion industry with companies that will grow more than 68% to $2.6 billion in 2014 alone.
As a result, Guild need not worry about the quality of investor and entrepreneurs that are pitching at the Arc View Group Investor Network. About 10% of attending investors are also entrepreneurs seeking funding for their own cannabis venture.
"We have a number of people who are investors and entrepreneurs because investors want to be diversified," said Troy Dayton, co-founder of the Arc View Group, an investment and research firm in San Francisco. "They may need another round of financing or want to diversify their portfolio. They don't want to spend all of their own money even if they have money. They are looking for strategic investors and most are very involved in the sector."
For example, in addition to getting a sense of merger and acquisition prospects, Guild is looking to invest $100,000 in a cannabis company presenting at the investor network.
"I am looking to invest in or become part of a bigger picture by using Herbalist as an umbrella," said Guild. "Herbalist is a private company but we're looking to go public. I'd be open to acquisition by a company that's traded on the penny stock exchange."
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Herbalist.com posts a national natural health company directory, which will soon include medicinal dispensaries around the country where cannabis is decriminalized.
"We're backing into Cannabis because of its medicinal not financial value," said Guild, whose top selling Herbalist.com supplements include green coffee bean extract, turmeric and omega. "Because the industry is so new there aren't any standards. It's important to us that companies we invest in be medicinal because our background is holistic."
In the last year and since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, The Arc View Group's investor members have pumped more than $8 million into about a dozen private companies.
"The perfect start up would be licensed in the legal cannabis state they are operating in, have expertise in their field of growing cannabis or edibles and growth potential," said Chris Bunka, a Canadian investor whose public company owns interests in a Mississippi oil field valued at $6 million. "They'd have some revenue but require additional expertise and capital in order to grow."