Cannabis startups are having a tough time raising funds due to ambiguous state laws and conflicting federal laws. Although there are 11 states and the District of Colombia that have legalized recreational marijuana use, it is still illegal — according to federal law — to possess or sell marijuana.
As a result, big banks and investors are skeptical of investing in cannabis startups but not Snoop Dogg, who isn’t new to the world of venture capital (VC). The rapper’s venture capital firm, Casa Verde Capital, stepped in to lead the charge of providing marijuana startups with access to funds.
GreenMarket reports that Casa Verde led a $7 million funding round for Bespoke Financial, an investment firm created to provide startup founders with business loans that they otherwise would not be privy to because of investor’s skepticism of the cannabis market.
In a Penta interview, Casa Verde’s partner — Karan Wadhera — explained that Snoop approached him in 2014. He encouraged him to become more active in the cannabis industry. After a couple years of consideration, Wadhera along with Snoop and a host of others created Casa Verde Capital.
Yahoo Finance predicts that total worldwide marijuana sales will reach $40.6 billion by 2024, and it seems Snoop plans to take advantage of the potential profit. Along with investing in Bespoke Financial, Casa Verde also backed Dutchie, during their series A funding round.
Dutchie is an Oregon-based startup that allows users to purchase cannabis online from nearby dispensaries for pickup or delivery. According to the Casa Verde site, their portfolio includes thirteen cannabis-related companies including, Indose, a tech company specializing in precise dosing vaporizers and Metrc, a data collecting company that aims to provide governmental sectors with accurate cannabis data.
Hopefully those who lack access to the world of legalized recreational marijuana will be able to see the success of the growing industry with the help of investors like Snoop Dogg and incubators that are ready to train individuals affected by the war on drugs.