High Times: 3 Cannabis Startups To Watch

(Image via Time)

(Image via Time)

It’s becoming abundantly clear that the cannabis market is growing at a furious pace.

According to reports, legal marijuana is now the fastest growing industry in the United States, with a total valuation of $2.4 billion, a 74% increase from 1.5 billion in 2013. The spike comes on the heels of successful legalization referendums in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Colombia, to compound the plant’s already legal status for medicinal purposes in several other states across the country.

As with any newly open market, there have already been a number of startup companies paving the way for further growth, making the product more accessible than ever. To date, there have been at least ten cannabis centered businesses which have managed to raise over $1 million in funding in the past few months. Recent trends indicate that venture capital hasn’t been in short supply, namely, Privateer Holdings completing a $75 million funding round into some of the industry’s most promising ventures.

We’ve selected three startups looking to make a mark in the field through various niche services.

1. MassRoots

The company is a social network connecting individuals from the global cannabis community, working as a hub to promote interaction. Thus far it has been able to raise $1.1 million from two rounds of investment. While it had a few initial setbacks, including removed from Apple’s app store, it’s now active on it once again, albeit with location restrictions which make it downloadable only in the 23 states where marijuana has some legal status.

2. EAZE

A San Francisco based cannabis delivery service which its users access via mobile app. Referred to as “The Uber for pot” by the Wall Street Journal, the company teams up with local dispensaries to post their products on the mobile platform, allowing customers to purchase online, and have them delivered through the fleet of drivers cooperating with the firm. So far it’s been able to raise $1.5 million in funding. It should be noted that the company is targeting medical marijuana users at this stage.

3. LeafLine Labs

Having recently secured a license from the state of Minnesota to cultivate, and distribute medical marijuana, LeafLine Labs has been leading the way so far in terms of funding, with over $12 million invested in the venture. It’s planning to build a 42,000 square-foot growth facility. This business adds much needed production, and distribution potential to feed growing market demand, and could be poised to further expand its reach in the coming years.

It should be noted that like any market growing at this pace, new business are bound to continue sprouting from the array of venture capital firms now turning their attention to the industry. Entertainment figures aren’t going to be left out of the equation either. For starters, Snoop Dogg is looking to raise up to $25 million for his own fund, seeking to invest in promising cannabis startups.

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