Marijuana investors commit more than $1 million after Denver meeting

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A Denver meeting of a marijuana industry investment group resulted in more than $1 million in new money being pumped into cannabis businesses, the group announced Wednesday.

Troy Dayton, the CEO of The ArcView Group, said members of the group’s investor network are still sealing deals after Tuesday’s meeting at the Denver Athletic Club, but he said the total invested is expected to be “well over $1 million.” In addition, the investment group’s members also raised $22,000 for flood relief, which Dayton said will be donated to the Lyons Community Foundationthrough a special fund-raising effort set up by the marijuana industry.

“What we saw yesterday,” Steve DeAngelo, the owner of the massive Harborside Health dispensary in California and a co-founder of ArcView, said Wednesday, “was the beginning of building a foundation for the new industry.”

In all, 22 companies — including four that are directly involved in marijuana sales or cultivation, a first for the group — made pitches to ArcView members on Tuesday. Dayton said those pitches ranged from requests of $100,000 to one for $24 million.

ArcView, which was founded in 2010, is made up of about 80 investors from across the United States and a handful of other countries. Many of the investors are already involved in the marijuana industry, but Dayton said an increasing number are from outside the industry and looking for intriguing investments.

One of those — a Vancouver, British Columbia, venture capitalist named Sam Znaimer — said he has worked in the past with computer and telecommunication start-ups.

“What we have here today is every bit as dynamic and every bit as exciting as those industries,” Znaimer said.

While numerous states currently have for-profit medical-marijuana industries, Colorado and Washington are set early next year to become the first two states in the country to allow sales from specially licensed marijuana stores to all adults over 21. The federal government’s recent announcement that it would not make it a priority to prosecute marijuana businesses in compliance with state law has boosted enthusiasm among cannabis entrepreneurs.

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