There are two major classes of investments you can make in cannabis companies, and every investor should know the difference.
The distinction is simple – either the company “touches the leaf” or it doesn’t. Companies that directly deal with marijuana or its byproducts face legal and regulatory risks that ancillary businesses do not. We define ancillary businesses as those that serve or support the cannabis industry, but don’t directly deal in cannabis products.
The SEC issued an alert last year in May which stated that “marijuana-related companies may be at risk of federal and perhaps state, criminal prosecution.” It is statements like these that have complicated the growth of the industry – especially when the likelihood of enforcement against either the companies or their investors is increasingly appearing to be unlikely. Nonetheless, this is an issue that investors should be aware of.
Never mind the regulatory issues, but it’s been harder and harder for cannabis products producers to make a profit on what they grow and sell. Cannabis growers are subject to zero deductibility on the expenses related to producing their product – this can result in huge tax bills when all that electricity for lighting and cooling, as well as wages, rents and other costs cannot be deducted as normal costs of doing business resulting in cannabis growers facing tax bills based on 100% of top-line revenues.
This industry is shaking out to look like the gold rush in the 1800’s. The people mining for gold rarely hit the jackpot, whereas those in the ancillary businesses did very nicely selling the picks and shovels those hopeful miners took up into the hills looking for gold.
At this year’s Cannabis Capital Summit, produced by the Rockies Venture Club, we’ll be presenting seven high quality companies in the ancillary lines of businesses. As the industry grows and matures, we’re seeing more serious companies enter the market with solid business plans and the research to back it up. There are still tickets available for the event which is open to the public. Registration can be found at http://rockiesventureclub.wildapricot.org
Here is a summary of the companies that will be presenting to venture capital and angel investors next Tuesday, June 12 at the Cannabis Capital Summit.
BDS Analytics has created the leading POS Data Abalytic business in two other industries and are now bringing the same model and skills to the Cannabis industry. Brands win instant credibility and sales by including our charts in their presentations. Smart brands study our data intensely before developing new products, campaigns or pricing strategies. Retailers love our service because it enables them to execute smart decisions that fuel their success. We had hundreds or happy brand and retailer clients in other industries including WholeFoods Market, Vitamin Cottage, REI, P&G, Pfizer, Trek & Specialized.
ForwardPack is a design-forward company that develops innovative packaging and products. We’ve developed a range of sleek, user-friendly, child-resistant containers that replace generic pill bottles. We’re also developing other consumer products for the cannabis market. We have a customer agreement signed with the largest cannabis company in the U.S. The Founder of ForwardPack previously built a food packaging company to over $85M in 9 years.
Leaf is the first ever Plug N’ Plant cannabis growing system. It allows a person to easily grow quality cannabis at home in a fun and interactive way. This device requires no prior knowledge, creates 4 ounces of dry, cured bud, saves money, and gives puts the power into the home grower’s hand.
New West Genetics combines modern genomics with traditional breeding to create intellectual property and protected varieties of Industrial hemp for the agricultural and pharmaceutical markets.
StashLogix is a safety-centric cannabis storage system for consumers. We offer a product that fosters responsibility and discretion for adults, and safety for kids. The StashLogix cases provide organizational features like adjustable internal dividers and dry-erase labeled wide-mouth jars and even include a disposable odor absorbing packets.
Tradiv, Inc. uses an online B2B e-commerce platform which facilitates the sale and purchase of wholesale cannabis products between licensed businesses. The platform manages orders, inventories, processes digital payments through a secure escrow account, and we’ll take of the shipping. We carry no actual inventory ourselves, operate with very low-overhead, and generate revenue with a fee based tiered membership subscription.