10 Marijuana Startups That Have Raised $1 M+

209After cannabis company Privateer Holdings closed a $75 million round of funding, the legal marijuana industry gained a higher profile in the investing world. It was primarily because Privateer’s deal involved the mainstream venture capital firm, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund – a first in the industry.

There is actually a lot of VC interest in legal pot, but VC investors initially wanted to remain anonymous regarding their pot investments. Now, more are publicly announcing their interest in this industry. Everyman investors can get a slice of the action, too, as some of the legal marijuana companies are publicly traded penny stocks.

To get a picture of the type of cannabis startups attracting significant venture capital, here’s a sampling of those that have raised more than $1 million to date:

  • Leafline Labs ($12.4 M) – Based in Minneapolis, this is one of the only two marijuana companies licensed to operate in Minnesota. The medical marijuana startup raised its funds from 113 individual investors, and also has the involvement of some people owning the nursery company Bachman’s Inc.
  • Palliatech ($10 M) – This New York City company produces cannabis-based pain medicines, and also grows and distributes marijuana products. Its funders include Russian venture capitalist Gruppa Sputnik OOO, according to a report.
  • Four Twenty Investments ($10 M) – This Toronto-based private investment firm had a $10 million debt financing back in December. It also invested an equal amount in a publicly traded Houston company called Nhale, which deals in grow technology and intends to acquire other cannabis startups.
  • Vida Cannabis ($9.39 M) – A pot producer based in Ottawa, this company most recently raised almost $5.8 million in a July 2014 private placement. It used part of this funding to purchase a hydroponic production facility located in Nova Scotia.
  • CannTrust ($3.79 M) – This Canadian medical marijuana producer is owned and operated by a group of pharmacists. It has been reported that this company got $1 million of its funding just this month.
  • MedMen ($3.75 M) – Based in Los Angeles, this company provides turnkey management services to legal cannabis companies. It raised all of its funds in November, with backers like the Florida-based N Squared Management. The funding will be used to expand operations to Illinois and Nevada.
  • Agricare ($2 M) – This Chicago-based company is now processing its license to operate in Peru, Illinois. It raised funds in October, but did not disclose its funders.
  • Eaze ($1.5 M) – Technology microfunder Fresh VC handed funds in November to this San Francisco-based pot delivery app maker.
  • MassRoots ($1.2 M) – This social network for the marijuana community got support from funders like major investor network The ArcView Group and Dutchess Capital’s Dutchess Opportunity Fund. Its most recent funding was $500,000 in September.
  • Aquarius Cannabis ($1.16 M) – For this marijuana branding company, most of its funds came in from angel investors during its launch in October.

It may be noted that majority of these startups aren’t based in traditional VC hubs like Silicon Valley or Boston. Instead, many of these are based in Canada, where medical marijuana is already legal under the federal government.

Data from CB Insights, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PWC) the MoneyTree Report, Crunchbase, and Forbes.

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