Pot entrepreneurs seek funding from investors

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by JOE FRYER / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 28 at 12:23 AM

SEATTLE -- Several businesses looking to profit off the growing marijuana industry are descending on Seattle, hoping to convince investors to back them financially.

The ArcView Group, which is based in California, will hold a meeting at the Washington Athletic Club in downtown Seattle Monday.  The group includes 30 investors from around the world who will listen to pitches from various businesses that make ancillary marijuana products, like containers for joints (made by a company called RODAWG) and lights for growing plants (made by a company called Heliospectra). 

"There's a whole new world of opportunity here from both an entrepreneur standpoint and from an investor standpoint," said Troy Dayton, CEO of The ArcView Group.  "And Seattle is Ground Zero for it."

Amy Poinsett flew into town to make a short presentation to the group on behalf of MJ Freeway, which makes hardware and software that helps medical-marijuana businesses keep track of their plants, sales and more. 

Because marijuana still violates federal law, Poinsett admits that it can be tough to get funding or loans through traditional means, even though her company does not even touch the product. 

"A lot of people we've talked to have been really interested and really excited," she said.  "Then they've talked to their lawyer or their accountant who said, 'No, you can't possibly invest in this space.'"

That's why marijuana companies rely on investor groups.

"Having a group like ArcView, with people who have the ability to invest as well as the interest, really gives us all the opportunity to step our business to the next level," Poinsett said.

In addition to the investor meeting, the National Cannabis Industry Association is meeting at the Washington Athletic Club on Monday. 

Mayor Mike McGinn is scheduled to address both groups.

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