Image of ArcView Group CEO Troy Dayton speaking at June 2015 meeting in Denver/Photo: Bruce Kennedy, WeedWorthy
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For the next several weeks, Denver once again is becoming the focal point of America’s legal marijuana movement.  This summer the city is hosting a variety of events that are bringing together major players from across the legal cannabis industry.
 
There’s the second annual Cannabis Business Summit and Expo, presented by the National Cannabis Industry Association, taking place next week. Over the weekend, meanwhile, hundreds of present and future cannabis industry businesses and their investors gathered for the ArcView Group’s two-day-long Investor Pitch Forum.
 
In his opening remarks, Arcview CEO Troy Dayton noted the group’s nearly 500 member investors have poured over $45 million into 72 companies.  Dayton credits the industry’s dramatic growth to the cannabis sector’s financial successes in places like Colorado – where the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana are legal, and to the fact that marijuana legalization is much more than a business.
 
“When Steve DeAngelo and I founded ArcView in 2010 we believed that if you could develop a responsible, politically-engaged and profitable cannabis industry, that that would become the single biggest final factor in putting the final nails in the coffin of marijuana prohibition,” he said.
 
Dayton also looked ahead to next year when another five to seven states, including California, are expected to have ballot initiatives regarding marijuana legalization.
 
“Public opinion is changing,” he added, “and we’re heading into a 2016 ballot initiative process that is going to be unlike anything our movement and our industry has ever, ever seen before. And it’s going to take an amount of money that has never been raised for this issue, ever before.”
 
During the ArcView Forum, cannabis companies could  take part in several rounds of five-minute, “speed dating” meetings with a variety of investors. There were also public pitch events reminiscent of the Shark Tank television program. But a lot of the dealing, like in similar mainstream investor meetings, took place on the sidelines, one-on-one.
 
For many of the participants this was their second or third ArcView event – and here was a lot of comment about how far the industry has developed in just the past several years.
 
“I think if anything the companies are becoming more and more mature,” David Hua, CEO of Meadow, a medical marijuana delivery service in the Bay Area, told WeedWorthy.
 
“You’re seeing well thought-out ideas and execution,” he continued. “And you’re seeing a lot of talent moving away from other industries and bringing it to cannabis. So that’s probably one of the more rewarding pieces of…attending these events.”
 
And Jill Amen, whose Jane’s Brew  brand of cannabis-infused coffees, teas and edibles is getting a lot of positive media scrutiny, says ArcView has been proving itself an “amazing” financial platform for both entrepreneurs and new companies coming into the industry.
 
“The quality and integrity of the companies is changing so much, so quickly, for the industry,” she said, “and that is what we are all hoping for. Because the way this industry is going to succeed and become a credible, mainstream movement, essentially, is through the integrity of the companies and the players.”
 
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