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Marijuana businesses vie for money from investors

LAS VEGAS -- There is lots of money to be made in the marijuana business and nobody knows that more than the entrepreneurs trying to get financing.

Some of them are looking to open dispensaries or supply equipment to grow houses. On Tuesday, they got to pitch shark-tank style to investors at Green Valley Ranch hotel and casino.

It looked like any typical business conference except it was all centered on marijuana. The entrepreneurs were on a speed date of sorts. They have just minutes to convince investors their marijuana business is worth taking a chance on.

“They get to review all of these projects. They get to review all of the ones they are most interested in and make decisions about what they'd like to invest in," Leslie Bocskor with the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association said.

The California company Auntie Dolores sounds like a family bakery, which it sort of is, except all the baked goods it sells are gluten-free and vegan marijuana edibles.

"We want to expand the brand into other states and we want to be one of the edibles companies in the world," Julianna Carella with Auntie Dolores said.

They were at the conference hoping to convince investors to give them even more money. The company has had success at previous Arcview Shark-Tank type events.

"Since June, we've raised over half a million dollars," Carella said.

Other marijuana industry businesses have had success here too.

Heliospectra, which is based out of Sweden, sells lights for grow houses.

“It's very exciting and dynamic," Chris Walker with Heliospectra said, "Changes are everywhere. Everything is maturing quickly. The good players are being filtered from the bad and we're finding every day something new."

Investors say the possibilities for marijuana businesses are endless.

"There is technology, real estate, consulting, a lot of really efficiencies being created." Morgan Paxhia with Poseidon Asset Management said.

They say events like this remind them of when the tech industry was first emerging.

“What we're seeing is one of those times in life, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Paxhia said.

And the people with the cash say, they're ready to spend.

"More recently, we're seeing investors are really whipping out their checkbooks,” Arcview Group CEO Troy Dayton said.

This comes as medical marijuana, as well as legal, recreational use, expands across the country.

Nevada voters are expected to take the next step toward recreational marijuana use Wednesday. A petition with more than 170,000 signatures will be taken to Carson City requesting the question of legalization be on the ballot.


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