Cannabis Startups Award Presentation


Once again, the Investor Pitch Contest was a high point for Emerge. Four companies attended the Spring 2021 Emerge Virtual Cannabis Conference in hopes of winning, but this year ended with a twist.

For the first time, there was a first-place tie between Hala Hemp and Dama Distributing.

Leafwire and Regennabis organized the Investor Contest. Each of the four companies gave their best argument in hopes of gaining access to a $ 5 million funding fund managed by Regennabis.

Photo courtesy of Hala Hemp.

Hala Hemp is a sustainableand CBD lifestyle brand.

While the company currently focuses on CBD products, there are plans to expand into clothing and other lifestyle options.

Mahala Herron, founder of Hala Hemp, also said that the company is dedicated to incorporating fair trade practices into its business model.

“I think something we are missing out on in the world is simply the brands that care about who they endorse, as much as consumers care about the brands that they themselves buy from,” Herron said. “So it’s one thing for a consumer to buy from a brand, but who buys that brand? Who does that brand support?”

Hala also launched an initiative called Sustainable Hala. It is a pilot program that aims to set a sustainable standard in cannabis.

Photo courtesy of Hala Hemp.

“All the practices I’m urging other brands to implement, we’ve implemented them ourselves,” Herron said. “And we’ve put guidelines in place for certain things you can do. But we encourage brands to contact us and come to us so we can inform them about how to be more sustainable and implement these sustainable practices, such as fair trade. , water conservation, etc.

The first draw was Dama Distributing.

Dama Distributing is a locally owned and operated company based in Colorado. The company is developing sustainable, home compostable and compatible packaging for the cannabis / hemp industry and a variety of other industries.

Photo courtesy of Dama Distributing.

“Everything we do is green,” said Cole Gibbs, founder and CEO of Dama Distributing. “We do not use any petroleum-derived plastics. We work with hemp plastic and hemp paper, hemp fabric. We’re trying to be that one-stop shop for anyone in the industry, really looking for truly sustainable packaging solutions. ”

Dama is looking for $ 20 million to build a new facility to produce its products commercially.

“We just need a little help to make it happen so we can start removing more and more disposable plastic,” Gibbs said. “Right now, we are removing about three and a half tons of material a month. We’d like to increase that to 100 tons a month or even 1,000. “

Gibbs said Dama’s sustainable plastic is only 0.10 to 0.25 cents more expensive than traditional plastic, where other options in the past have been dollars more per item.

“And what we’ve found is that consumers are willing to pay for it if the company isn’t willing to absorb that price difference,” he said. “NYU’s Stern Center for Sustainable Business conducted a study to find out if it’s worth switching to sustainable packaging and offering sustainable options to the consumer. And they found, between 2013 and 2018, those companies that marketed sustainable options saw a 29% increase in sales. “

Third place in the investor presentation conference was BizBoxes. BizBoxes is essentially a software service that is developing a handy solution for selling marijuana to dispensaries. Think of it as the software to run a cannabis ATM or a Redbox for weeds.

Cole Gibbs, founder and CEO of Dama Distrubuting.

BizBoxes can adapt your solution to vending machines, safes and more.

“We help cannabis retailers by enabling a more efficient and less capital-intensive way of distributing or dispensing cannabis to customers,” said Elsbeth Hurry, founder and CEO of BizBoxes. “We also offer more convenient locations and a unique and fast delivery experience for the end customer as well.”

Hurry said they noticed an increase in demand and the overall cost of opening a dispensary and decided there could be a better way. The original vision was for a cannabis ATM, and they say it’s still a possibility.

“If you look at the numbers in seven years, the expected growth seemed like an opportunity,” Hurry said. “Because there won’t be enough people, entrepreneurs that they can really enter, or enough retailers from a profit perspective that they can grow as fast as they want. “

The company is currently working to raise $ 1.8 million to test the product through testing and piloting. ⁇

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