What's Going on With Cannabis VC?

Jonathan Rose / Oct 05, 2022
hero-graphic-What's Going on With Cannabis VC?
Photo Credit: Vangst illustration

How leading investors see the state of capital in cannabis, and what they're doing to help the companies they work with

Cannabis VC deals have slowed dramatically in 2022. So far this year, only 41 cannabis-related companies — globally — have raised venture capital, making 2022 on track to see the smallest amount of deals and funding since 2017. $300 million has been raised in venture capital for the industry in 2022, while $1.6 billion was raised in 2017. What's going on?

Two of the cannabis industry's most prominent investors join Vangst Founder and CEO Karson Humiston in this week's podcast to talk trends and strategy, how national macroeconomics are impacting investing, and what they're doing to help the businesses they invest in adjust to this tricky climate.

Emily Paxhia, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Poseidon Asset Management and Ian Dominguez, Founder and Portfolio Manager of Delta Emerald Ventures join Vangst's Founder and CEO as she flips the script and gets to ask investors the tough questions.

On helping cannabis businesses and hitting a 'velocity moment':

"I feel like it's my job as a partner to sit there alongside [founders] and not dictate things, but to be a sounding board and just share what I see ... going on in other businesses so that I can try to be helpful in that manner," Paxhia said. "And I've been impressed by the founders and the fortitude because. We've gone through this a few times in cannabis. So, at some point we're gonna hit the velocity moment."

On what investors are looking at and how founders should adjust:

"Across the board, return on investment is becoming more important," Dominguez said. "And that's not just coming from the perspective of an investor. I'm talking about weed operators in this space. If you're a dispensary, if you are a, a grower, you have your own investors to answer to and your own profitability that you're trying to hit.

"And, the shockwave through the system is really more about thinking really deliberately about what spend, what are you spending money on, and how is it driving your own profitability? And that's through the entire supply chain across every company, people are thinking about that. So this is where we're gonna find out what actually is worth spending money on."

Listen to the full podcast by clicking the embed above.

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