Pope of the pot crusade Snoop Dogg just invested in the Seamless of weed delivery.
Snoop's venture firm Casa Verde, which makes early stage capital investments in "tech-cannabis" startups, threw its hat into a $10 million investment round for Eaze, a San Francisco-based weed courier company claiming to deliver medical marijuana in as little as 10 minutes.
This is only the second round of investments, but it marks an $8.5 million jump from the first round in November — probably because Eaze already has over 30,000 facilitated deliveries on the books since last year's launch.
The company: The Eaze website looks like any other startup retailer — links everywhere for career and partnership opportunities, an intuitive main page and mobile app — but with a twist: a big blue "Add to cart" button next to each of a long list of marijuana strains. It's easy and straightforward, for the same reason the food-delivery service Seamless is: You click something you want, and it arrives at your door.
It's just another boon in a market already growing faster than any other in the U.S., rising 74% to $2.7 billion last year according to industry investment and research firm ArcView Group. Snoop is clearly both recreationally and financially interested in the industry; the Compton rapper announced plans to pour $25 million into legal marijuana startups, as Mic previously reported.
Legalizing it: Since Washington state's marijuana legalization in 2012, Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., have all legalized weed. In the next few years, other states (including surprising outliers like Montana) will begin the push to legalize it.
It makes sense. Since legalizing marijuana recreationally in 2014, Colorado brought in $36 million in medical and recreational pot — $7 million of which went toward building public schools.
The bubble burst: But despite so much growing, there's trouble on the financial side for other startups.
"Medical marijuana is down 94.4% since its peak and has lost $1.7 billion in investor money," Openfolio representative Simon Burns previously told Mic via email. "Hemp Inc. is down 74% from its peak. My Marijuana Canada is down 72.92%. Totally Hemp Crazy is down 93%. Weed Inc, with the incredulous ticker OTC:BUDZ, is down 83% from its peak."
This just means the industry needs to exercise some caution. Since the model of startup culture seems to be get in, get rich, get out — or, scarier: "Fail fast, fail often" — having failsafes in place wouldn't hurt.
But that doesn't mean a company modeled for ease, speed and quality — aimed at a demographic that loves all three — would necessarily see any problems. Especially if it can name drop the guy whose song told the world to "smoke weed everyday" as one of its key investors.