On the eve of the application deadline for licenses for Illinois medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivators, the ArcView meeting brought investors and entrepreneurs alike to Chicago. Held at the Intercontinental Hotel, the meeting kicked off earlier than usual and brought heightened excitement and curiosity to the town.

The Chicago Tribune and many other media outlets sought out ArcView participants to learn more about the industry and to gain access to what it means to be involved in cannabis – as an entire billion dollar industry is being brought above ground. 

The meeting had the highest consistent ratings among investor members than any previous meeting. Poseidon participated in by helping to mentor two of the companies. For the second meeting in a row, the company with whom we worked earned the highest rating! 

Aside from the pitches – there were exciting talks via industry leaders such as Tripp Keber from Dixie Elixirs, talking about the importance of clear and transparent labeling when it comes to this industry. His point is a strong one: no one gains from overindulging in cannabis, so it is better to equip and inform consumers.

Poseidon led a panel on the future of the cannabis public market. Additionally, the team presented on the importance of ‘Building a Cohesive & Compelling Brand in the Cannabis Industry." The goal was to help investors to see branding in terms of the companies in which they invest and to aid entrepreneurs in building brands who speak to the aspired professional tenor of the industry.

We look forward to the next ArcView meeting. It will be hosted in November in Las Vegas as Nevada comes online as another key state in the cannabis sector.

Also, in other exciting news – our colleagues Patrick and Mark are launching the first true Cannabis Industry Accelerator – ‘Canopy’.  Similar to their tech counterparts (such as TechStars), they are hoping to groom start-ups to be better prepared for investor dollars. The first accelerator will be in Boulder, but there will be expansion to other cities, such as San Francisco, Seattle, and others. We are excited to see developments such as these and the collaboration with ArcView to continue to expand this great industry.

Attending these meetings over the course of a year has shown how tight and strong this industry truly is and the pace at which it is growing. The ‘frequent fliers’ at the cannabis industry events have great expectations for the future of the industry as it continues to flourish. We are so glad to hear more of their intentions and interests – as it shows a positive trajectory for the industry overall.

Post-script: the meeting must have had some effect on the area. Today, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on state lawmakers to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis statewide. Coincidence? I think not.