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Meet The Hottest Privately Held Cannabis Companies

Apr 7, 2015 • 2:50 PM EDT
5 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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The cannabis stock market is excited about the upcoming initial public offering of MassRoots, which is one of the most popular cannabis based apps. The app will be one of the first cannabis-based businesses to go public.

Technical420 has stated that some of the best cannabis companies are privately held and not publicly traded. Today we want to discuss some of the best private companies.

MJ Freeway LLC

MJ Freeway was founded in 2010 with the goal of becoming a leader in an industry that was not well-known or understood. The cannabis market was in its infancy when MJ Freeway was founded and the company was able to execute effectively which enabled them secure significant market share.

MJ Freeway is the dominant player in the seed-to-sale software sub-sector of the cannabis industry. The company has been able to grab a substantial portion of market share due to its first mover advantage and best-in-class products. MJ Freeway is led by a proven management team, which is headed by Amy Poinsett, CEO and her partner Jessica Billingsley, COO.  MJ Freeway has over 1000 licensees and has dominated every market they have entered (they have market share in all states where marijuana is legal).

Expansion opportunities are endless for MJ Freeway. There are opportunities in any state that has a legal marijuana program. Current market expansion opportunities include New York, Illinois, Nevada, Alaska and Oregon, as well as increasing their share in California.

MJ Freeway is expanding its product and service offerings. The company recently acquired Dispensary Mobile which is proving to be an accretive acquisition. MJ Freeway can provide white-labeled mobile applications to dispensaries, fully equipped for pre-order and delivery capabilities, and fully integrated with MJ Freeway’s best-in-class inventory and order management platform.

Technical420 expects MJ Freeway to be a dominate player in the cannabis industry for years to come. The company’s premier products and services, proven management team, and expansion strategy will enable them to be a leader in a rapidly growing market. 

Harborside Health Centers

Harborside Health Centers is a non-profit, California based company that was founded in 2006 by Steve D’Angelo. Steve’s goal when he founded Harborside was to set the gold standard for medical dispensaries nationwide. Harborside is the largest retail marijuana brand in the U.S. with over $30 million in annual revenue, around 150 employees, and more than 250 lab tested products sold through their clinics.

Harborside Health Centers has two facilities. One in Oakland and the other in San Jose. The company is led by a strong management team who is focused on providing clients with a service first attitude.

Steve is industry veteran who has a great understanding of the cannabis market. He co-founded Steep Hill, the first testing laboratory in the nation and is also co-founder and president of The ArcView Group, a cannabis industry investment group.

Harborside has an application pending for three licenses in Illinois, one of which was granted when Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office recently awarded them to 21 medical marijuana farm and 56 medical marijuana dispensary applicants.

Privateer Holdings

Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based marijuana investment company, closed a $75 million Series B round of funding. Privateer plans to use to the capital to grow its three marijuana-related startups and expand the firm’s portfolio of marijuana companies. Their portfolio consists of: Tilray, Leafly, and Marley Natural.

Tilray: Tilray is a medical marijuana producer in Nanaimo, British Columbia. They built out a 70,000 square foot facility which cost the company $20 million. At optimal efficiency the facility could produce 9,000 pounds a year. Tilay sells their medicine for an average price of $10 a gram, so at full capacity the facility should generate $40 million in revenue.

Leafly: Leafly is the Yelp of the marijuana industry. It provides users with information about dispensaries in the area, provides descriptions of the various strains, and includes customer reviews. Not only is this a valuable resource for consumers, but it also provides feedback to dispensaries to improve their businesses. Leafly already sees the long term potential of the industry and launched French and Spanish versions.

Marley Natural: Marley Natural is a joint venture between Bob Marley’s heirs and Privateer Holdings. Marley Natural is the first brand in Privateer’s growing club of cannabis companies to focus on the sale of accessories, cannabis-infused products, and marijuana itself. Marley Natural plans on having product available in the latter half of 2015.

Dixie Brands, Inc.

Dixie Brands, Inc. was founded in 2010 and the company manufactures seven THC-infused product lines: Dixie Edibles, Dixie LIFT, Dew Drops, Dixie Synergy, Dixie Scrips, Dixie Topicals, and Dixie One.

Dixie Brands has their corporate headquarters in Denver, Colorado and the company is led by Tripp Keber, CEO. The company is focused on being the number one source for innovative, safe, and delicious cannabis products. The company is focused on safety and each product is infused with CO2 extracted THC that is triple lab tested.

Currently, Dixie Elixirs and Edibles are only available in Colorado (through its Colorado affiliate, Left Bank, LLC), but Dixie Brands hopes to establish a much broader, multi-state footprint for its Dixie Elixirs and Edibles products by the end of 2015.

Dixie faces significant competition in the edible industry and they have a lot of strong competitors. Technical420 believes that the company’s strong management team, innovative products, and understanding of their market will enable them to be a major player in the Colorado edible market for years to come.


One of the biggest problems that cannabis companies face is capital. Banks do not want to work with cannabis companies because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. CannaFundr offers a solution to this problem by helping startup companies access capital through investments by accredited investors.

CannaFundr is an online crowdfunding platform for accredited investors that want to invest in a cannabis company. CannaFundr is owned by CrowdFundConnect and the company is headquartered in Chicago. The company has expanded its presence and they now have offices in Florida, Michigan and New Jersey.

CannaFunder is an attractive program for accredited investors. It differs from other investment funds in the way that it is structured and the minimum required investment. Most investment funds charge its accredited investors a membership fee; CannaFundr does not. Also, most investment funds require at least a $50,000 investment. CannaFundr funds have a $2,500 investment minimum.

If you are interested in pitching your business to CannaFundr check out their website and become a registered member! You can also reach the company by calling them at (312) 957-8553, or emailing them at

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.


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