May 30, 2019 – ST. LOUIS, Missouri – In front of a crowd of more than 150 guests, Ignite, Missouri’s first cannabis entrepreneurs pitch competition, awarded more than $9000 in cash and business services to three winning teams on May 19.
- MajestiKs LLC, led by community advocate and herbalist Marne Madison, seeks to open a wellness-centered cannabis dispensary.
- Live Roots, led by Tiffany Brewer, seeks to open a dispensary with various community services.
- Pure Leaf Collective seeks to open a cannabis dispensary offering 100 percent organically-grown products, 100 percent vegan edibles, online ordering, a pharmacy-style drive-thru window and delivery service. The team, led by founder and CEO Taronda Ransom, includes business operations, sales, retail, criminal justice and military veteran experience.
Nine teams received critical feedback from a panel of judges. Zeta Ceti, founder and CEO of Green Rush Consulting, moderated the competition. “Cannabis entrepreneurs will face unique challenges,” Ceti said. “The Ignite pitch event is a major step to help Missouri entrepreneurs overcome these challenges and reach their goals.”
Pitch competitors were graduates of the Cannabis Business Licensing Bootcamp, a program to help people of color, women, veterans and small business owners win Missouri cannabis business licenses. Hosted at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, startups attended workshops with mentors and networked with peers and industry leaders.
Competition prizes were provided by community sponsors. Educational partner Oaksterdam University donated cannabis business seminars in Oakland, Calif. MoCannTrade, Missouri’s cannabis business trade association, donated memberships. MJBizCon, a series of marijuana professional events, donated registration for its New Orleans conference.
Competition judges included Charles Wu, cannabis investor and educator who serves as chief revenue officer of Agrinamics and Minorities for Medical Marijuana; Dr. Lance McCarthy, economist and investment advisor who founded Ferguson 1000, an initiative to create jobs in Ferguson, Mo.; Leah Heise, D.C.-based cannabis regulatory compliance attorney; and Derek Mays, corporate lawyer and founder of REAL Cannabis Co.
Additional funds raised at the event will benefit Minorities for Medical Marijuana and the Last Prisoner Project, an organization working to reduce incarcerations and expunge records for marijuana offenses.
Photo Credit: Chris Smith
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