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CANNANEWS

WRITER

• DEBBY GOLDSBERRY

| PHOTOS • JENNIFER LEAHY

GATEWAY INCUBATOR OPENING THE DOOR FOR CANNABIS START-UPS EN LARSON, CO-FOUNDER OF GATEWAY Incubator, knows cannabis is a burgeoning marketplace. “There is interest from all corners; business leaders and entrepreneurs, cannabis related or not, are joining with investors to support its growth.” This is most evident in Oakland, where Gateway is located, a city ready to re-take the lead as the nation’s top cannabis city. New proposed regulations are poised to grant permits to cultivators and manufacturers, as well as to additional dispensaries and delivery services. The city already has adult cannabis use laws on the books, allowing retail sales to begin the moment voters change the California law. Recently, several large traditional businesses like Uber, and longtime cannabis supporter George Zimmer’s, Z Tailor’s recently set up shop here, creating a start-up atmosphere in the city. Through ancillary involvement in the beginning, Larson says,” we realize that, beyond regulation challenges, there is a gap between the funder, who wanted to put money in, and the sophistication of the companies looking for the money.” He and Gateway co-founder Carter Laren saw many companies at pitch events that had no business being in front of funders, but they saw a lot of “raw ability.” Larson says, “The goal of Gateway is to create world class entrepreneurs, ready to go mainstream and compete in major markets. We think that cannabis entrepreneurs can be role models, just like any other company, and that people will respect and strive to be like them.” Carter Laren says, “We also both have moral outrage at the current prohibition, and are excited to see cannabis go mainstream. Gateway Incubator wants to help.” Listen up, budding cannabis businesses, as this is no small offer. Both Laren and Larson are serial entrepreneurs, experienced in investing and start-ups, learning first hand what it takes to build starts up in burgeoning markets. And, they each have extensive backgrounds in training entrepreneurs, at the renowned business incubator, the Founder In-

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FEBRUARY 2016 THE ENTERTAINMENT ISSUE dopemagazine.com | | ISSUE 09 THE ENTERTAINMENT ISSUE dopemagazine.com

Feb 2016 norcal  
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