Stocks&BUDS Steve DeAngelo’s Manifesto DestinY The famous founder of California’s Harborside Health Center wears a lot of hats—from dispensary owner to investment guru to author.
Steve DeAngelo’s long career in cannabis qualifies him as a blue chip stock in the world of weed. As investors from penny stocks, venture capital and Silicon Valley converge around cannabis, DeAngelo stands out as an entrepreneur, activist and author who bridges these and other camps—from activist organizations to budding businesses. “I know that the industry is going to be growing very rapidly, and it has a lot of unmet needs,” he tells Freedom Leaf. “Identifying and developing businesses that will yield a financial return will allow me to advance the thing I care most about—building a healthy and responsible cannabis industry.” DeAngelo’s primary business, Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif., is the world’s largest legal cannabis dispensary and boasts annual sales of $30 million, with roughly 225,000 medical patients in its care. Harborside is DeAngelo’s largest venture to date, among many other businesses in his portfolio. In 2008, DeAngelo co-founded Steep Hill Labs, the first commercial cannabis testing facility in the U.S. He’s also co-founder and co-owner of the ArcView Group, an investor network that’s drummed up some $60 million in backing for cannabis businesses since its launch in 2010. ArcView also holds shares in Canopy Boulder, a seed-stage business accelerator in Boulder, Colo., that offers capitol and a mentor boot camp for cannabis startups in return for an equity stake. In addition, DeAngelo’s an original investor in Green Flower Media, an online community offering courses, classes, videos and articles about cannabis.
By Matt Chelsea
Steve DeAngelo wants to build “a healthy and responsible cannabis industry.”
A shift in California laws would allow Harborside to change its structure from a nonprofit to a for-profit enterprise, but DeAngelo is not in any rush to take the dispensary public. For one thing, Harborside isn’t large enough yet to list on the NASDAQ or the New York Stock Exchange, where newly listed companies typically generate annual revenues of $100 million to $500 million or more. “Our intention is to remain a private company for the foreseeable future,” he explains. “I wouldn’t say we’d never do an IPO, but we’d only consider it if it made sense.”
january / february 2016