Ahead of New Zealand’s 2020 Cannabis Referendum, Marijuana Startups Raise Capital on PledgeMe

In advance of a forthcoming referendum on Cannabis, over $6 million has been raised for medicinal marijuana startups in the past 18 months via investment platform PledgeMe.

The New Zealand government is poised to determine whether marijuana should be legalized and regulated for recreational use. According to a statement by a government official from May 2019, “there will be a clear choice for New Zealanders in a referendum at the 2020 General Election. Cabinet has agreed there will be a simple Yes/No question on the basis of a draft piece of legislation.” Medical utilization of Cannabis was approved in 2018.

One of the beneficiaries is PledgeMe, a New Zealand based investment crowdfunding platform. According to a release, over 2300 investors have backed Cannabis-focused firms like Gold Coast-based CDA Health, Marlborough-based Puro and Ruatoria-based Waipu Investments. Currently, Puro and another Cannabis company, Whakamana, are both raising money. Whakamana aims to be the “top cannabis culture and lifestyle brand in New Zealand.” The company would also like to open a Cannabis and research institute in Christchurch.

Puro’s managing director, Tim Aldridge, says that the public response to their campaign has been “humbling” and that Puro’s reason for crowdfunding was to “give the New Zealand public the opportunity to reap the rewards of this fast-growing industry.”

Puro has raised the most funds for a campaign in PledgeMe history with its combined wholesale and public raise of $2.5 million through 646 investors. Puros is actually running two separate campaigns – one for retail investors and another for “wholesale” investors. Puro is being valued at $25 million.

The Cannabis raises during the month have helped to make November 2019 the biggest month ever for PledgeMe. Over $4.2 million in funding was pledged on securities offerings.

In 2020, the New Zealand public will vote on the recreational use of cannabis. If legalized, it will obviously have a significant impact on the industry.

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