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Bay Area Venture Capitalists Look To Cash In On Booming Cannabis Industry

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The burgeoning cannabis industry is creating quite a buzz, not just among people who like marijuana, but among Bay Area venture capitalists.

Entrepreneurs gathered in San Francisco this week at the ArcView Investor Forum, hearing the latest pitches from cannabis startups, anything from a marijuana delivery app to pot clubs and even an infused edible company.

"A good quality product that still packs the punch," said Lauren Fraser, president of Auntie Dolores, an Oakland-based edible company.

She is seeking $1.2 million to expand her line of pot pretzels and cookies. And she's finding it. "People who have come to the ArcView Network are intrigued by how quickly this market is growing and they want to ride that wave," said Fraser.

Emily Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management certainly is. Her hedge fund is one of hundreds of investment firms that came to the conference to get in on the ground floor.

"I always try to educate investors that it's just like investing in real estate, biotech, technology. Anything that they're investing in now, just apply it to one very specific plant," she said.

A plant that is at the root of what Paxhia calls the fastest growing investment opportunity in the country. "We're talking about billions of dollars," she said.

Paxhia said the industry is growing at a rate of 60+ percent a year.

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