This week marks the halfway point of the @loudgirlgoodies investment campaign!!! You’ve probably seen me posting on instagram about it as this has been my main focus for the past 4 months or so. I wanted to write a blog post about it to give you all the information you need to know to make an informed investment decision! Let’s jump right in…
Why am I raising money?
To put it simply, I am raising money to sell @loudgirlgoodies in Massachusetts adult-use dispensaries. This is the short term goal for my business. The long-term vision is to build a social consumption cafe in Boston where people gather and expand their minds, but in order to get there my business needs to start generating revenue. Unfortunately, the cannabis industry is highly regulated. One cannot simply bake goodies in their home kitchen and sell them to their friends legally. You have to go through the system which is, unsurprisingly, insanely expensive. The money raised from this investment campaign will pay for expenses like rent, renovations, licenses, security outfit, buildout, kitchen equipment, payroll, packaging, overhead, marketing and other miscellaneous supplies.
So, what does it take to open up a licensed cannabis business?
I’ve been researching this process for over 4 years and am still learning more about it, so that should tell you something already. It is complex. The last step before you can start operating is to obtain your final marijuana establishment license. Before that point, a business has to: lease a commercial property where it will operate (that complies with zoning), write detailed security and operations planned (to be approved by the police), apply for a provisional license with the city, enter into a host community agreement with that city, receive the provisional license, apply for a provisional license with the state, build out the facility, conduct research and development, and finally apply for final licensure. To make it all the more difficult, each town and city has their own process and regulations. That was the cliff notes version; I could talk your ear off for an entire day about the challenges of starting a legal cannabis business.
What is Mainvest?
Mainvest is a regulated crowdfunding platform that hosts grassroots fundraising campaigns for small local businesses. Their motto is “invest in Main Street, not Wall Street.” I love that tagline because it aligns perfectly with @loudgirlgoodies mission and purpose. Mainvest is local to Massachusetts and their office is located in Salem. If you browse their site, you’ll see a lot of food & beverage businesses along with the occasional axe throwing establishment. Each business chooses their own investment terms including their target amount, investment multiple, and length of campaign. Mainvest helps businesses issue revenue sharing notes to their investors by operating an easy to use online platform. The revenue sharing note has an investment multiple, rather than an interest rate. For example: if you invest $1,000 at a 2x investment multiple, you will get paid back annually until you receive $2,000. 10% of the business’ revenue will be shared until investors are paid back in full.
Why did I choose Mainvest?
I want to give my community a chance to invest in their fave cannabis brand. I am an advocate for supporting small businesses and keeping the cannabis industry local. I also don’t want to give up any equity in my company at the moment. If I do give up equity, it will be to another #loudgirl who closely aligns with the purpose and vision for my brand. The problem is that loud girls like us have been systematically oppressed and as a result don’t hold that much wealth. By using Mainvest, anyone with $100 can invest in @loudgirlgoodies! I have built my brand on instagram by word of mouth. Most people that support my business are friends or acquaintances of mine and these are the people that I want to benefit financially by turning @loudgirlgoodies into a profitable company.
To toot my own horn, I was instrumental in Mainvest accepting cannabusinesses on their platform. I’ve been working with the company since January ‘21 to pave a compliant way forward for cannabis crowdfunding. There have been several meetings between myself, Mainvest, my lawyer, and the CEO of my bank where we hammered out small details to figure this all out. It took a lot of work, but I became the 2nd cannabis company to launch on their platform. I should have been the first, but at the time I was back at my full time job and didn’t have as much free time to build out the content and logistics needed for a successful launch. I was the 1st and am still the only woman-owned cannabusiness on Mainvest’s website. Crowdfunding has never been done like this for cannabis companies. There are other websites, but they have significant barriers to entry for investors. Mainvest opens up cannabis investing to average people with average incomes.
What I’ve learned so far…
Women are grossly underrepresented in business, the cannabis industry, and investing. This is by design, so I’m not surprised, but I am affected by it. I have received SO much unsolicited advice from older men. Most of it I’ve heard more than once. I’ve been dismissed with the line “it’s really hard to… start a cannabis business, do this on your own, etc.” without any offer to help. I understand that this industry is difficult to break into, I do, but I think people underestimate me sometimes because of my gender and age.
I cannot expect people to give me their hard earned money without giving them a good enough reason. I have created so many resources that prove I have a viable business model. Give me the chance to convince you by emailing me email@example.com.
It’s challenging to run a business alone. Between pitching to individual investors, posting on social media, baking samples, networking with industry professionals, looking for locations, and creating a path forward for my business, I am stretched thin... I am planning to hire a general manager once I secure these funds and I know this will move things along so much quicker.
How you can help!
Most Helpful: Obviously, you can invest in @loudgirlgoodies! We are behind schedule on the raise, so please consider investing soon to help get the numbers back on track.
Very Helpful: Share my investment campaign with everyone you know! Friends, relatives, co-workers, really anyone that is interested in investing and looking to diversify their portfolio with a woman-owned cannabusiness.
Still Helpful: Drive traffic to my website, Mainvest page, and campaign video. Visiting these URLs often will help to get the @loudgirlgoodies campaign trending on Mainvest, which puts it in front of more people on their platform.
Appreciated: words of encouragement <3
That was a lot of information, I know… I have been living and breathing these details for months and am finally starting to feel confident talking about them. Thank you for taking the time to read more about my investment campaign. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions or want to talk further.