Crowdfunding and Cannabis - How DopeKicks Was Left Seeing Green after Kickstarter Campaign
There is no doubt that crowdfunding culture has taken the small business world by storm, giving people a platform to turn their dreams into reality. The cool thing about crowdfunding is that it allows businesses to utilize small investments from a bunch of people, anyone from friends and family to venture capitalists. Kickstarter alone has 236 projects labeled ‘cannabis’ in the search criteria, projects range from documentaries, online courses, books, and entertainment.
Cannabis and crowdfunding efforts have been a mixed bag for start-ups, some ventures raking in the cash while others barely pass the starting line. The varying legality of cannabis presents a unique set of challenges for attracting investors, many of which are still wary of the plant, and are subject to the rules and regulations of the platforms themselves. Despite the challenges there seems to be no shortage of potential cannapreneurs out there looking for investors to bring projects to life.
DopeKicks finds Kickstarter Success
A recent campaign has the internet buzzing about crowdfunding in the cannabis industry - the perfectly named ‘DopeKicks’ reminded us that when crowdfunding works, it really works.
DopeKicks took to Kickstarter to raise funds in order to launch a hemp footwear empire, with a goal of $10 000. The waterproof hemp shoes are durable, stain resistant, eco-friendly and antifungal. In addition to being made from hemp, the shoes are also vegan, made with recycled rubber soles, and biodegradable cork insoles. The fair-trade kicks are made in Portugal and claim to not only be good for your feet, but for the environment as well. Ultimately the Kickstarter campaign had the people at DopeKicks raking in the green with 2274 investors, collecting an impressive $245,216 in US dollars.
Cannabis Crowdfunding Ventures
DopeKicks isn’t the only cannabis project to strike gold online, in 2018 a female-led campaign was supported by 350 backers. Lady Buds, a documentary featuring women in the cannabis industry, raised $61,127 of its $50 000 goal. The film was featured in Women and Weed magazine and highlighted the farmers, entrepreneurs, medicine makers and activists who helped define the California cannabis industry. Another Kickstarter who found their happy ending is The Weed Deck, a playing-card guide to cannabis that adds 52 illustrated cannabis topics and corresponding information to a traditional card deck. They raised nearly triple their $5000 goal with 373 backers investing $14,145 to bring the educational deck to life.
Unfortunately not all crowdfunding stories have a happy ending, even when the interest is there, stigma can start a project before it starts. The same year as Lady Buds and the Weed Deck reached their crowdfunding goals, other small ventures learned about legalization red tape the hard way. The Edibles Kit project on Kickstarter experienced this first hand when it was abruptly shut down mid-campaign, only one week away concluding and after already reaching its $10,000 goal. Despite being a DIY kit containing no weed whatsoever, the project was shut down for ‘illegal or dangerous content’. In a belated happy ending, the project did find funding outside the crowdfunding investment structure.
Clearly the cannabis industry is buzzing with innovation and invention, this proven by the sheer volume of cannabis-related campaigns and in the generosity of individual investors. Could your dream venture be only a crowdfunding investment away?