A cannabis-specific venture capital firm that counts Snoop Dogg among its partners is investing in a Toronto-based cannabis tech company.
Snoop Dogg’s fund, Casa Verde, led a $2 million seed round in Trellis, a cannabis inventory management firm. Trellis develops software to help dispensaries and other plant-touching businesses comply with regulatory requirements, including seed-to-sale tracking.
Casa Verde makes early-stage investments in cannabis companies that do not touch the plant, but rather provide ancillary products and services to the emerging industry.
“We are at a pivotal point in the industry where the market is expanding with new regulations and operators are experiencing growing pains. This makes it all the more important to have strong tools and procedures in place,” Pranav Sood, the CEO of Trellis said. “We are thrilled to have been able to attract such a strong team of beta clients, investors, and advisors to support us in our vision.”
Trellis works with cannabis clients in both Canada and California and plans to expand to more states that have legalized cannabis for recreational and medicinal use.
“As cannabis legalization sweeps the US, the compliance burden for cannabis-related businesses will become more and more rigorous,” Karan Wadhera, a Goldman Sachs alum, and the managing partner at Casa Verde said. “We have been searching for companies with an elegant solution to address the growing pains of the industry.”
“That is exactly what Pranav and his team have built with Trellis,” Wadhera said.
Gateway, a California-based incubator for cannabis startups also provided additional funding, as well as Argonautic Ventures and One Gun.
Wadhera previously told Business Insider in an interview that investing in ancillary startups that provide software and tech services to cannabis companies is one of the “most exciting” areas of the industry, as these companies can “actually scale” and aren’t subject to the often byzantine regulations that plant-touching businesses are.
Cannabis is considered an illegal drug by the federal government, although a number of states have legalized the plant for recreational and medicinal use. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a noted opponent of cannabis, has threatened to crack down on the nascent industry.