Investors Flock to Established and Cliquish Marijuana Companies

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Justin Hartfield and Doug Francis have always had offers from investors who wanted a piece of their marijuana technology company, but since the plant-based Class 1 narcotic was legalized January 1 in Colorado, the number of accredited investors wanting to get in on the ground floor or acquire Ghost Group outright has doubled.

"People have always wanted to invest in our company for $2,000 or $3,000," Hartfield told MainStreet. "Recently, we've seen more investors approach us about making a more substantial investment but we don't have the ability to accept money because we're no longer a publicly traded company."

With the company previously listed on the QZ stock exchange under SearchCore in 2010, Hartfield and Francis regained ownership of their marijuana technology companies in 2012.

"The SEC wasn't going to approve SearchCore's S-1 with marijuana assets so they sold our portion of the business," Hartfield told MainStreet.

Ford S-1 is an SEC filing used by companies planning on going public to register their securities under the registration statement of the Securities Act of 1933.

Although Ghost Group was never publicly boycotted by disgruntled citizens, the added scrutiny and regulation afforded marijuana companies is why Hartfield and Francis plan to stay private.

"I have no intention of taking Ghost Group public right now. We're exploring the possibility, but it's highly unlikely," Hartfield said of his properties weedmaps.com and marijuana.com.

It's no surprise that investors are frantically in search of investment opportunities with marijuana companies like Ghost Group and that holding companies and partnerships are being formed in rapid succession.

"There's lots of ways to invest, but you need to know someone because most of the deals done are with a handshake person-to-person," Hartfield notes.

Colorado alone stands to gain an estimated $67 million in tax revenues and $600 million in gross sales in the first year.