NEW YORK (MainStreet) Ata Gonzalez soft launched GFarmaLabs in December 2013. Since then, the manufacturer of cannabis extracts, oils and chocolate won first place for best edible at the High Times Cannabis Cup in San Bernadino just two months ago. Most recently, the family man received an offer of $100 million for a 20% stake in his company from an investment firm he met at the CannaBusiness Money Show in Boston last week.
"This feels like a dream," Gonzalez told MainStreet. "It shocks the heck out of me to get offers so early into having launched this company. We need the money to keep growing but we're trying to keep our composure. We haven't made a decision yet."
The only reason Gonzalez wouldn't sell is for the sake of his five kids.
"I'd like to leave something for their future," Gonzalez said. "My wife and I want to leave them a company to run. It's good to see that we built something that's sparking interest. We've worked very hard as a family and to see it come into reality is amazing."Gonzalez got involved in this cannabis industry five years ago after watching a documentary on television called "Marijuana Inc." He had been a successful real estate agent in Florida and promoter of the World Cup of Salsa before packing up his car and driving 57 hours straight to California with his family in tow.
He attended Oaksterdam University in Oakland for a semester and received a certificate. In class, he learned about growing cannabis, bud tenders and how to launch a dispensary.
"We built grow farms in Northern California then opened stores in Los Angeles but had to close them after three months because at the time the federal government hadn't spoken," Gonzalez said. "It felt like a war. Dispensaries in Southern California were getting shut down. We watched them get raided or heard about it on the streets but when the Feds announced they would leave legalization up to the state, the industry exploded."