Oh, it’s happening.
Stoners, recreational tokers and medical patients, rejoice: It looks like the marijuana movement isn’t a passing trend.
Tokyo Smoke has become the first Canadian cannabis consumer brand to raise capital, generating $3 million (CAD) in Series A Funding by international angel investors.
The premium cannabis-oriented lifestyle brand–which is based in Toronto–oversubscribed on its first round of fundraising, generating 50 per cent more than its initial target.
Investors include W. Brett Wilson (iBanker, CBC Dragon Emeritus), Chuck Rifici (co-founder Nesta Holding Co, co-founder of Canopy Growth Corp), and Globalive Capital Inc. (founders of Wind Mobile).
“I greatly respect Tokyo Smoke as a reputable brand focused on a legal and responsible approach to bringing clarity, safety, education and product excellence to the cannabis industry,” says Wilson.
“My strategic investment in Tokyo Smoke is in response to inevitable changes in the business environment for medical and recreational marijuana, and my desire to see the industry accelerate research initiatives around the various available products and promote responsible usage, especially in our younger consumers,” he said.
We’ve told you about Tokyo Smoke before (and how its creator shifted from Google to ganja).
Basically, the brand brings a degree of sophistication and design to the cannabis realm (because of you’re going to get high, you may as well do it properly, right?).
With immersive experiences and designer retail spaces with coffee, clothing and an eclectic assortment of designer products, Tokyo Smoke is the go-to destination for creative cannabis-related offerings.
In collaboration with Aphria, one of Canada’s largest licensed producers of medical marijuana, Tokyo Smoke will release four branded cannabis strains in the first quarter of 2017 (something many Tokyo Smoke regulars have been waiting for).
“We’ve witnessed a real demand for a beautiful, design-focused retail and lifestyle experience, where none existed before. Just like people who drink coffee or whisky, cannabis consumption is not what defines an individual,” said Tokyo Smoke co-founder & CEO Alan Gertner.
“With the Canadian government taking steps towards legalization in the coming months, Canada could be to cannabis what France is to wine, and Tokyo Smoke will help lay the groundwork for that experience,” said Gertner in a press release.
At Tokyo Smoke, the overarching belief is that weed smoking should be a refined experience if you want it to be. “There are a lot of pot smokers out there for whom the traditional Rasta-inspired or the existing weed culture doesn’t appeal,” Gertner told me last year. “Just because it’s cannabis-related doesn’t mean that the product should hold to a different standard,” he says.
With investment from Canada, the U.S.A and South America, the raised funds will be allocated to product development, growing the management team and international expansion.
The brand plans to hit the U.S. market this spring.
In the meantime, if you live in Toronto and have a thing for caffeine, cool apparel, or weed (or all of the above), you may want to check out Tokyo Smoke for yourself (850b Adelaide St W).