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California Entrepreneurs See Santa Cruz As Fertile Ground For Cannabis Startups

Investors are starting to take note

Entrepreneurs hoping to make it big in California’s new cannabis marketplace are planting roots in Santa Cruz County, looking to bring new meaning to the term “high tech.”

Area initiatives include an online pot marketplace, a smart-growing solution that harnesses big data and an app that allows cannabis companies to manage their delivery and transportation – to name a few.

And investors are taking note.

Santa Cruz Foundry, founded by Andy Van Valer and Kurt Grutzmacher, is billed as the Central Coast’s first cannabis-centered accelerator that would provide budding businesses with co-working space, mentorship and other support. The seasoned investors say the green industry is ready to catch fire, and that Santa Cruz – with its proximity to Silicon Valley and its unique cultural history around the plant – could catch more than its share of the heat.

“Santa Cruz is the place for cannabis,” Van Valer said. “It’s the energetic center, at least in our nation, for cannabis.”

 

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