American Inno - Cannabis Has Arrived in Austin

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Cannabis Has Arrived in Austin

For years, I’ve said Austin should be the capital of cannabis startups. Of course, that flower was rolled up a long time ago by Colorado and California. But don’t count the Lone Star State out just yet. Even though the THC-heavy plants that produce a high aren’t legal, you’ll find joints of CBD-heavy follower in shops across the city — and they’re indistinguishable from their more illegal lookalikes.

The proliferation of CBD shops hasn’t entirely surprised me, especially with marketing claims for CBD covering a super broad range of common ailments, such as anxiety, trouble falling asleep and inflammation.

I was, however, surprised when the ABJ reported that Ionization Labs is raising a $5M Series A at a $20M pre-raise valuation. The company’ tests hemp and marijuana to show whether it’s legal CBD or illegal THC-heavy cannabis. It does so without chemists and lab techs. So it’s clients could be law enforcement and farms who need to test THC contents.

The new funding was led by New York-based Merida Capital Partners, which has a bunch of cannabis-related investment.

The company is launching at a perfect time. Just a month ago, there was plenty of confusion about how Texas law enforcement would deal with legal hemp, since it’s indistinguishable from illegal marijuana. In short, the state doesn’t have enough crime labs to deal with new cases to prove which substance someone is caught with (many CBD sellers provide a certificate to notify any suspecting law officer that its products are legal). Yet Gov. Greg Abbott has been clear he wants law enforcement to continue to go after illegal cannabis.

Original article can be found here