“We think of diversity as a keystone issue for the cannabis industry,” said Curio WMBE Fund managing director Jerel Registre in a conversation with TechCrunch. Registre’s conviction around this program is obvious as he explains the problem the fund is addressing.
The new fund, started by the Maryland-based medical cannabis company Curio Wellness, aims to help underserved entrepreneurs entering the cannabis market. With $30 million to invest, the Curio WMBE Fund is looking to invest in up to 50 women, minority and disabled veterans seeking to open and operate a Curio Wellness franchise with a path to 100% ownership in three years.
Registre tells TechCrunch the goal is to create more diverse ownership through a proven business model. Participants of this program gain access to capital and operational resources.
Curio made a name for itself in Maryland, where it’s the largest cannabis cultivator by market share. Founded in 2014, the family-owned business operates dispensaries rooted in a patient-centric approach. While a legally separate but affiliated entity from Curio Wellness, the Curio WMBE Fund aims to give franchisees access to Curio’s secret sauce.
“In looking at the systemic barriers that women, minorities and disabled veterans face in accessing capital, we decided to develop a solution that directly addresses this massive economic disparity,” said Michael Bronfein, CEO of Curio Wellness. [Read More @ Tech Crunch]