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November 19, 2019

Meriden hemp company scores $150K investment

Hartford Business Journal File Photo A cannabis plant.

Connecticut’s lone Latino-owned holder of a pilot hemp license has been awarded a $150,000 investment from an accelerator program geared toward fast-tracking development of minority owned businesses in the cannabis and hemp industry.

Vega Holdings LLC, led by Luis and Jessica Vega, operates both indoor and outdoor facilities that produce the lucrative cannabidiol (CBD).

The $150,000 investment comes from the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), which promotes diversity in the cannabis industry and Merida Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that invests in marijuana companies. 

The two organizations awarded a total of $500,000 to five minority-owned marijuana companies through their Inclusive Industry ("i2") Accelerator initiative, which aims to empower minority entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. Of those five companies, Vega Holdings received the largest investment.

Other companies to receive investment through the accelerator program include Washington-based High Road ($100,000); Pontiac, Mich.-based Higher Learning Institutions ($100,000); Oakland, Calif.-based James Henry of Oakland ($100,000); and Atlanta-based Canna Bistro ($50,000).

Earlier this year, Connecticut lawmakers approved a bill creating a pilot program authorizing the production and sale of industrial hemp. As of mid-August, the state Department of Agriculture had issued 71 licenses for prospective hemp growers -- giving them the opportunity to tap into the still-fledgling industry that was estimated at $800 million last year.

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