A Portland cannabis cultivator has raised $2.8 million in the last three months.
Created last January by a former Silicon Valley startup founder, HiFi Farms started raising seed money in October. The company will stop at about $3 million, said the company’s creator.
A large chunk, $1.8 million, went toward a 50-acre farm in Hillsboro, where company founder Sara Batterby‘s first generation plant clones are now growing.
The remaining $1.2 million will go to building out the first phase of cultivation operations. HiFi runs a sustainable farm. Batterby, who has three partners, uses high-end, energy-efficient LED lighting and recharges the farm’s creek after drawing it down for cultivation. Plus, the cannabis is Clean Green Certified, meaning it adheres to organic principles. Since marijuana is still federally banned, the USDA won’t officially certify it as organic.
That differentiator will likely attract discerning customers at dispensaries, where recreational users will be charged an additional 25 percent tax on purchases starting Jan. 4. She’s considering opening her own dispensary in the area.
Batterby said she’ll never forget the experience of raising cannabis money for the first time.
“It wasn’t easy, but there’s a lot of capital interested in cannabis, and there aren’t as many teams that provide early-stage, professional operations with marketing and the deep cultivation expertise that it takes to succeed in this space,” Batterby told the Business Journal.
James covers energy, natural resources, manufacturing and sustainable business.