In episode 40 of Investing in Cannabis, Brandon David interviews Marshall Hayner, who is a founder participating in the Gateway Incubator program. Hayner, who hasn’t yet renamed his company, joined the inaugural class with a B2C platform but has pivoted to B2B. Hayner is trying to use a bitcoin payment system in the cannabis industry by hiding bitcoin from the user experience and creating a plug and play type of solution using blockchain technology.
Gateway founders Ben Larson and Carter Laren participated in the interview as well. They were impressed with Hayner’s background as a cryptocurrency expert as well as his experience with cannabis delivery. Law firm Morgan Lewis vetted his anti-money laundering compliant credit card system for the cannabis industry.
Hayner, who met Larson and Laren at a Weed Club event, had ties to the Silicon Valley venture capital companies. Though his company was already profitable and interested the VCs, he found that they aren’t really capable of investing in the industry due to investment charter restrictions. For this reason, he chose not to pursue a more traditional incubator, like Y Combinator, which has had limited cannabis experience. In order to build a successful company able to raise capital, Hayner thought Gateway provided a better path, offering both access to highly qualified mentors as well as an abundance of potential investors.