Curio Wellness Launches Investment Fund to Combat Diversity and Inclusion Challenges within Cannabis Industry
Curio Wellness announced a new funding program that will provide start-up capital for minority business owners to open their own Curio Wellness franchise location.
Created for women, minorities and disabled veterans, Curio Wellness’s investment fund (the Fund) will allow the medical cannabis and wellness company to further its goal of serving patients with safe, effective and reliable cannabis-based medicine in multiple states through its unique Wellness Center retail business concept. A legally separate but affiliated entity from Curio Wellness, the Fund will connect diverse investors with up to 50 aspiring women, minority and disabled veteran entrepreneurs, providing $30 million in capital funding.
“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. “The Fund provides qualifying entrepreneurs with the investment capital they need to become a Curio Wellness Center franchisee, while ensuring their success through our best in class business operations.”
Banks and other traditional financing sources generally do not provide equity, capital or loans for cannabis start-ups. While this hurts all potential cannabis business owners, it disproportionately impacts women, minorities and disabled veterans. Through the support of committed and diverse investors, the Fund will eliminate the most significant barrier preventing diverse participation in this burgeoning, rapidly growing industry: a lack of capital in concert with a proven business model and brand.
The Fund will invest in up to 50 women, minority and disabled veteran entrepreneurs seeking to open a Curio Wellness franchise location in states with thriving medical cannabis programs. The $30 million Private Equity Fund will expand diversity and enable economic empowerment by providing up to ninety-three percent of the start-up capital needed to launch a branded dispensary. Eligible entrepreneurs, through partnership with the Fund, will be enabled to launch a franchise as the majority owner from day one and enjoy a clear pathway to full ownership as a franchisee.
“The Fund will expand diversity and enable economic empowerment for entrepreneurs who otherwise would be locked out of the rapidly growing field,” said Jerel Registre, Director of Business Development at Curio Wellness and Managing Director of the Fund. “Our diverse set of entrepreneurs will repay the startup loans with their portion of the dispensary earnings, resulting in 100% ownership as a franchisee over time.”
The application process to become a Curio franchisee is expected to open in early 2021 as Curio is approved to establish franchises. The Fund will soon announce its first closing and is expecting to have a final closing before year end.