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Who would have thought a college experiment by two Stanford students would lead to a $15 billion vaporizer business?

San Francisco based startup, Pax Labs Inc., has raised $20 million in a special round of funding, and rumor has it their valuation has ballooned to over $15 billion.

In an effort to keep themselves lean on VC money, existing shareholders were asked to come up with the funds, and Pax was able to avoid giving away a large stake of equity. According to CEO Bharat Vasan "This is a deliberately small round, to avoid becoming overly dependent on venture capital."

In 2007, a small company named Ploom Inc. was formed by James Monsees and Adam Bowen. The goal was to make a sleek, and technologically advanced loose leaf vaporizer. At the time, it was described as for tobacco use only, even though it was clearly made for cannabis in its flower form (clearly a lot has changed in the last 11 years). The Pax was finally released and has been revised twice since then.

Pax 3

In 2016, the Pax 3 was released. On that same day, their newest device, called the Pax Era was released and Ploom Inc. became Pax Labs. The Era was designed specifically for use with cannabis concentrates. This device is almost an exact replica of the Juul, another massively popular nicotine vaporizer, also developed by Monsees and Bowen.

Pax labs has got a winner with the Era, which is used with pre filled pods that are available in dispensaries in select states out west. Users are able to control the vaporizer wirelessly through an app on any mobile phone. The app allows you to connect to the Era and set it a specific temperature. You can also monitor the battery life and change the LED lights to different colors when the device is in use.

Pax does not sell any marijuana or cannabis oil, but sells the empty pods to companies that fill them with their own oils.

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MA Banks Partner With Retail Pot Businesses

(Story Developing....)

In a story first reported by Boston Business Journal, BayCoast bank became the first bank to announce a partnership with a retail marijuana business in the State of Massachusetts.

Until this point, banks have been willing to work with dispensaries on the medical side of the business, but for the most part have avoided getting involved in retail partnerships. However, there are several adult use shops that claim to have banks accepting their deposits, they are just unwilling to disclose the names of these institutions for obvious reasons.

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Cuomo's Aide: "Green New Deal" On the Way

Plan for adult use market set to be announced

According to a report by the New York Post, Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to announce the details of his plan to create a recreational marijuana market in the State of New York during next Month's Executive Budget Address.

Last spring, Cuomo announced that he was going to begin looking into the possibilities of creating an adult use cannabis market in New York, including all the potential negative and positive consequences that could arise as a result. This was a drastic reversal from his opinion that marijuana is a dangerous "gateway drug", only a few years ago.

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Connecticut Expands Medical Marijuana Program

Issues 9 new licenses

Yesterday, the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) issued a press release announcing the names and locations of the recipients of nine new licenses for the state of Connecticut's medical marijuana program (MMJ sales first started in 2014)

Competition for these new licenses was fierce, with the DCP receiving 73 applications, all hoping to be a part of this latest expansion.

This brings the total of licensed dispensaries in the state to 18, doubling since the program last expanded in 2016.

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Utah At War Over Weed

Mormon Church Intervenes

While the people of Utah have spoken (when they voted to legalize medical marijuana last month), apparently the government is not listening.

In a stunning reversal of the will of the people, Utah has scrapped the bill passed by voters and replaced it with a gutted, muted down version of the original proposal.

Prop 2, the ballot initiative designed to create a medical marijuana market in Utah, was initially passed during the November election. However, immediately following the vote, it became clear a legal battle was on the way. With the mormon church making it clear they had serious grievances with some aspects of the proposal, legislators on both sides of government conveyed similar concerns.

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