A crowdfunding platform called PledgeMe was overwhelmed by the online traffic from investors as they swamped the site to show and pledge their support to a medical cannabis company.
PledgeMe, like other crowdfunding websites, is offering people worldwide the opportunity to show their support for a person, idea, or company through sending money online.
Supporters from anywhere around the globe can donate to a debut record of a band they like, fund an aspiring homemade coffee enthusiast that has an innovative idea that will revolutionize coffee roasting, or help a cannabis company to get off the ground.
Hikurangi Cannabis is an equity campaign for Waiapu Investments. It is the company that has been in the talks lately. They have been in the spotlight recently in their attempts to grow New Zealand’s medical marijuana industry.
Support for the worldwide legalization movement for cannabis is gaining significant momentum.
New Zealand is no exception. The private round offered $1 shares to members of the East Coast region community. It is where the hemp plantation is based.
Local investors so far have already pledged more than $2.2 million dollars for Hikurangi Cannabis.
Waiapu Investments was originally aiming for just $2 million.
Their goal is to reach another $4 million from institutional investors because they are planning to build a pharmaceutical-grade processing facility and to upscale cannabis growing operations in Ruatoria.
What’s even more impressive is that because of the heavy traffic loads, PledgeMe crashed two days in a row.
In a blog post, the website said that it was the first time that a campaign that their site hosted got that much attention and traffic.
As a matter of fact, it garnered so much interest that the website needed to close the portal and use Google Docs instead to take pledges.
The crashes got the attention of a lot of people and raised more questions, especially to those who are not familiar with the investment opportunity and the cannabis industry.
Businesses that deal with medical marijuana is considered a ‘sunrise’ industry by many. In the U.S., massive markets are to enjoying a rapid market growth.
Shamubeel Eaqub and Gareth Morgan, two of the most well-known economists in New Zealand think that medical cannabis can be a huge economic booster for the country, especially in struggling regions like the East Coast and Northland.
With several countries already leading the industry, the economists believe that cannabis has a serious profitable export potential for the country.
Although they make a strong case, cannabis is still illegal in New Zealand. Only when it is an imported medicine can cannabis be approved by the Ministry of Health.
As of the moment, a bill that aims to legalize the use of cannabis for medicinal reasons is being debated by the Health Select Committee and will be read in Parliament for the second time this year.
What protects Hikurangi Cannabis’s project from court charges is that they applied for a Medical Cannabis Cultivation License.
This license grants the permission for the business to grow low THC strains of marijuana as long as it is used for medical reasons and clinical trials.
Some people raised their concerns that Waiapu Investments might just be another business that will exploit and overcharge for cannabis.
However, this company might just not be the same as the previous business that dealt with cannabis in New Zealand or even the world.
Waiapu Investments draw in their investments from the rural villages all over the East Coast. Fundamentally, they have a Tikanga Māori based approach to running their business.
Māoris are the indigenous Polynesian residents of New Zealand. Most of the businesses run by Māoris are operated by a set of values that makes them different from other businesses.
Basically, these Māori businesses aren’t operated solely to generate profit for the owners and the shareholders.
These values include:
Ngā matatini Māori or Māori diversity;
Kotahitanga: Māori unity or the shared sense of belonging;
Tino rangatiratanga: Self-determination, ownership, control;
Whanaungatanga: An ethic of belonging, kinship;
Kaitiakitanga: Guardianship of natural resources;
Manaakitanga: Hospitality, generosity, care, and giving;
Tuhono: Cross-sectoral alignment of Māori aspirations on all dimensions;
Puawaitanga: The best possible return is sought on integrated goals; and
Purotu: Multiple responsibilities and levels of accountability.
Basically, Waiapu Investments aim to save the towns like Ruatōria economically by hiring locals in skilled, well-paying jobs.
Economists forecast that with this positive support by the New Zealanders, the cannabis industry in the country has a great potential in huge returns as well as it will also help the locals.
Two elderly East Coasters even placed a grand from their savings to the business. They believe in the potential of the growth of the industry that they expect that one day it will pay off and the shares will be held and divvied up among their 20 grandchildren.