As Colorado’s cannabis industry opens up to more investment opportunities and public funding through a new law that takes effect November 1, expect powerful players to enter the fray. A private company is already beating some of those public corporations to the punch, however, purchasing five well-known dispensaries in the metro area this year alone.
Lova, a new dispensary brand, now owns both of MMJ America‘s dispensaries in Denver as well as Groundswell Cannabis Boutique, Northern Lights Cannabis Co. in Edgewater and Boulder’s Trill Alternatives (MMJ America in Boulder and Northern Lights in Denver will remain unaffected by the deal). Founded by Matthew Shifrin and Amanda Fox, Lova is funded by Australian billionaire Brett Blundy. We sat down with Shifrin and Fox, a University of Denver alum, to learn more about their plans for their new dispensaries.
Westword: How’d you two find yourselves buying five dispensaries?
Matt Shifrin: I used to essentially sling condoms, sex toys and lubricants for the Jarden Corporation, which was a Fortune 500 conglomerate. I eventually got into craft spirits, and saw how their hearts and souls would be ripped apart any time a big player bought the business. I thought there was a better way to scale these small tequila and whiskey brands, so I led a group that acquired craft distilleries five or six years ago. We eventually bought a few, including Breckenridge Distillery, which eventually went from being a hand-bottled operation to the ninth-largest premium whiskey brand. About a year and a half ago, Amanda and I essentially saw the same thing going on in cannabis.
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Amanda was getting her MBA and did a whole course on cannabis. Meanwhile, one of our dear friends was the head of cultivation of two massive facilities. He came to us