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Pitch for cannabis funding brings six companies to LI forum  

Ian Parker of Holbrook-based Pura Vida Vitamins pitched

Ian Parker of Holbrook-based Pura Vida Vitamins pitched his products at the Cannabis Capital Forum in Melville Friday. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

A Long Island company taking a "seed-to-label" approach to the booming cannabis industry was one of six firms pitching to investors at a forum in Melville Friday. 

Ian Parker, CEO of Holbrook-based Pura Vida Vitamins, a company that sells a wide range of CBD gummies, oils, topicals, vitamins and superfoods, presented on behalf of the firm.

During his presentation, Parker, who said the company owns an 80-acre hemp farm with an on-site extraction facility in Oregon, said Pura Vida turned to cultivation after missing its target launch date last year due to "immature CBD supply chains." 

That's when Pura Vida decided to go the seed-to-label route, he said. 

The company employs 14 full-time workers in a range of fields, including cultivation, quality control, operations, sales and marketing, among others. And its products are found at about 1,500 independent convenience stores in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, at City Acres, a specialty grocer in Manhattan, and through its own website.

At the Cannabis Capital Forum, hosted for the second year by the Long Island Capital Alliance, a nonprofit capital formation and business development organization, Pura Vida was seeking a $1 million investment of which $500,000 was budgeted for influencer marketing. 

A second Long Island company, Melville-based Marijuana Doctors, an online directory of medical marijuana doctors, was also among the presenting companies. 

More than a directory, the company is a "one-stop resource for patients to have their medical marijuana needs met," said Raymond M. Correa Sr., Marijuana Doctors' chief operating officer, adding that the company, which has been in business for 10 years, has been producing revenues for three. 

One of the most popular trends discussed at the forum was the manufacture and sale of products infused with cannabidiol, or CBD — a nonpsychoactive compound derived from cannabis that is believed by many users to have medicinal properties.

Four of the six companies that presented their business plans to a panel of investors make or retail CBD products. 

Presenting firm Scopus BioPharma, a New York City biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics targeting the body's endocannabinoid system, obtained an investment of about $150,000 from Long Island Capital Alliance connections, Neil M. Kaufman, attorney and LICA chairman emeritus, said. 

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