Yes We Cannabis

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Yes we cannabis
By Roger Parloff, senior editor @FortuneMagazine March 21, 2013: 4:11 PM ET * * * * * EmailPrint

Jason Levin, a young engineer who lives in Berkeley, is addressing a group of 30 angel investors gathered in a long conference room at Seattle's stodgy Washington Athletic Club. Levin is hoping to persuade one or more of the people around the table to invest in the startup company he envisions, called Uptoke, in exchange for a stake in the company. He has seven minutes to make his presentation.
Levin and his team of engineers have produced prototypes of a high-tech, handheld portable vaporizer, he explains. Such devices heat cannabis (or tobacco or herbs) to the point where active
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(ArcView itself doesn't invest.)
The meeting is called to order by ArcView's two founders, the 54-year-old ex-yippie DeAngelo and the 35-year-old yuppie Dayton. In 2006, DeAngelo founded one of the nation's largest and most lauded medical marijuana dispensaries, Harborside Health Center of Oakland, which he still runs. He wears braids and a "stingy-brimmed" fedora that he rarely takes off. It's an homage to a role model, Quanah Parker, who was a half-white, half-Comanche Indian chief, warrior, political activist, and successful businessman of the late 19th century.
Co-founder Dayton comes from a different era. Clean-cut, chipper, and on the make, Dayton comes across as the anti-Cheech-and-Chong. While DeAngelo sees the cannabis plant as a sacrament, Dayton has no apparent emotional attachment to it. "I'm not in this because I love the plant," he explains to me before the meeting. "I'm in this because I love freedom, enterprise, and being a pioneer in a new industry."
The angel investors arrayed around the table are all male, but otherwise they're a diverse lot. Some look natural in business suits, while others, like DeAngelo, wear theirs to ironic effect.
Some ArcView investors are scions of old money, like Joby Pritzker, of the Hyatt Hotel chain dynasty, and Richard Wolfe, whose family bought the Columbus Dispatch in 1905. Others are self-made. Adam Wiggins, for instance, co-founded Heroku, a cloud-platform that
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