Exclusive Interview with Harborside CEO Andy Berman
FLRish, doing business as Harborside, has deep roots in the California cannabis market. Founded in 2006, the company has more than 270,000 registered patients and customers and has done more than $300 million in sales. CEO Andy Berman spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about funding, taking the company public, and navigating the state’s ever-changing regulations.
Berman first got interested in the cannabis space in 2015. Shortly afterward, he met Harborside cofounder Steve DeAngelo and invested in the company. Earlier this yhear, he stepped in as CEO. One of Berman’s first acts as CEO was to create a capital markets strategy for the company.
Berman led the company through a couple of rounds of convertible debentures and a Series A, closed in April, to get qualified financing. Historically, the company has been funded by many people on the friends and family level, but the Series A was led by Cresco Capital Partners with participation by Murray Field & Company and Quinsam Capital. Now, the company is also in the midst of a Series B, expected to close at approximately $25 million on November 9.
When looking at a capital markets strategy, Berman considered sales, mergers, and going public. The company settled on an RTO because Berman believes it allows more control and offers more value to existing shareholders. Lineage is the company’s public market vehicle, but Berman sees it as more than the typical shell company. It brings cannabis assets, including dispensaries and farm production, to the table.
Berman expects the company to file with the CSE before the end of November, and he is cautiously optimistic that Harborside will begin trading by the end of the year.