By Trevor Nichols
A Vernon company is hoping to raise millions of dollars through new crowdfunding regulations recently approved in the United States.
True Leaf Medicine International, the Vernon company that makes hemp-based treats for pets, has just filed an offering statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for $3 million in Regulation A+ securities.
According to True Leaf founder and CEO Darcy Bomford, that makes his company the first publically-traded one in North America to file under the new regulations.
You’ve probably heard of crowdfunding – it’s the process where bands or businesses or a host of other people and organizations try to raise some cash, a few bucks at a time, through websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Regulation A+ is like crowdfunding on steroids. It allows larger companies to crowdfund by offering up equity to essentially anyone who wants it.
As Bomford points out, that’s a big deal. Normally, only accredited investors can purchase equity in a company, meaning it’s primarily a privilege for the wealthy.
Regulation A+ removes that barrier, allowing anyone and everyone to get a piece of the pie.
“So if you have a dog and you’re making 100 grand a year, you can invest and buy shares in our company,” Bomford says.
True Leaf is already publicly traded, but Bomford thinks opening up his company to the even larger larger public could spur massive growth, and says he has visions of thousands of shareholders coming on board and taking them to the next level.
“Our whole goal as a public company is to have a huge shareholder base with shareholders that are aligned with the values of our company,” Bomford says.
“We don’t want people to buy the shares just to flip them tomorrow. We want to have thousands of shareholders that love what we’re doing – they’re buying the shares and they want to stick with it. They’ll watch the company grow and share our dream, basically.”
Although Canadian companies can apply under the regulations, right now only American investors can buy equity. Bomford says True Leaf has applied for a special exemption that would allow Canadian investors to get in on the action.
He says the $3 million (or more) the company hopes to raise will go primarily towards helping expand the reach of their pet products, with some also being funneled into cannabis research.
True Leaf will find out if its offering has been approved in the next two to three months.