Business

Starbucks' Howard Schultz Invests in Native Metro Detroiters' Cannabis Software Firm


August 18, 2020, 6:19 AM by  Allan Lengel


Ross (left) and Zach Lipson (Photo: Dutchie)

Brothers Ross and Zach Lipson, West Bloomfield natives now living in Oregon, have attracted prominent investors for their business, Dutchie, an e-commerce software and website provider for cannabis dispensaries.

The three-year-old Bend, Ore., company initially raised $18 million from investors that include Snoop Dogg's Casa Verde Capital, Thirty Five Ventures (founded by NBA star Kevin Durant and sports agent Rich Kleiman), Sinai Ventures and Shutterstock founder and CEO Jon Oringer. 

On Tuesday, the brothers announced they'd raised an additional $35 million from investors who include ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Thrive, a venture capital fund that has invested in companies like Instragram and Stripe.  

The company, which has about 100 employees in 20 states, takes its name from a 1982 song, "Pass the Dutchie,” by Musical Youth.

It provides software and e-commerce sites for legal weed pickups or deliveries. The program processes orders, updates inventory, tracks taxes and generates compliance records. Stores pay a monthly subscription fee to Dutchie, which creates and maintains the websites.

Featured_dutchie_logo_44445

In Metro Detroit, users include New Standard  in Hazel Park, Greentown in Detroit and Lume Cannabis Co. in Walled Lake.

"We have a unique opportunity to define the industry," Ross Lipson, tells Deadline Detroit. "It's still in its infancy." 

Dutchie boasts of processing 10 percent of all legal cannabis sales worldwide, and powers 25 percent of all legal dispensaries across 30 markets and 301 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Its software processes about 75,000 orders a day.


Ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

"We have spent three years building the largest online ordering service in cannabis and now is the time to take Dutchie to the next level," Ross Lipson, 33, says in a statement. 

He and older brother Zach, 35, grew up in West Bloomfield and attended Michigan State University. Ross dropped out his first year and co-founded and later sold one of Canada’s first online food ordering service startups. His brother graduated in 2007 with a marketing degree. 

Their parents live in northern Oakland County.



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