West Hollywood-Based LEUNE Aims to Be the Socially Conscious Cannabis Company

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Assorted LEUNE cannabis products including joints, flower, PAX pods, and oils.

NBA players, talent agents and Snoop Dogg's venture firm are among the investors behind LEUNE, a California cannabis brand eying new U.S. markets.

The company closed a $5 million round on Thursday from big name athletes like Carmelo Anthony, John Wall, Lebron James' agent Rich Paul and Anthony Saleh, who manages artists like Nas and Future.


Plus, it's backed by Snoop Dogg's Casa Verde Capital, a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm focused on seed investments for cannabis startups.

"I've been seeking to make an investment in the cannabis space for quite some time, but never found a brand that resonated with me until I came across Nidhi and her products," investor and celebrity La La Anthony said in a statement announcing the raise.

The company could not be immediately reached for comment.

The two-year-old startup sells cannabis products in over 130 California dispensaries and 19 delivery platforms. In a press release, founder and CEO Nidhi Lucky Handa said the funds will be used to contribute to hiring, growing LEUNE's product line and "unlocking more geographies." It's unclear where the company plans to launch next.

After becoming the first state to legalize medical cannabis use, California authorized recreational cannabis use in 2016. Last month, New York became the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana, entering into what is becoming a crowded market.

Handa will also keep up her brand's commitment to social justice by working with The Last Prisoner Project, Eaze Momentum and the Floret Coalition — partnerships that include donations, mentorship opportunities and "awareness-building collaborations to amplify marginalized voices," LEUNE said in the statement.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

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Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

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Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

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