Marijuana

Medical marijuana cigarettes in a 2014 file image. 

For the first time, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has cleared a American cannabis grower to issue a public stock offering.

Santa Cruz-based Goldenseed is selling shares starting at $100.

Americans previously could buy stock in Canadian growers, such as Tilray and Aphria, as well as American marijuana retailers like MedMen. This marks the first time that the American public can buy stock in an American cannabis grower.

"It's a very groundbreaking thing," said Kendall Almerico, the attorney who handled the SEC review process on behalf of the Goldenseed. "This is real stock in the company, you actually own equity in the company."

Goldenseed opened in 2017, and bills itself as "a California lifestyle cannabis and hemp brand and cultivator." According to its SEC filing, the company has $3.2 million in total assets.

The company will use revenue raised by the stock offering to expand its facilities _ the company has up to 440,000 square feet of greenhouse space _ as well as debt reduction and marketing.

The Regulation A stock sale is made possible by a 2012 law that allows small companies to sell stock online through equity crowdfunding, according to a statement from the company.

"It opens it up to many more people," owner Scott Goldie said. "It's really kind of a revolutionary process."

"This is the kind of investment people used to only be allowed to do if you were rich and well-connected, Almerico said.

Almerico said that going through the SEC process was exhaustive, but that the process was aided by the professionalism of Goldie and his company.

"This isn't a bunch of hippies growing pot in their backyard," Almerico said.