Bryan Gerber used cannabis in college, but unlike the stereotype, his drive to succeed didn’t go up in smoke. Instead, a frustration with ordering rolling papers on line gave him the idea to start a business shipping boxes of smoking accessories to subscribers.

Hemper

Hemper Subscription Box

Gerber and two college friends found a combination of products they liked, made them easy to order and marketed them outside of the typical selling channels. Within a year the team had sold more than a million dollars’ worth of the accessory boxes.  Their company, Hemper, based in Hauppauge New York now has 8,000 subscribers for its monthly boxes and has shipped more than 150,000 boxes to date. Gerber is chief executive, co-founder Ravjot Bhasin is the chief financial officer and co-founder Henry Kochhar is chief operating officer.

The three young entrepreneurs just recently received a $1 million investment from a New York-based independent venture investor, Evolution Corporate Advisors.

They’ve also got competition. Daily High Club, also founded by a young entrepreneur, Harrison Baum at age 24, says it also has thousands of subscribers. That company was started “with a single Reddit post and a $700 investment in bongs,” according to Daily High Club spokesperson Reena Bhansali. Other subscription boxes on the market include Goody Box, Stashbox and Cannabox.

Like many who enter the world of cannabis, Gerber has found the on-the-ground realities of operating in the industry challenging.  “Payment processing has been an unexpected thorn in our side,” he said. His company has been dropped by multiple banks and five payment processors over the last three years he said, because they are considered high risk, despite the fact they do not sell cannabis and there is nothing illegal about selling cannabis accessories. “We operated under the payment processing radar for the first few

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