“Smaller operations were having some challenges,” Kennedy said. “We saw an opportunity to create larger facilities to lease (to companies that comply with I-502) so a variety of businesses could produce under one roof.”
"It's a $40 to 50 billion industry in the U.S. alone," says Groh. "Internationally, it's north of $200 billion. The economics are already there. The problem is, there's a black market, a gray market and a medical market, and it's a matter of trying to get those dollars to a legitimized industry."
"What we look for are holes in the marketplace, where no one is thinking about the opportunity," said Kennedy, who through Privateer raised $7 million from investors last year and expects to raise at least another $50 million by April.
Tilray is a company established by Lafitte Ventures, itself a Canadian subsidiary of U.S. equity firm Privateer Holdings. That group was established in 2010 to make strategic investments in a burgeoning market for legal pot.
Brendan Kennedy, a co-founder of Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private-equity firm focusing on cannabis companies, also says the pitches he's seeing from prospective investment targets are "much more professional than those we saw three years ago."
“Some check-the-box items that should take a couple of hours take a month,” says Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm that focuses on legal pot. “For this experiment to succeed, you have to undercut the black market. And you have to remove the inefficiencies and let capitalism work its magic. That means producing at scale,” says Kennedy.
“This is a huge industry and a huge opportunity,” says Brendan Kennedy, a 2005 Yale School of Management grad and co-founder of Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private equity firm focused on the cannabis industry. “And there’s no investment banks, no public companies, no Wall Street firms in it.”
Brendan Kennedy, CEO at Privateer Holdings, discusses private equity investments in legalized marijuana and challenges faced from banks and the U.S. government on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”
“When we decided to come into this industry, a lot of people thought we were crazy,” says Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings, the nation’s first private equity firm to focus on the legal marijuana market.
[Patrick] Moen, 36, quit his post in Portland late last year and is now working for Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm specializing in acquiring businesses in the burgeoning marijuana industry.
“In all the Privateer companies’ marketing materials there are no depictions of cannabis leaves, no joints and ‘definitely no Grateful Dead’, [Kennedy] says. ‘We believe that by investing in smart, professional brands we can hasten change.’”
As managing director of compliance and senior counsel for Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, Moen has added his name to a small but growing list of individuals with unlikely backgrounds who have joined or thrown their support behind state-sanctioned marijuana enterprises.