NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
"Support for legal cannabis was one of the few mandates voters in both red and blue states delivered" Nov. 8, said Brendan Kennedy, CEO of the marijuana-focused private equity firm Privateer Holdings.
More than 32m Americans already use cannabis. As the business becomes more normalised, it is sure to attract new customers. “It’s not often that you see an industry and you know the inevitability of it,” says Brendan Kennedy of Privateer Holdings, a private-equity firm that specialises in cannabis.
Clearly good beauty runs in the family, as all of the treatments (as well as the in-room amenities) come from Marley Natural, a hemp-seed-oil-based apothecary line started up in partnership with the Marley family that features botanicals and essential oils native to Jamaica. A portion of the proceeds from the range also goes toward Rise Up, a nonprofit that supports Jamaican culture and sustainability, among other community-oriented initiatives.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private-equity firm that has several cannabis companies, said he sees opportunities for Canadian firms to license their brand to local American producers. He added that Tilray, a Nanaimo, B.C.-based medical grower owned by Privateer, will continue to pursue export and partnership opportunities in Australia and European countries, where medical marijuana is closer to becoming legalized nationally.
As legalization takes hold south of the border, Canadian companies have a massive opportunity to export their knowledge — if not their product — to the U.S., said Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings, which holds a portfolio of marijuana-related companies including Vancouver Island-based Tilray.
THE TORONTO STAR
Canada’s marijuana industry could benefit after at least six states representing twice the population of Canada voted in favour of legalizing the drug, either recreationally or medically. “I think you’ll see Canadian companies jump at the opportunity to expand their operations and brands into the United States,” says Brendan Kennedy, whose firm owns Nanaimo, B.C.-based licensed producer Tilray.
“We never imagined the velocity with which this industry and the political landscape would change,” said Privateer CEO Kennedy, whose firm markets the Marley Natural brand of cannabis products in California, Oregon and soon in Washington. Privateer also owns Leafly, a marijuana information and news service.
Individual angel investors and family funds are already cutting million-dollar checks to firms like Privateer Holdings, a private equity outfit that specializes in the space. CEO Brendan Kennedy says that California is one of “three big milestones” he has been anticipating, along with Canada looking to legalize recreational marijuana next year and Germany planning to legalize medical.
“People can already grow cannabis and people are already willing to buy it,” says Kennedy. “All we’re seeing is a transition from $200 billion worth of illicit purchases to $200 billion worth of fully legal purchases. And there are a number of public companies that will be created in the middle of that transition."