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In May of 2019, after serving 15 terms in Congress and sponsoring numerous marijuana industry-supported pieces of legislation, California representative Dana Rohrabacher became the majority shareholder and member of the advisory board for BudTrader, the so-called “Craigslist of Weed.”
Following his exit from Congress in 2019, Carlos Curbelo joined the Cannabis Trade Federation as a “strategic advisor.” The Cannabis Trade Federation has worked with members of Congress to lobby in support fo the STATES Act, a bill Curbelo co-sponsored.
Upon exiting Congress in 2018, Joe Crowley joined former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle as a member of the board of Advisors for New York-based marijuana investment firm Northern Swan Holdings Inc. Additionally, Mr. Crowley joined lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs in February of 2019 as a Senior Policy Advisor. Squire Patton Boggs notably represents the National Cannabis Roundtable, a marijuana industry coalition dedicated to instituting federal legalization.
Tom Daschle, former Senate Majority and Minority Leader for the United States Senate joined the board of advisors for New York-based marijuana investment firm Northern Swan Holdings Inc in May of 2019. Additionally, Daschle’s lobbying firm, Baker Donelson, touts its involvement in representing marijuana industry clients.
Former alcohol executive, Lee Applbaum of Bacardi, recently joined as an executive at Surterra Wellness.
Former alcohol executive, Ed Brown of Patron Spirits International, recently joined as an executive at Surterra Wellness.
Former United States Representative and Speaker of the House, John Boehner, now sits on the Board of Directors at Acreage Holdings, a marijuana investment firm. The former Speaker once described himself as “unalterably opposed to the legalization of marijuana,” and was “concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs, including alcohol.” His greatest fears seemed to be assuaged by his new position. In the event that the United States legalizes marijuana, Mr. Boehner stands to gain $20 million over-night.
Former Purdue Pharmaceuticals CEO, John Stewart, recently decided to take up marijuana. He founded Emblem, a Canadian medical marijuana company, shortly after leaving Purdue.
PAX Labs, founded by Adam Bowen and James Monsees, spun off Juul Labs from their vaporizer brand. The spun-off Juul boasted a product with the capacity of 200 puffs a day, equivalent to a pack of cigarettes, and pioneered a patent in nicotine salts. The ensuing teen vaping addiction epidemic has been owed to Juul’s innovative technology and aggressive youth marketing.
Altria Group, maker of Marlboro, invested $1.8B in Cronos for a 45% stake in the Canadian-based marijuana company.
Imperial Brands invested in an undisclosed stake in UK-based marijuana company, Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies.
Imperial Brands invested around $94.5M into Canadian marijuana company, Auxly, for a 20% stake in the company. The deal will allow the two companies to develop, produce, and sell vapor products and brands.
Canadian tobacco maker, Alliance One International, purchased a 40% stake in Critically, a North Carolina based CBD-hemp company for an estimated $10M. Alliance One is entitled to extend the investment to 50% in March of 2020.
Alliance One International subsidiary, FIGR Cannabis, acquired a 75% stake in Canada’s Island Garden, a Canadian medical marijuana company licensed in Prince Edward Island.
Alliance One International subsidiary, FIGR Cannabis, acquired an 80% stake in GoldLeaf Pharm Inc., licensed in the province of Ontario. The dollar amount is undisclosed.
Philip Morris International, one of the largest tobacco companies in the globe, invested $20M into Syqe Medical, an Israeli marijuana company that has created a marijuana inhaler.
Sandoz AG, a subsidiary of Novartis, agreed to a partnership with Tilray to co-brand and distribute non-smokable and non-combustible marijuana products. Financials were not disclosed.
Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to a partnership with Australian marijuana company, CannaDoc. Through the deal, Teva Pharmaceuticals will distribute CannaDoc’s medical marijuana through pharmacies in Israel.
Teva Pharmaceuticals agreed to a marketing partnership with Syqe Medical, making the pharmaceutical company the sole distributor of Syqe’s proprietary marijuana inhaler. The value of the partnership was not disclosed.
Molson Coors elected to partner with HEXO (Hydropothecary Corporation) to develop marijuana-infused beverages. Molson Coors is entitled to purchase shares of HEXO through the deal.
Heineken subsidiary, Lagunitas, partnered with CannaCraft brand Absolute Xtracts to create a non-alcoholic marijuana infused beer. The initial hope was to create a hop-derived terpene for Absolute Xtract’s vape cartridges, which turned into a beer with marijuana terpenes. The idea was rejected by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
Constellation Brands upped an initial investment in Canopy Growth from a 9.9% stake to a 38% stake valued at an additional $4B; the beer maker will be eligible to purchase 139.7 million more shares for $5B.
Anheuser-Busch invests $50M; partners with Tilray through subsidiary brand Labatt to create a marijuana infused drink.
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SAM President & CEO
Described by NBC as the “prodigy” of drug politics and policy, Kevin A. Sabet, PhD, is an author, consultant, former advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, assistant professor, and serves as the President and CEO of SAM, which he founded with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy in 2013. He has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for almost 20 years. He has worked in the Clinton (2000), Bush (2002-2003) Administrations, and in 2011 he stepped down after serving more than two years as the senior advisor to President Obama’s drug control director, having been the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration. He has appeared since at the Aspen Ideas and New Yorker festivals, on the Organization of American States blue ribbon commission advising hemispheric drug policy, and in hundreds of forums and discussions promoting the ideas outlined in his first book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, published by Beaufort. He has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and in virtually every major media publication and news channel on the subject of drug policy.