Even Just on the Medical Side, There’s Big Business in Pot

Dec 22

There’s a big business to be built even just on the medical side of legal marijuana says legendary technology investor Geoff Lewis. Lewis was an early investor in Tilray which recently had a hugely successful IPO of which he was pleasantly surprised.

Lewis thinks the worldwide trend is toward recreational legalization of marijuana and that bodes well for Tilray. “I think quite honestly the US is behind other countries on that score,” says Lewis. “So TBD here, but around the world, the trend is very much toward recreational legalization.”

Geoff Lewis, the founder of Bedrock Capital and an early tech investor in many companies including Tilray, the global leader in legal marijuana, Lewis recently discussed the recent Tilray IPO and the future of legal pot around the world on CNBC:

I Didn’t Think the Tilray Founders Actually Used the Product

One of the reasons I invested in Tilray, via Privateer Holdings, the creators of Tilray back in 2014, was that I didn’t think the founders actually used the product. I spent a lot of time trying to diligence whether I thought the team was actually using it and they weren’t.

The reason I cared is not that I have anything societally against it, but it was illegal at the time. The company was based at the time in Washington State where it was not legal.

At this point, I do think the trend has really dramatically shifted from back when we invested in Tilray in 2014 and it’s now obviously a publicly traded company. It’s a big win and we’re really lucky to have been able to back those founders early on. But there were only a few countries in the world where there was a medically legal framework and now there are over 30 countries.

There’s Big Business to be Built on Just the Medical Side

We didn’t know the IPO was going to be as successful as it was, that was a pleasant surprise. I would say that we did believe that regulation ultimately follows what society wants. We felt back in 2014 when we made the investment that most people in most countries believe it should at least be medically legal and the regulations were very expected.

There’s big business to be built just on the medical side. I do strongly believe the trend is toward recreational legalization. This is certainly true in many of the Western European countries and South America. I think quite honestly the US is behind other countries on that score. So TBD here, but around the world, the trend is very much toward recreational legalization.

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