PayPal Co-Founder First Multi-Million Dollar Marijuana Investor

In California and nationwide, the world’s most powerful entrepreneurs and innovators are getting behind the marijuana business. According to recent reports, co-founder of Paypal, Peter Theil, is investing millions of dollars in a Seattle-based marijuana venture.

Even though marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law, entrepreneurs have seen their opportunities and the potential for dollar signs grow. Theil’s venture capital firm, known as “The Founders Fund,” has confirmed taking a minority stake in Privateer Holdings.

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The company has invested in a Canadian medical marijuana grow operation as well as an online website responsible for marijuana dispensary reviews. The company has taken hold of all aspects of the marijuana business from growing to marketing and sales. Privateer was seeking for a $75 million funding contribution, though it is unclear how much Theil’s venture capital firm has contributed. Neither company has disclosed the amount of the deal, but analysts project it is in the multi-millions.

Privateer was the first private equity firm to invest in the cannabis industry when it acquired Leafly in 2011. Currently, Leafly is the only American company to operate with a federally licensed commercial marijuana cultivation plant in British Columbia.

Despite the controversy of investing in the marijuana business, growers, dispensary owners and entrepreneurs have seen the potential in legalization. What started with medical marijuana and in the legalization of recreational use in Colorado and Washington could soon be a nationwide billion dollar business.

What used to be an underground industry is not only shifting in the business world, but in public opinion as well. More Americans are turning to marijuana for the treatment of conditions and others are using marijuana as an alternative to alcohol.

According to a partner with the “Founders Fund,” the investment is an extreme version of other investments that the venture capital firm has already made. Though it is slightly more risky due to the complications of federal and state law, partners see the marijuana has a sound investment. The venture capital firm has also invested in companies like Facebook and Airbnb. Those familiar with the venture capital firm say it is known for making radical and transformative investments, sometimes with high risk. Making an investment in a marijuana venture is not only a statement about the potential for business, but also shows the company believes in putting an end to the prohibition of marijuana.

Marijuana business owners, dispensary owners, and other investors in California and nationwide should stay abreast of legal changes at the local, state, and federal level. Our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys are experienced in all aspects of the marijuana business and can help ensure compliance. In addition to protecting the rights of business owners in the medical marijuana industry, we are also experienced in criminal defense in marijuana cases ranging from misdemeanor possession to trafficking. As the legal landscape involving marijuana changes, an experienced advocate can help inform you of your rights and ensure that you are not held criminally liable at the state or federal level.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

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