A couple of guys with serious investment banking experience are moving into the marijuana business. They’ve launched the first multimillion-dollar private equity fund devoted entirely to what they like to call the “cannabis space.”
It started when Brendan Kennedy was working at the Silicon Valley Bank and learned of an entrepreneur who wanted to sell software for marijuana dispensaries. The idea piqued Kennedy’s interest. A few days later, a radio show about legalizing pot piqued it even more.
There’s an opportunity here, he thought, and picked up the phone and called his Yale business school buddy, Michael Blue. He told Blue he thought his friend needed to quit his job and come start a company in the cannabis industry.
“That’s not a call you really ever expect to get,” Blue says.
But then Blue and Kennedy had been bouncing ideas off each other for years. “We had always known since business school that we wanted to do something together. And Brendan said, ‘Listen, we’ve talked about a lot of ideas, but I think it’s the biggest opportunity we’re ever going to see in our lifetimes,’ ” Blue says.