Seattle Marijuana Investment Firm Privateer Closes $75M Round To Build Global Cannabis Brands

WASHINGTON:  Privateer Holdings is well on its way to becoming one of the country’s top marijuana investment firms.

The Seattle-based holding company today announced the closure of a $75 million Series B round, money that Privateer will use to grow its three marijuana-related startups and expand the firm’s portfolio further.

“This positions us to build a family of global brands over the coming years,” Privateer CEO Brendan Kennedy said of the fresh cash.

Privateer has come a long way since launching back in 2010, when both the medical and recreational marijuana industries looked far different than now. It started with Leafly, an app for cannabis strains coined as the “Yelp for marijuana,” and later added two other companies: Tilray, a medical marijuana producer in Canada, and Marley Natural, an international brand that sells marijuana-related products.

 

Why Canada’s Better At The Pot Business Than US Is

CANADA:  There’s a place where you can buy medical marijuana without any worries, a place where the people growing marijuana wear laboratory-style “clean suits,” where scientists do extensive research into potential treatments using cannabis, and where marijuana business owners can put their cash into a bank account instead of a vault.

It’s Canada.

“We don’t have a roadblock in regards to banking; we don’t have a roadblock in terms of conflict between state and federal law,” said Brendan Kennedy, president of Tilray, which runs a 60,000-square-foot, indoor marijuana facility in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Tilray produces and sells medical marijuana to 4,000 patients through a facility that can produce 4,000 kilograms of pot a year. It opened last year after the Canadian government decided to farm out medical marijuana production to privately run facilities. “We’re one of 15 companies licensed to produce cannabis for patients,” Kennedy said.

 

Nanaimo’s Marijuana Trade Diversifies Echronomy

CANADA:  For better or worse, Canada has all its eggs in one oily basket. These days, that’s not going so well. Forecasts suggest that oil jobs are drying up faster than your girlfriend when you fart. Folks, it’s ugly out there. Thankfully, someone somewhere has a plan to make it better. Tilray, a medical marijuana company, is ready to create nearly 300 jobs in Nanaimo, BC.

Tilray already employs 100 people on Vancouver Island, and is looking for workers to grow plants in its new facility. It is also recruiting people to work in various positions, ranging from security to customer service, and even janitorial work. That sounds professional, especially for a stoner company.

At a time when big businesses are closing doors, relatively small businesses like Tilray are opening doors and minds. Perhaps that’s why many believe that the marijuana business could be Canada’s ticket to a more diverse economy that could survive an oil shock. Marijuana is a job creator in the medical field, and will generate far more jobs if legalized for recreational purposes. Canadians can grow it in facilities across the country, and can produce strong, local economies based on a valuable, renewable resource.

Nanaimo-Based Cannabis Producer Partners With UBC On Marijuana Study

CANADA:  Nanaimo based medical cannabis producer Tilray has partnered with the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Canada’s first clinical trial to test marijuana’s effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

The study, still waiting for approval from Health Canada, will be one of the world’s first large-scale clinical trials to evaluate cannabis for treating a mental health disorder.

Existing studies of marijuana’s affect on PTSD have produced anecdotal and observational data, but no information is available from science-based clinical trials. Scientifically generated results could provide physicians with data to make decisions about prescribing cannabis for PTSD patients.

Philippe Lucas, vice-president for patient research and services at Tilray, said a similar study in the U.S. is waiting final approval and funding, but results from both research programs should compliment one anther.