Fraudsters Target Pot Stocks

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Wall Street cops are scrambling to weed out fraudsters preying on the fledgling world of corporate marijuana as voters legalize the drug in more states and cities.

Publicly traded cannabis businesses are a new vehicle for stock scammers promising big returns. And the number of cases could grow as more regions loosen their marijuana restrictions.

Following Election Day ballot-initiative victories, Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia are poised to unlock new opportunities for marijuana companies. They join Colorado and Washington, which have already legalized the drug. In addition, 2016 ballot measures are likely in five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a lobbying group. State lawmakers in Rhode Island and Vermont are also considering legalizing cannabis.

Companies selling marijuana products and spinoff businesses associated with its distribution have tapped the public stock markets. They provide an easy target for fraudsters looking to convince gullible investors there is gold in weed.





The First Pot Stock Billionaire Says His Penny Stock Could Be A Little High

NEVADA:  You have probably never heard of Bart Mackay, a 57-year-old Las Vegas lawyer who works on various ventures like Dot Vegas, which operates the .Vegas top-level domain. But on paper, Mackay is the first pot stock billionaire.

Mackay’s holdings in CannaVest, which bills itself as the world’s leading hemp-based investment company, are valued at $1.8 billion. That figure might seem like a drug-induced hallucination, but it’s technically true. CannaVest is the top-performing stock in America in 2014 with a market capitalization greater than $1 billion. [Read more…]