E Interview With Doug Leighton From Dutchess Capital

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Interview by Vin Maru from Invest In MJ with Doug Leighton from Dutchess Capital. Douglas is co-founder and a principal partner of Dutchess Capital. He has over two decades of experience in equity trading, investment banking and asset management. While the firm is industry agnostic regarding its selection of investments, Douglas has led Dutchess’ initiative into the legal cannabis sector and is also a member of the firm’s Investment Committee.

IMJ: Tell us a little about yourself and why you became interested in the cannabis industry.

DL: I have been investing for over 25 years. I initially became interested in the cannabis space when Massachusetts passed their medical cannabis law. My initial reaction was this was going to be a massive industry once people started to realize the true benefits of the plant. The black market for cannabis is a $50 billion business each year, while the legal market is $2.5 billion. The demand exists for this product, it just needs to be serviced legally. That is going to happen over the next several years.

IMJ: As an investor in the legalized cannabis sector, can you provide us a brief background on your company and what products or services it offers?

DL: We are a hedge fund that acts as a private equity fund for the cannabis space. For 20 years, we have invested over $2 billion dollars in transactional value in over 400 companies around the globe. We have taken our knowledge and investment experience from the past two decades and are now applying it to the cannabis industry to help small cannabis companies scale. We not only bring capital to the table, but also a wealth of knowledge about how to build businesses. Additionally, we are also helping connect people in the cannabis space and bringing in people outside the industry with strong backgrounds in other business.

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InvestInMJ 5 years ago Author's comment

Yes, this is problem while the industry is still illegal at the federal level. However we are optimistic that it this will be addressed over the coming years as more states start to legalize it. The federal gov't can't ignore the movement to legalize this industry much longer, they are losing the war on drugs and will eventually have to cave in and legalize the medical marijuana market and eventually the recreational market.

Clark Winslow 5 years ago Member's comment

I find it ridiculous that financial institutions are not allowed to do business with these companies in the states where marijuana is legal. The idiocy of this puts people at risk.

InvestInMJ 5 years ago Author's comment

Anyone involved in the cannabis industry has always been at risk, whether it be the legal medical market or the illegal grey market. This is mostly as a result of the failed “War on Drugs” policy by the US federal government and the anti-marijuana crowd’s lack of information and honest truth about cannabis as a medicine. Misinformation and $20 billion/year spent on drug policy control have been the means to suppress marijuana as a viable industry, however they are losing on the propaganda front and progress towards legalization is being made. The industry is being accepted by the majority of people and the move towards legalization is happening a worldwide, it really is just a matter of time until the Fed gov’t caves in. As the move towards legalization progresses, the industry risks decrease and the value of established business should increase.

Wannabe Warren 5 years ago Member's comment

"The banking issue is also problematic. There are several dispensary owners that are bringing thousands of dollars to the bank in cash; there is a major safety issue there, which needs to be addressed."

Yes, this is a major issue. As long as the industry isn't allowed to use credit cards, it makes those who deal in the trade targets for criminal activity.