Most of us aspire to a lucrative career in finance or law. These execs had one – and followed the money to cannabis instead…
During his five-year tenure as CEO, Joseph Lusardi helped build Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (OTC: CURLF) into the most dominant cannabis company in the United States.
You likely already knew that.
But what you might not have realized is that he left a 20-year career in private equity to do it.
Curaleaf is now on track to pull in over $1 billion in revenue in 2021.
Cresco Labs Inc. (OTC: CRLBF), another soon-to-be billion-dollar company, was founded by a former attorney named Charles Bachtell.
Bachtell gave up a successful career as Executive Vice President and General Counsel to follow what he saw as an even bigger opportunity.
Then there’s Kim Rivers, who leveraged the decades of legal experience she gained in debt restructuring and real estate acquisitions to win Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (OTC: TCNNF) the first cannabis license awarded in the state of Florida.
She used her legal know-how to ensure that Trulieve can claim more dispensaries in the Sunshine State than any other competitor.
From the start, no other cannabis company has delivered profits like Trulieve.
The same common thread holds true for the other leading multistate operators (MSOs).
Jushi Holdings Inc. (OTC: JUSHF), Ayr Wellness Inc. (OTC: AYRWF), and Harvest Health and Recreation (OTC: HRVSF) – recently acquired by Trulieve – all got their start backed by the tenacious ambition of former bankers and lawyers.
And the reason they jumped into cannabis is the same reason you should be investing in the best cannabis stocks right now.
Well-Placed Confidence and a Clear Path to Profits
When Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize adult-use sales in 2012, the U.S. cannabis industry had just started gaining real traction.
Back then, only 48% of Americans supported cannabis legalization, and that was less than a decade ago.
But these pioneering entrepreneurs were way ahead of the game. And by 2014, they recognized that the legal cannabis market in the U.S. had become a clear path to profits.
They saw the potential that legalization would spread across every state in the country, and that cannabis sales in the U.S. would ultimately grow to a market worth over $100 billion in sales annually.
Fast forward to today, and their confidence was clearly well placed.
During those nine years, support for cannabis legalization has surged more than 20 points to an all-time high of 69%.
Legal cannabis sales are now expected to cross the $28 billion mark in 2021.
Recreational use is fully legal in 18 states, plus the District of Columbia. Just this week, Connecticut joined in during a record-breaking year for recreational cannabis legalization.
Only 12 states remain that have yet to legalize cannabis in one form or another.
And this group of bankers and lawyers knew that when it came to capitalizing on all that opportunity, they had an edge.
Winning a retail license in a state and opening a dispensary is one thing. It takes managerial skills and a sense of customer service.
But navigating state regulations to win licenses in multiple states, convincing investors to fork over hundreds of millions of dollars to grow your business, scaling operations across the country, and knowing how much to pay to acquire another business…
Well, that takes an entirely different skillset – one that the founders of Curaleaf, Cresco Labs, Trulieve, and all the rest knew they possessed.
And their skills would ultimately make the cannabis legalization boom pay off big time.
But to this group of bankers and lawyers, the opportunity to take that edge and build phenomenal levels of wealth would be even sweeter the longer Congress took to act.
The Gap That Created a Uniquely Profitable Opportunity
The gap that exists between state-by-state legalization and federal prohibition meant that those who knew how to execute their plans could build dominant cannabis companies spanning the entire country for far less money than it would take if cannabis was descheduled.
The disconnect between state and federal law allowed them to acquire dispensaries and growers at bargain prices which, in turn, made that skillset of raising capital, winning licenses, and scaling business even more valuable.
It’s simple. When you pay less and succeed, the payoff is higher.
And it’s the dual payoff of generating massive revenue growth and taking advantage of the legal gap that drove the founders of Jushi, Trulieve, Curaleaf, and many other top MSOs to ditch lucrative careers in banking and law to stake their claim in cannabis.
It’s clear now that the legal and banking experience these founders brought to the table allowed their companies to soar to the top. Those skills create far more value than experience growing cannabis or knowing every strain under the sun.
But the gap between state and federal law is still open – which means their upside can be your upside, too…provided you own the right names at the right price.
That’s where NICI Membership comes in.
We find the strongest teams building the best companies in cannabis with the most promising growth ahead of them. We tell you which names to buy and when so you can pocket the biggest potential returns.
So, don’t wait for federal legalization. Follow the money and take advantage of all the upside cannabis has to offer by joining NICI Membership today.
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
11 responses to “Follow the Money: Why Bankers and Lawyers Are Ditching Their High-Paying Careers and Flocking to Cannabis”
June 24 2021