Marijuana sales are spreading across the nation thanks to the growing legalization of the drug. Now a new financial firm, KindBanking, wants to be the financial backbone for the hemp and cannabis industry. “Think of us as the GE Capital of this under-served, but potential multi-billion dollar industry,” said KindBanking’s founder and CEO David Dinenberg…KindBanking, which launched in April, already has nearly a dozen deals, and is talking to start-ups in the U.S. and around the world, including Amsterdam and Panama. The West Hollywood firm provides equity financing in states that allow pot, plus alternative capital like debt, convertible debt and other venture capital or angel investments. In return, KindBanking becomes a partner and owns a portion of the company. “We’re doing deals for dispensaries, growers, equipment companies, edible products makers, even a weed-based online news network” Dinenberg said. [CNBC]
The magazine, High Times, has survived as an icon of dope culture, and Kennedy, a criminal defense lawyer, has improbably ended up as its controlling owner. Now, with marijuana legal in some form in 22 states, the counterculture institution is aiming to raise $300 million for the High Times Growth Fund, which will make private equity investments in the marijuana business…The Cannabis Cup and the increased interest in legal marijuana have helped the magazine’s Web traffic soar from 300,000 unique readers a month to 5 million, while advertising has doubled, Kennedy says. The magazine is profitable, he adds, while declining to disclose circulation figures. “Hundreds and hundreds” of phone calls and e-mails began pouring in, Kennedy says, from entrepreneurs in need of funds and investors wondering where to put their money, prompting three people on the business side of the magazine to pitch Kennedy on starting a private equity fund. His first reaction: terrible idea. “My fear was the sharks would take us over,” he laughs. “I’d be working for Blankenfein, or whatever the hell his name is, in a matter of weeks.” Kennedy quickly changed his mind and began to see an investment fund as an extension of the magazine’s founding mission. [BusinessWeek]
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HedgeCo.Net today offers the exciting prospect of a very, very specialized alternative investments product in one hell of a headline. Alas, as becomes clear as one reaches the end of this press release-ish piece, a pot hedge fund is simply too stupid an idea to be true. But investing in a weed-laced munchies manufacturer? Some think that is a less stupid idea.
Latteno has been approached by several small cap hedge funds and boutique investment houses about a near term private placement and cash infusion to fund its growth and acquisitions.
And what has these hedge funds and boutique I-banks so excited? Read more »
Yesterday afternoon, Deutsche Bank vice chairman and managing director Brian Mulligan filed a claim with the city of Los Angeles, letting it be known that he plans on suing for $50 million, over an altercation with the LAPD that left Mulligan with “a broken shoulder blade and 15 nasal fractures.” According to the media banker, he was minding his own business one night in May, when a couple of officers approached him, asked him what he was doing in the vicinity of a marijuana dispensary, searched his car (where they found a few thousand dollars), drove him to a motel and told him to wait there. Several hours later, still waiting, Mulligan says he started to become suspicious and decided to leave, at which point the officers returned and “began ruthlessly beating him” so badly he “barely looked human” when they were done. If this had happened to you, you might be a little upset too! The LAPD, however, claims that Mulligan has no reason to be angry with them and, in fact, owes the officers an apology, for his “outburst of erratic behavior.” Read more »
Not sure how many people here know this, but there’s an old saying that when one is running on Ponzi scheme, one needs total focus. It’s a lot of work defrauding investors and while some activities by your staff are tolerable (smoking weed in every corner of the office, as well as the parking garage and the courtyard out back and having sex with prostitutes on the desk), a line must be drawn at those which create unacceptable distractions, like dealing said pot and purveying said prosties. If that doesn’t make any sense or you’re confused at the finely drawn distinction, perhaps convicted Ponzster Scott Rothstein, who was deposed on the matter today, can shed some light. Read more »
He calls himself the Weed Man, and he has become a familiar presence in Times Square, standing near Planet Hollywood and holding aloft a placard that stands out even in this part of the city. “Help!” the sign, in green letters, reads. “I Need Money for Weed!” The man, Joshua Long, has become a favorite of some tourists who pose for pictures with him and stuff dollar bills into his hand. But some police officers in Midtown have taken a dim view of his entrepreneurial spirit and, perhaps, the words that further it; they have arrested him several times while he was displaying his placard. Once, he said, officers told him he was not welcome on Broadway because they objected to his message. When he asked those officers to identify themselves, he said, they replied by arresting him. In July, Mr. Long sued the city and several police officers in Federal District Court in Manhattan, saying that he had been subject to illegal harassment and arrests “while lawfully begging and promoting marijuana tolerance.” On Monday, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin approved a stipulation in which the city agreed that the police would use their “best efforts” not to roust Mr. Long or arrest him without cause. The agreement does not end Mr. Long’s suit, in which he is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and lawyers’ fees. A spokesman for the Police Department did not respond to a request for comment. Mr. Long, 30, a Navy veteran from North Carolina, began displaying his weed sign last year, roving from 14th Street to Central Park, but soon settled upon Times Square as the most fertile ground. He has estimated that he could earn about $200 during a four- or five-hour shift. [NYT via Gawker]
Hedge Fund Investor Relations Chick Arrested For Running Pot Farm Out Of Her House, Claims It Was Actually A Petting ZooBy Bess Levin
As recently as the beginning of last week, Tara Bryson worked in the investor relations department of Connecticut-based hedge fund New Stream Capital. A couple days later, the firm, which is owned by her brother, suspended Bryson pending an investigation into the matter of her being arrested for growing weed in her backyard (the narcotics task force referred to the set up as “a complex marijuana cultivation operation capable of producing a marijuana crop year round”). Bryson was charged with possession of marijuana, cultivation of marijuana and conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, while her live-in boyfriend got seven felonies, including “possession of a silencer for firearms and operating a drug factory.” But, you know, that’s just like the cops’ opinion. Hearl clearly being the brains of this operation says he and the GF are innocent and that the charges are “bogus.” And he can prove it with a couple of exceptional excuses. Read more »