- Inside Tilray’s 60,000 square foot medical marijuana growing facility in Canada. HA Photography.com
Brendan Kennedy wants to build the Coca-Cola of cannabis. The PepsiCo of pot. The Procter & Gamble of ganja.
Ok, we’ll stop now.
As CEO and co-founder of Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm focused on legal cannabis, Kennedy is trying to build a family of globally recognized and trusted brands in what has historically been an artisanal, underground, and, need we mention, illegal industry. Now, he has attracted funding from one of Silicon Valley’s most respected venture capital firms to help him to do just that.
Today, Founders Fund—the Peter Thiel-backed venture capital firm behind Facebook, SpaceX, Airbnb, and more—announced a multimillion dollar investment in Privateer, marking the first time Founders Fund, and indeed any top tier VC firm, has invested in a so-called “cannabusiness.” It’s part of a larger $75 million round that Privateer will soon close, which Business Insider reported would value Privateer at $425 million. Privateer declined to comment on that number.
The money will help grow the three businesses currently operating under the Privateer umbrella: Tilray, an online medical marijuana distributor based in Canada; Leafly, a Yelp-like site for marijuana strain and dispensary reviews; and the newest addition to the Privateer family, Marley Natural, a New York City startup founded in partnership with Bob Marley’s family. Later this year, Marley Natural will begin selling a range of cannabis-related products, from lotions to vaporizers to a strain of Jamaican cannabis.
‘We do believe the end of prohibition is inevitable, and we believe this company is well-positioned to be a major player.’