Hemp vs. Marijuana & The 2018 Farm Bill

One of the most important and frequently misunderstood distinctions in the cannabis industry is that of hemp vs. marijuana.  Semantically, hemp refers to cannabis bred for a variety of commercial items & industrial uses, including paper, clothing, biodegradable plastics and biofuel. Marijuana, on the other hand, is a slang term describing cannabis strains bred for the potent, resinous glands that grow on the flowers and leaves.

Where is Silicon Valley?

With the flood of recent news surrounding traditional companies entering the cannabis industry, such as Constellations Brands’ investment in cannabis cultivator Canopy Growth, Coke’s interest in producing CBD-infused drinks (or not), or Altria’s pursuit of cannabis cultivator Cronos Group, one surprising lack of news has come from Silicon Valley.

Why We Are “Bearish” on Dispensaries

One of the most common questions we get from potential investors is about our bearish attitude towards investing in cannabis retail operations. Our response is that while many entrepreneurs and investors have successfully created shareholder value by opening dispensaries, the majority of that value can be attributed to the scarce number of licenses issued by local governments.

Fundraising at the Top of a Market Cycle

In venture capital, fundraising and deploying capital is difficult in any environment, and one of the most important (and uncontrollable) drivers of fund returns is market timing. This raises the question, is the tenth year of a bull market really the right time to be raising a cannabis-focused VC fund? Our view is that from a relative value perspective, in the event of a market correction in the next few years, cannabis VC offers one of the most attractive sectors for risk-adjusted return.