By Tiby Erdely, founding partner of KEY Investment Partners
There is an uninformed myth that claims the earliest investors in the regulated cannabis industry were all unsophisticated cowboys, or earthy folks that believed cannabis was good for society as well as an untapped source of medical innovations. While this is at least a partially accurate portrayal of some early cannabis investors, most of the industry’s first financial backers were sophisticated capitalists who seized an opportunity to help create a new industry with the potential of producing huge profits.
However, what is universally true of these early investors was that they all shared an appetite for, and acceptance of, the risks involved in building businesses based on a plant that at the time was still very much illegal federally and in most U.S. states. With the growing acceptance that cannabis enjoys today, it can be difficult to recall just how risky those earliest investments could feel. But the risks in those early days were many and varied…
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