When thinking about Wall Street’s marijuana madness, margin of safety doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. “I believe there’s a great opportunity for our insolvency lawyers in this industry,” said Patricia Olasker, a partner at Toronto-based Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. “There are going to be lots and lots of failures.” Jacquie McNish and Vipal Monga report at The Wall Street Journal:
Shannon Soqui just quit his Wall Street job to go after what he thinks is a bigger business: selling marijuana the way Mary Kay Inc. sells cosmetics.
The 51-year-old banker wants to focus on Qind, his San Francisco startup that organizes home parties to sell cannabis products, to get a piece of what he says could sprout into a $100 billion annual business in the U.S.
“It’s like the internet in 1997 or 1998,” said Mr. Soqui. “Investment opportunities to create new businesses have never been more compelling.”
Entrepreneurs and investors are rushing headlong into the nascent legal marijuana industry, fueling a stock craze reminiscent of the late 1990s dot-com bubble and the recent bitcoin mania. Big companies, wealthy families and amateurs alike are taking stakes in speculative companies, many of which have scant revenue or history.
Tilray Inc., TLRY -30.25% which grows marijuana in Canada and is one of just a few pot companies listed in the U.S., had its stock halted multiple times on Wednesday, after announcing it had received permission to export a small amount of cannabis to California for a medical study. Because it is difficult to gain approval to bring cannabis from abroad into the U.S., where it hasn’t been legalized under federal law, Tilray’s announcement suggested it had gained an advantage over other suppliers.
The company’s share price more than doubled between Monday and Wednesday, nearing $300 before plunging Friday to end the week at $123, after a lawmaker questioned the decision to allow a Canadian company to supply marijuana for the study. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) said the federal government should give the license to an American company instead. A Tilray spokeswoman declined to comment.
Read more here.
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