Marijuana Business Magazine - January 2017

Chris Leavy MedMen, Co-Chairman and Partner Age: 46 BACKSTORY: Leavy spent 20 years in asset management, including senior roles with heavy hitters like Morgan Stanley, Oppenheimer Funds and BlackRock, where he oversaw $115 billion in equity funds. Barron’s named him a “Top 100 Fund Manager.”Leavy retired in his early forties – but cut short his retirement to join Los Angeles-based MedMen in the spring of 2017. Since then, Leavy has led the company’s investment and acquisition efforts, applying the same strategies – buying undervalued assets in high-barrier markets – that earned him Wall Street kudos. Last year saw MedMen’s acquisition of Bloomfield Indus- tries – a financially strapped New York MMJ business – and the closing of a $60 million fund to new investors.To round out a busy year,MedMen set the daunting goal of raising $250 million for a new investment fund, a record sum for the cannabis industry. WHY TO WATCH: Because of Leavy’s pedigree, MedMen’s sometimes- brash style and the firm having to close its first fund before it hit its $100 million target, Leavy and MedMen are on industry observers’ radars.That means people will be paying close attention to whether Bloomfield succeeds, and whether MedMen can actually raise $250 million. And if MedMen does hit its target, how will it spend the money? BIGGEST GOAL IN 2018: “My priority is finding and securing for our investors great assets at undervalued prices.…We are in a buyers’market right now and will be as long as the traditional private equity world remains on the sidelines,” he wrote in an email. “That means we have to remain disciplined and turn down deals that would be attractive in an environment where the buyers are many. By turning down these deals, we can deploy our capital in the most promising areas and maximize the return prospects for our investors.” Bruce Linton Canopy Growth, CEO Age: Not available BACKSTORY: Linton co-founded Canopy (formerly Tweed) with entrepreneur Chuck Rifici in 2014. Linton – the CEO of a string of tech companies before his current gig – helped take Canopy public in April 2014. Linton has since transformed Canopy into Canada’s undisputed cannabis industry leader.The company’s fiscal year 2017 revenue totaled $31 million (CA$39.9 million), making it Canada’s largest MMJ company – although it has not turned a profit. Canopy also is the largest marijuana company by market capitalization, totaling $2.9 billion (CA$3.7 billion) as of late November. WHY TO WATCH: Canada is preparing to legalize recreational marijuana in mid-2018. As the industry leader, Linton and Canopy have the most to gain if legalization suc- ceeds – and the most to lose if it stumbles. In October, Linton secured the cannabis indus- try’s first major investment from an alcohol company, with U.S. beverage giant Constel- lation Brands buying a 9.9% stake in Canopy for $190 million (CA$245 million).The move positions both companies to capitalize on the infused-drinks market. Canopy also is positioned to buy smaller rivals. BIGGEST GOAL IN 2018: In a regulatory fil- ing, Linton said Canopy's “objective is to win and retain significant future market share,” adding “we remain focused on the expansion of our cultivation capacity, extraction platform and finished branded products programs.” 64 • Marijuana Business Magazine • January 2018