Entourage Effect's Matt Hawkins To Cannabis Operators: 'Put Egos Aside' To Get Deals Done

Entourage Effect Capital founder and managing director Matt Hawkins has some advice for cannabis operators.

"I would say to the small to mid-sized operators — no matter what sector you're in — find other companies in your space and put your egos aside and join forces," he told Elliot Lane and Javier Hasse on this last week's Benzinga Cannabis Hour.

"Because, unfortunately for the past several years, we've had operators that have had very, very large egos and they won't allow valuations to be reasonable when it comes to putting companies together. And that's been the biggest impediment, in my opinion, on getting deals done in this sector." 

See the full clip below:

The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, and all other political tailwinds, will lead toward inevitable quasi-legalization, Hawkins says.

"Sooner rather than later," he says, adding that one out of three Americans live in an adult-use legalized state, while 50% live in a medicinal state. 

An uptick in M&A activity should follow. And when that occurs, Entourage Effect has two goals: 

  • Help larger companies both public and private aggregate 
  • Help smaller companies figure out how to become ingrained with those companies.

"It's all about building that scale and if you can do it in advance of the legalization when you've got the influx of institutional capital, and big pharma and CPG, big tobacco — you name it — all these companies are waiting for the NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange to open up," Hawkins says. "And when that happens there will be a flood of capital."

Other guests in this episode include Jude Bond, CEO of Canaphyll, and Leah Thomas, founder of The Green Girls Co.

The next Benzinga Cannabis Hour on Thursday, Dec. 10 will feature Rob Tankson of PrestoDoctor; Karen Mayberry of Trym.io; and Nick and West Paschal from Alpine IQ.

The Benzinga Cannabis Hour is produced every week and brings together top executives, entrepreneurs, and experts from all corners of the cannabis industry. Each show features three or more guests from a broad spectrum of expertise in cannabis.

To tune in, stream the episode below; click subscribe on the official Benzinga YouTube channel; or visit BZCannabisHour.com.

Cannabis Hour is also published on most major podcasting platforms, including Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Pocket Casts, and more.

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