These Are The Most Important Investors In The Cannabis Industry

Despite regulatory hurdles, the experienced and engaged cannabis investors nominated for this year's Benzinga's Cannabis Investors Award are making it possible for everyone to tap into the market's potential.

After the overwhelming success of Benzinga's 4/20 Miami event, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Chicago on September 13-14.

As part of its fall event, Benzinga will celebrate the outstanding people, companies and organizations in the cannabis industry with the addition of the Benzinga Cannabis Awards.

In one of the categories, Benzinga will honor outstanding cannabis investors known for covering the industry and shaping our views of the space.

Category: Cannabis Investors Award

Ricky Sandler

Our lineup starts with Ricky Sandler, founder and CEO of Eminence Capital, a firm focused on identifying solid, growing companies that the market has mispriced. Despite an evident disparity between cannabis companies and their stock prices, Sandler sees a "big money" invested in marijuana over the next five years.

Emily Paxhia

Next up, we have Emily Paxhia, co-founder and managing partner at Poseidon Asset Management, one of the pioneers of cannabis investing. As one of the longest-running dedicated cannabis investment funds with Paxhia at the helm, Poseidon navigates the complex and evolving industry and helps companies grow and thrive. Commenting on marijuana stocks dropping again, Paxhia recently told Benzinga's Nina Zdinjak that "in investing, where things are difficult is where opportunities are requires doing the work and having stamina."

Doug Hannah

co-founder of Silverleaf Venture Partners, Hannah got into marijuana-focused investing over four years ago when the partners wrapped up more than 30 investments in companies such as Jane Technologies and Ebb, to name a few. An expert with over two decades as a principal investor in private equity and real estate, Hannah brings vast knowledge of the burgeoning cannabis industry.

Karan Wadhera

As a managing partner at Snoop Dog's Casa Verde Capital, Wadhera spent over a decade in Asia working as a senior executive with Goldman, Sachs & Co. GS and Nomura Holdings Inc NMR. Commenting on the time spent in India, he told LA Venture's Minnie Ingersoll that "navigating that tricky environment ultimately helped him build relationships and experience working in risky financial worlds. No one was raising their hand to go to India when I went—and cannabis was similar."

Todd Harrison

CB1 Capital Founding Partner and CIO Todd Harrison is also an advisor to the AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF MSOS. His experience with Morgan Stanley MS, helped him identify an opportunity in the CBD space, which led him to launch a company specializing in cannabinoid wellness solutions, products and therapies. In an exclusive interview on Benzinga's "Cannabis Insider," Harrison said cannabis is a sector that "has a real genuine fundamental bull case."

Matt Hawkins

Always there with fresh advice from cannabis operators, Entourage Effect Capital founder and managing director Matt Hawkins has been active in the cannabis space since creating his private equity firm in 2014. With over 20 years of investing experience, Hawkins sharpened his skills in various sectors such as tech, science, licensing, real estate, ancillary services and other sectors.

John Lykouretzos

One of the best ways to maximize business value is to "keep the balance sheet clean and simple," said our next nominee, John Lykouretzos, CEO of FocusGrowth Asset Management, a firm that focuses mainly on smaller private companies in the marijuana space. Lykouretzos has come a long way since his early years at Goldman, Sachs & Co. to becoming a seasoned cannabis investment expert.

Jason Wild

Originally a pharmacist, Jason Wild, ended up managing a fund focused on cannabis and healthcare. His journey led him to become an investor with a successful firm that manages investments in pharmaceuticals and cannabis producers. Currently, Wild serves as a founder, president and CIO of JW Asset Management, LLC and executive chairman of TerrAscend Corp. TRSSF TER.

Sandy Kronenberg

Kronenberg is a managing partner at Koach Capital, which provides real estate sale-leasebacks and has has recently become a prominent player in cannabis. The company invests in properties and provides growth capital to mid-and-large sized operators. The founder of Netarx – a network integration and services provider to large enterprises – Kronenberg also contributes to the community through lectures, publications and the development of new technologies.

Elizabeth Montana-Luciano

Elizabeth Montana-Luciano is the director of operations and office manager at Liquid2 Ventures, a firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area and founded by NFL legend and Hall of Famer, Joe Montana in 2015. The venture capital firm focuses on early-stage investment funding for technology startups at the seed stage and works with founders and management teams to aid the company's growth.

Kevin Durant

Basketball star Kevin Durant and his multi-faceted media and investment company, Thirty5 Ventures is up next. The 2-time NBA Champion and Finals MVP has a wide range of companies in his company's portfolio, including Coinbase Global Inc COIN, Postmates and OpenSea. Thirty5 was also an investor in the cannabis company Dutchie.

Scott Greiper

Viridian Capital Advisors president and founder Scott Greiper is always prepared to discuss stock performance and policy change in the cannabis space. Founded in 2014, Viridian is one of the most experienced strategic advisory firms in the United States, with investments in cannabis companies like 365 Cannabis, Norcal Cannabis Company and Conception.

Tim Seymour

Next up, we have Tim Seymour, a director and founder of The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF CNBS, which launched on the New York Stock Exchange in July 2019. A market expert and co-host of "Fast Money" on CNBC, Seymour has been one of many outstanding presenters and speakers at past Cannabis Capital Conferences. Besides being one of the more recognizable names in the finance space, he is also CIO and founder of Seymour Asset Management and senior advisor to the JWAM Growth (Cannabis) Fund. With a background in emerging markets and new asset classes, Seymour was an early investor and participant in the marijuana sector since 2016. Seymour is also a nominee for the top cannabis finance reporter award.

Mitchell Baruchowitz

Baruchowitz is the managing partner of the cannabis private equity fund Merida Capital Partners. With nine years of experience in the legal cannabis industry, Baruchowitz is an expert in cannabis investing and the diverse licensing schemes governing each state. In addition to assisting Colorado-based legal cultivators in structuring state-compliant capital transactions and analyzing the legal cannabis market, Baruchowitz co-founded Theraplant, LLC, LeafLine Labs, LLC and Maryland-based Grow West, MD - all three being cannabis-focused firms.

Matthew Nordgren

Matthew Nordgren, founder and CEO of Arcadian Capital Management always seizes the opportunity to highlight the many opportunities the cannabis industry offers as an emerging sector. "Pivoting and innovating is all a part of the process," he said at a previous Beninzga event. "This is very well-timed for an industry on the verge of breaking out in the consumer category." Arcadian Capital is an investment firm that has invested in some 50 companies and is raising its own $100 million fund, described as an investment approach more focused on the ancillary market.

Jake Magerman

As we're getting close to the end of our list, we have Jake Magerman, a principal at Los Angeles-based Emerald Park Capital Management LLC, which provides debt and equity for emerging growth companies. As a successful investor and investment banker, he has over three decades of experience in the field.

Josh Hamilton

Last but not least is Josh Hamilton, a managing director of business development at Measure 8 Venture Partners. As an investment professional with over $1.5 billion in capital raised, Hamilton has vast knowledge in equity, private credit, multi-strat and quant funds.

Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

Come and meet these amazing investor experts in person at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on Sept. 13-14 in Chicago. And stay with us at the historic Palmer House Hotel where you'll rub shoulders with a slew of cannabis industry leaders and innovators at the world’s largest and most successful cannabis investing and finance event 

Get your tickets HERE and book your room HERE.

Photo: Courtesy of mediamodifier by Pixabay, washarapol d binyo jundang by Pexels and billion photos by Shutterstock

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The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Florida, in a new venue in Hollywood, on April 16 and 17, 2024. The two-day event at The Diplomat Beach Resort will be a chance for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to network, learn and grow. Renowned for its trendsetting abilities and influence on the future of cannabis, mark your calendars – this conference is the go-to event of the year for the cannabis world.

Get your tickets now on – Prices will increase very soon!