Blues Traveler's Brendan Hill On Marijuana Legalization: Big Players Will Wait To Enter The Industry

Brendan Hill, famed drummer of
Blues Traveler
, a Grammy-winning U.S. band, and co-owner of Bainbridge Island’s
Paper & Leaf
, one of Washington State’s
top grossing legal cannabis retail shops
, recently sat down with Benzinga and shared some thoughts on the impact of
Check out part one of this interview here, where Hill discusses changing the stigma of marijuana and the future of the industry.

The Impact Of Legalization

Legalization in California should result in “huge revenue from the taxes on cannabis. And those will be put to good use, for education and infrastructure, like they have been in Washington State,” Hill voiced.

However, since marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, the entrepreneur added, larger players like Philip Morris International Inc. PM, Altria Group Inc MO, Reynolds American, Inc. RAI, pharmaceuticals and other big businesses “are probably going to stay out just until there’s a little bit less risk.” This “will allow 'mom and pop,' smaller businesses, craft cannabis growers and retailers, to take a foothold.”

The Fear Of Missing Out

Benzinga moved on to ask about Constellation Brands, Inc. STZ’s recent announcement about its intention to get into the legal cannabis industry.

“When Microsoft Corporation MSFT put forward that seed-to-sale software, they actually came out openly to say that they feel like the industry can benefit from a great product from them. I think that was a big step[that planted the question of ‘what are we missing out on’ among a lot of the other big players],” he stated.

There’s a lot of fear of missing out in this industry. So, it’s interesting to see who’s going to jump in fist. I think the beverage, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries all are nervous about cannabis (…) but I think they will be coming in (…) And I think that’s great, because when these big industries come in, they just legitimize what everybody else is doing and it will help us, in the long run, with our bottom line, because I’m sure someone like Philip Morris will not put up with not being able to deduct their expenses for retail and growing, which is the case now.

Companies To Watch

When questioned about companies to keep an eye on, the rock-star-turned-entrepreneur mentioned Privateer Holdings, which recently surpassed the $100 million threshold in its cannabis-focused capital raise initiative; Dixie Brands, an edibles and beverages company; Willie Nelson’s Willie's Reserve; and Snoop Dogg and Canopy Growth Corp CVE:CGC TWMJF’s Leafs by Snoop.

“I’m not investing any money into the stock market with marijuana companies right now, because everything I have is in my one little store, but I do think there are a lot of opportunities,” Hill declared. “Personally, I would avoid any of the penny stocks, I’d just go with the big players for now, because it is a very competitive market, and some of the companies that come in promising merchant services or software have come and gone very quickly.”

Image Credit: Photo provided by and used with expressed permission from Brendan Hill's PR team.
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