Meet the 2014 MJINews Power Players. These are the 10 movers and shakers that influence investment opportunities in the legal marijuana industry. Some are advocates. Others are not. What they all have in common is that their actions are shaping the future of this industry. The list is alphabetical.
Ricardo Baca - Editor, The Cannabist
After 12 years as The Denver Post’s music critic and a couple more as the paper’s entertainment editor, Baca was tapped to become The Post’s first ever marijuana editor and create The Cannabist in late 2013.
Michael Correia - Director of Government Relations, National Cannabis Industry Association
Correia is a legislative veteran, having worked for several years on Capitol Hill and for numerous political campaigns. Through NCIA, Correia is in the faces of the politicians who will ultimately decide the fate of the cannabis industry.
Troy Dayton - CEO, ArcView Group
Troy Dayton brings together hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs annually and calculates that more than $10 million has been invested as a direct result of the ArcView pitch sessions.
Steve DeAngelo - CEO, Harborside Health Center; Co-founder, ArcView Group; Co-founder, Steep Hill Labs
DeAngelo is most known for his flagship dispensary, Harborside Health Center in California, and his Discovery Channel reality show Weed Wars. He also has lent his name, time and financial support to countless industry groups.
Justin Hartfield - CEO, Weedmaps; General Partner, Ghost Group
Hartfield is arguably the first mainstream success as a “cannapreneur” with his creation of Weedmaps.com. Hartfield is also an active investor within the industry as a General Partner in Ghost Group, a holding company for various marijuana assets like Marijuana.com, MMJ Menu and Weedmaps.com.
Gov. John Hickenlooper - Governor, Colorado
As Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, Hickenlooper became an unwilling participant in the industry. His position and political power give him the ability to influence other politicians nationally and the future of legal marijuana.
Tripp Keber - Founder and CEO, Dixie Elixirs & Edibles
Keber has created the gold standard in branded infused products with Dixie Elixirs. It is his commitment to giving back by investing further in the industry (holdings estimated at 30 companies) that has had the greater impact.
Brendan Kennedy - CEO, Privateer Holdings
Through Privateer Holdings Company, a private equity firm focused on the legal cannabis industry, Brendan Kennedy is the force behind the development of new and existing venture-backed businesses ancillary to cannabis distribution and cultivation.
Kevin Sabet - Co-founder, Project SAM; Director, Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida
As co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, Kevin Sabet regularly speaks out against marijuana legalization. His influence is a risk to legalization.