Men, Marijuana and $

Delusional Confidence?    Report from the Marijuana Investor Summit

“When we want to raise capital,” said Dooma Wendschuh, the 38-year-old co-founder of a cannabis company called ebbu, “I go up to someone and say, ‘Would you like to invest in my company? Here’s how it will work. One: you may go to prison for making this investment. Two: I may go to prison, and you might lose all your money. Three: Our minimum investment is $250,000. Sure you want to play ball?”

There was nervous laughter from the crowd. It was the first day of the first Marijuana Investor Summit in Denver, and Wendschuh was speaking on a key panel, “Raising Funds.”

Dooma Wendschuh

More than 800 people from across the country had come to the Summit at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near the airport. It was a testosterone-fueled crowd, mostly white men in suits—entrepreneurs mixing with hedge fund managers and venture capitalists. But there were outliers: an Orthodox Jew, with a long white beard and tzitzit, whose family in Philadelphia wants to obtain the first license to grow medical marijuana in Pennsylvania; an African-American man who spent 17 years on Wall Street, then left to grow pot near Detroit; and a female doctor who wants to start a practice treating chronic diseases with cannabis.

All were convinced that the ongoing legalization of marijuana is creating an opportunity for people with a high tolerance for risk to make a killing.

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6 thoughts on “Men, Marijuana and $

  1. susan swiderski

    Studying and quantifying the effects of the chemical components of various types of cannabis so the end product can be marketed as attaining a specific effect is an intriguing concept, but dealing with so many variables would make it a very challenging one, too. Maybe not impossible, but certainly difficult. Even the effects of alcohol can vary widely, depending on numerous variables, and I’d think that would be even more true for pot. Even so, I like the concept. Not that it matters. It’ll probably be a long time before the feds are ready to legalize it across the board. They’ll have to establish a bunch of joint committees first. 🙂

  2. Yogi Prateado

    Sara Davidson’s question to Wendschuh doubting the ability to standardize an effect of marijuana is quite right, and underlines not just a fundamental problem with trying to genetically engineer plants (GMOs being sold as a standardized panacea), but also a major error in importing metaphysical essences into the world of experience.

    The notion that a plant, that has multivalent effects as a composite can be distilled down into its component parts (“euphoria” isolated from “anxiety,” for example), is a Platonic science of essences. Such idealism works well in mathematics and other abstract elaborations, but it really has quite little to do with the breathing world of earth and matter, where tiny but significant differences reign. Moreover, add the philosophical questions of human subjective experience into the mix, let alone the individual biochemical range making up actual living people, and you’ve got a cocktail of unreasonable expectations mixed with biochemical voodoo.

    Sure, bell curves can be drawn. But calling an extract by a particular name (e.g., “anti-depressant”) can have dangerous consequences for those not falling neatly within the group encountering its average effects.

    One would hope that with newly legitimized plants, such as marijuana, that certain lessons would be learned. That the mistake of centralization, of calling a genetically-modified crop as being “substantially equivalent” when it patently is not, should not be replicated in misguided attempts at taking a wily plant and reducing it—and its human consumer—to a predictable and controllable product experience. This is not only because, in the end, producing substances that deliver consistently predictable experiences is like jousting at windmills, but also because believing that isolations of wholes can translate the good without the bad misses the very point of existence. There is no escaping signing on for the entire ride of life, and the plants which sustain us, physically and spiritually. To attempt otherwise is merely an overly-exuberant exercise in self-trickery, resulting in drabness. Let plants be plants, warts and all. In tampering too much with our interface with them in an effort at distilling a sanitized experience, we lose their subtle and pleasant surprises.

  3. Linda Newton

    Wendschuh has the right idea. Now I’d like to suggest a few more things: 1) enact/publicize laws of no walking or driving while smoking marijuana (just as with alcohol); and 2) remove the odor of marijuana. Seriously.

    Thanks, Sara.

  4. Betty Cooney

    Loved your blog on cannabis. I am a believer and have been using cannabis
    for a the side effects of chemo and radiation. It work. Congrats on having
    your house under contract you made a good investment. Take care/

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