The celebrity investors of New York’s pot industry

There are many big names investing in New York's post industry.
There are many big names investing in New York's post industry.
Tunatura/Shutterstock
There are many big names investing in New York's post industry.

The celebrity investors of New York’s pot industry

The big-time ballers, bosses and businessmen banking on buds.
February 11, 2020

Pot’s not just for stoners – there’s a lot of money to be made on marijuana, and some well-known names are already seeing green in New York. 

John Boehner 

480px-John_Boehner_official_portrait.jpg

John Boehner
Alt Text: 
John Boehner
Title Text: 
John Boehner
Caption: 
John Boehner
Description: 
John Boehner
Image Credit: 
United States House of Representatives

Former House Speaker John Boehner hasn’t always been the biggest advocate for marijuana. But the Ohio Republican has had a change of heart and is now on the board of one of the biggest marijuana companies in the United States, Acreage Holdings. The right to acquire the company, which already has a medical marijuana license in New York, was purchased last year by the Canadian company Canopy Growth Corp. for $3.4 billion, but the transaction is contingent on the federal legalization of pot.

Kevin Durant 

shutterstock_681394033.jpg

Kevin Durant
Alt Text: 
Kevin Durant
Title Text: 
Kevin Durant
Caption: 
Kevin Durant
Description: 
Kevin Durant
Image Credit: 
Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

Canopy Growth Corp. – the company that’s set to acquire Acreage Holdings – has a venture-capital arm called Canopy Rivers, and Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is joining its strategic advisory board. If the U.S. legalizes pot and Acreage officially becomes a part of Canopy Growth Corp., Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman might become big players in New York’s pot industry.

Al Harrington & J.R. Smith

Untitled-1.jpg

Al Harrington (left) and J.R. Smith (right)
Alt Text: 
Al Harrington (left) and J.R. Smith (right)
Title Text: 
Al Harrington (left) and J.R. Smith (right)
Caption: 
Al Harrington (left) and J.R. Smith (right)
Description: 
Al Harrington (left) and J.R. Smith (right)
Image Credit: 
s_bukley/Shutterstock, Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

In 2011, former NBA player Al Harrington founded the company Viola Extracts, which sells marijuana and vape pens. In June, Harrington and fellow NBA veteran J.R. Smith lobbied state lawmakers for the complete legalization of weed. “We feel that it’s very important that we need to have the seat at the table so we can use some of these funds to rebuild our communities,” Harrington told the New York Post at the time.

Brian Mulroney 

13848879055_159801059e_k.jpg

Brian Mulroney
Alt Text: 
Brian Mulroney
Title Text: 
Brian Mulroney
Caption: 
Brian Mulroney
Description: 
Brian Mulroney
Image Credit: 
Canada 2020

Another big-name member of Acreage’s board, joining in November 2018, is Brian Mulroney, who served as prime minister of Canada from 1984 through 1993. The former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party had a hand in introducing the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement, bringing a lot of multinational business and policy experience to his corporate post. 

Bill Weld 

Bill_Weld_campaign_portrait.jpg

Bill Weld
Alt Text: 
Bill Weld
Title Text: 
Bill Weld
Caption: 
Bill Weld
Description: 
Bill Weld
Image Credit: 
Gary Johnson

The Republican presidential hopeful and former governor of Massachusetts has reportedly supported the legalization of medical marijuana since 1992. In 2016, Weld supported the ballot initiative that ultimately legalized recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. He joined the Acreage board alongside Boehner in April 2018.

C.J. Wallace 

shutterstock_1505689760.jpg

Christopher Jordan Wallace
Alt Text: 
Christopher Jordan Wallace
Title Text: 
Christopher Jordan Wallace
Caption: 
Christopher Jordan Wallace
Description: 
Christopher Jordan Wallace
Image Credit: 
lev radin/Shutterstock

In early 2019, the Notorious B.I.G.’s son, C.J. Wallace, launched the Think BIG cannabis brand in his father’s honor. The LA-based company has hired a lobbying firm in Albany. However, Wallace and his partners want to use their brand as a way to lift up black communities that have been disproportionately affected by punitive drug laws.

Placeholder blue outline avatar
Jana Cholakovska
is an editorial intern at City & State.
20201204