Canadian Pot Stars

Top names in the Canadian marijuana industry and everything you should know about them. The global marijuana industry has its eyes on Canada for the changes that are expected to come and any new innovation that is happening in the world of cannabis.

Many famous entrepreneurs are investing in marijuana companies at a time when the industry is seeing revolution and is becoming the centre of attention.

A Financial Post article on the “Movers and shakers we’re buzzing about in the pot world” names the Serruya brothers as ‘the money’.

Michael and his brothers, Aaron and Simon, are best known as the trio behind Yogen Früz. Today, their stable of brands also includes Yogurty’s, Pinkberry and Swensen’s ice cream. Despite their sweet tooth, their investments through Serruya Private Equity have ranged from telecom to real estate over the years, but they have also invested in around two-dozen cannabis-related firms since 2013. They’re now planning a chain of retail dispensaries and developing edibles and marijuana-infused beverages, the article said.

The Serruyas got their start in the cannabis sector through a seed investment in a flower farm that was in the process of converting to a licensed producer under the federal government’s medical marijuana program.

The brothers believe that Canada is much ahead of the U.S. in the Marijuana legalisation space.

“We believe the U.S. is five or six years behind where Canada is today,” Michael says, adding he believes federal legalization is inevitable at this point given that so many states have already moved forward.

The article also named Bruce Linton of Canopy Growth as the ‘Visionary’. He is the chairman and co-CEO of cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp, one of the leading marijuana companies.

Canopy has some big plans, including one to tap the emerging medical marijuana market in Latin America. Linton has suggested Canopy could go even further with the added capital from Constellation. “This is really rocket fuel,” he says. “We’re going to be expanding production, we’re going to be doing more research, we’re going to develop more intellectual property, we’re going to create more leading brands, we’re going to have more products, and we’re going to be way more global.”

Other industry bigwigs named in the article are Brendan Kennedy of Tilray who has been nicknamed the ‘Innovator’ and Trina Fraser of Brazeau Seller Law, a lawyer whose practice is 90 percent cannabis related.

Tilray is known as a company of firsts in an emerging market.

“What differentiates us from competitors is the fact we’re recognized as being a scientifically rigorous pharmaceutical brand that is approved by governments and regulators across the world,” said Kennedy , noting that Tilray was also the first cannabis company to be approved by Health Canada in a clinical trial.

A recent collaboration with pharmaceutical manufacturer Sandoz Canada is expected to extend Tilray’s reach even further. Partnering with a pharmaceutical brand that physicians and pharmacists are familiar with also inspires confidence with the mainstream medical community here and globally.

Most of Tilray’s products outside of Canada are already distributed through pharmacies so its supply chain is identical to drug company supply chains around the world. The company is also expected to ship its first product to a pharmacy chain in Canada soon.

Lawyer Trina Fraser dint think she would dedicate her career to commercialising cannabis. “It didn’t enter my consciousness that I would be doing this, because I didn’t realize medical cannabis was even available,” she said in the article.

However, she is now a name to reckon with and is one of the most prominent cannabis legal experts. Fraser says the cannabis business makes up 90% of her practice. Apart from acting for licensed producers of medical cannabis, she also advises industry players, including clinics, software/application providers, capital investors and those seeking entry to the consumer market.

Potential clients have been approaching her every single say, she said.

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