Willie Nelson’s Marijuana Brand Gets Private Equity Backing

Such financial institutions won’t face federal prosecution under the current administration as long as the businesses they deal with avoid selling cannabis to minors; agree not to divert marijuana to states where it remains illegal; and avoid the use of firearms or violence to sell their product. Willie’s Reserve transaction is the first investment for Tuatara, said Mr. Foreman, a former managing director with Highbridge Principal Strategies.

The firm’s other principals include Mark Zittman, a former senior managing director at Guggenheim Partners Capital Markets Group; Marc Riiska, formerly a senior director at SS&C Technologies.; and Robert Hunt, a Colorado attorney and founder of cannabis consulting firm Consult Canna. As of the end of July, Tuatara had raised $25.8 million toward its debut fund, Tuatara Capital Fund I, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Financial terms of the firm’s investment in Willie’s Reserve weren’t disclosed, but Mr. Foreman said the firm is focusing on growth-stage investments in companies with proven management. “We’re looking for teams that have built companies previously,” Mr. Foreman said. “We’re not really focused on early-stage risk with this industry. Our goal is to support the types of operators and high-quality teams that have established businesses and who know the compliance environment.” Willie’s Reserve isn’t the first celebrity-branded cannabis line to attract the attention of an alternative investment manager.

To read more visit http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2015/09/22/willie-nelson-marijuana-brand-gets-private-equity-backing/

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