Getting a high return

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For some of the highest returns around, the best bet is to invest in weed. Seattle-based firm Privateer Holdings is a private equity fund investing in industries that derive their business from medical marijuana.

 
The firm’s most recent investment is in Leafly – a data provider to medical-marijuana users that provides information on strains of cannabis and where to buy it legally. Leafly’s revenues are growing at 25% a month. By 2016, the remaining 32 US states that have not legalized the use of medical marijuana are expected to have done so.

Brendan Kennedy, Privateer’s founder and chief executive, estimates the industry’s value at some $40 billion. Kennedy also says that investments in medical marijuana are seen as supporting a beneficial cause.

The majority of Americans are in favour of medical marijuana. He says: “Where the opportunity lies is as the industry becomes clean, transparent and informative – no longer associated with clichés such as The Grateful Dead, Snoop Dogg or Willie Nelson, but rather a place where it is not difficult for a 65-year-old woman to obtain cannabis for glaucoma.

"And that is where the industry is heading.”