Privateer Holdings: Charting a New Course in the Complex Cannabis Marketplace

By George Foster, Sheila Melvin
2020 | Case No. E705 | Length 38 pgs.
Privateer illustrates the challenges of a 2011 new venture company in the cannabis market when legalization was on the legislative agenda of several U.S. States. Initial plan was a venture fund to take equity positions in startups. Due to problems in raising venture money, pivot done to build several operating ventures. First to scale was Tilray with Canadian focus. Expanded into other areas including consumer brands (Marley and Goodship). Tilray taken public in July 2018 as first cannabis stock on NASDAQ. Privateer restructured into four different companies each of which spun out as separate companies.

Learning Objective

1. Illustrates the challenges of a new venture in navigating a complex and uncertain regulatory environment.

2. Illustrates several pivots in responses to different market opportunities in Canada and U.S.

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