The Great Green North – By zruskin – August 10, 2017 – California News

The Great Green North – By zruskin – August 10, 2017 – California News

Some people call him “the Godfather of Canadian weed.”

Chuck Rifici has earned the title. In 2013, Tweed — a company he co-founded — received one of the first medical marijuana licenses issued by Canada. Tweed (now known as Canopy Growth Corp.) also achieved “unicorn” status when it was valued at $1 billion. While Rifici left the company in 2014, he certainly didn’t leave the cannabis space.

Along with three other partners, Rifici then founded Nesta Holding Co., a company he describes as “a cannabis private-equity firm.” The company began with the acquisition of WikiLeaf, a price exploration tool for cannabis dispensaries and an indirect competitor to the popular site Leafly. Earlier this year, Nesta launched Cannabis Wheaton — “the world’s first cannabis streaming company” — which Rifici directly oversees.

“Cannabis Wheaton is really building a team of industry experts in Canada,” Rifici explains. “The president there — my partner Hugo Alves — really provides the regulatory, legal expertise to essentially fund expansion of cultivation and fund additional supply. With our streaming model, we essentially take a percentage of that supply as a stream — you could think of it as a royalty — for our capital and our expertise.”

In essence, Cannabis Wheaton “streams” capital into licensed cannabis producers in exchange for minority holdings in the companies and a percentage of the producer’s yield (at a predetermined price point). With national recreational use set to go into effect in Canada on July 1, 2018, the company’s timing couldn’t be better.

While the country’s current medical marijuana program is far more…

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