High Country: Take a seat at the green table
IF YOU GO …
What: Green Table Global: Aspen
When: Thursday, March 7, 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Where: Limelight Hotel
Registration: Free, greentableglobal.com
Fine print: All prospective attendees are vetted by the Green Table Global team before attendance is confirmed
In the two years since Green Table hosted its first event in Aspen, held at Doug Paley’s sprawling estate in the Horse Ranch neighborhood and sponsored by High Times, the cannabis investment networking group has buttoned itself up.
Gone is a certain local, bad boy cannachef with hard-to-hear presentations during a multi-course, heavily infused dinner. It has also since parted ways with the stoner-focused magazine partner and reorganized its team, which is comprised of co-founders Bill Marcus and Gregg Schreiber and managing director Haiva Marks.
Now known as Green Table Global, it has hosted 16 dinners to date with a year-round, sold-out schedule in locales like the Hamptons, New York City, Los Angels and Las Vegas. Last May, the trio enlisted actor-turned-cannabis farmer Jim Belushi to host a star-studded dinner in the back-yard of his $38.5 million Brentwood mansion. It also recently tapped Greenspoon Marder, a full-service national business law firm with expertise in the cannabis sector, as an official partner to help facilitate deals and consult on licensing and regulatory matters.
Schreiber, who worked on Wall Street for 25 years — including significant stints at Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers, left Manhattan for Malibu three years ago and once he landed, decided to cash in on the green rush. Leveraging his extensive relationships with some of the world’s largest hedge funds, family offices and private investors, he saw Green Table Global as an answer to the challenge of trying to obtain big money through traditional banking, which is nearly impossible since the substance is still categorized as a schedule 1 drug on the federal level.
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Still, the world market for legal cannabis is expected to reach $30 billion by 2022 and $50 billion by 2029, according to analyst Owen Bennett in a recent Barron’s report. In the last quarter alone, Green Table Global, in conjunction with strategic partner Young America Capital, has helped its clients successfully place and raise more than $80 million.
While primarily acting as a conduit, Schreiber explains, “We wanted to create a brand of wealth in the cannabis industry. Our team has a very strong pedigree and it takes a very specific type of background to know how to have the appropriate dialogue and really know how to do the dance with investors,” says Schreiber. “It’s very exciting for us because history is repeating itself … instead of gold it’s cannabis.”
Green Table Global counts roughly 1,000 high-net-worth investors as part of its alumni group and is returning to high country on March 7 for its next exclusive gathering. This year, they’ll take over the Limelight Hotel Aspen for a more formal presentation session in the conference room followed by a private reception and dinner (free of THC) in the lounge. Eight cannabis entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch a room of 150 carefully vetted attendees to try and secure funding.
Marcus, who is also a senior managing director at Young America Capital adds, “This is a brain trust for the top investors in the space. Our network is an educational and safe forum to talk about unique opportunities for their portfolios. While the social aspect is very important, our events are very pointed and driven to enhance investment activity.”
With an extensive background in fundraising for Israeli tech startups, Marks filters through the ap-plications of hopeful presenters and says that companies interested in participating pay a premi-um price tag (it ranges from $4,000 to $20,000 based on the size and location of the event), but the return on investment is almost always guaranteed.
“Aspen specifically is a very special area unlike anywhere else in the world that brings the right people to the table for the companies we are working with — and a lot of the attendees here are already very familiar with the industry, which is invaluable,” explains Marks. “With legalization spreading, the companies that stand out for us right now are multi-state and vertically integrated — those that are also acquiring licenses across the country. Businesses in the CBD space and cannabis technology sphere are also booming.”
Katie Shapiro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @kshapiromedia.
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