Privateer Holdings

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Privateer Holdings
IndustryPrivate equity firm
FoundedOctober 20, 2011 (2011-10-20)
FoundersBrendan Kennedy
Michael Blue
Christian Groh

Privateer Holdings is an American private equity company that invests in the legal cannabis industry.[1][2] Privateer Holdings is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and employs more than 350 people in seven countries.[3] The company is building a diversified portfolio of cannabis brands.[3] The company has raised $122 million to date.[4] Privateer Holdings secured the first institutional investor to enter the cannabis industry, Founders Fund.[5]

Portfolio companies[edit]

Privateer Holdings portfolio companies include Leafly, the world's largest cannabis information resource, Tilray Inc., a federally licensed, GMP-certified medical cannabis producer located in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and Marley Natural, a partnership with the Bob Marley estate launching a line of cannabis strains, body care products, smoking accessories, and other lifestyle goods.[6]

Privateer Holdings acquired Leafly in 2011. Leafly is the largest cannabis website in the world, with more than 11 million unique visitors per month. In 2014 Leafly became the first cannabis company to place an advertisement in the New York Times.[7]

Privateer owns 76 percent of Tilray Inc.,[8] a federally licensed by the Government of Canada to produce, process, package and distribute medical cannabis. The company operates a 60,000 sq. ft medical cannabis research and production facility in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Tilray currently supplies pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products. Tilray's primary market is Canada, where it serves more than 20,000 patients, but the company also exports medical cannabis products to other countries. Tilray was the first company to legally export medical cannabis products from North America to Australia, Brazil, Chile, the European Union, and New Zealand.[9][10][11][12]

Tilray became the first medical cannabis producer in North America to be GMP certified in December 2016.[13] GMP certification is the most rigorous standard that manufacturers of medical products must meet in their production processes. GMP certification allows Tilray to create products for clinical research. Tilray currently supplies pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis products for three different clinical trials in partnership with hospitals and universities in Canada and Australia:

  • The first trial is being conducted in partnership with the University of British Columbia to examine the safety and tolerability of medical cannabis for Canadian military veterans and other patients suffering from PTSD.[14]
  • The second trial is being conducted in partnership with the University of Sydney, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and the New South Wales government to study the safety, tolerability and efficacy of cannabinoids for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.[15]
  • The third trial is examining safety and tolerability of cannabinoids in children with Dravet Syndrome (a severe form of treatment-resistant epilepsy) at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.[16]

In November 2014, Privateer Holdings and Bob Marley's daughter Cedella launched the cannabis brand Marley Natural developed by the Marley family in conjunction with Privateer.[17] Marley Natural launched its inaugural collection of cannabis products, body care, and smoking accessories in Los Angeles, California in February 2016.[18] The brand currently sells cannabis in California, Oregon, and Washington.[19]


  1. ^ "Groups waiting to cash in on pot sales in Washington". Fox 12 KPTV. February 14, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  2. ^ "The Audacity of Dope". The Economist. February 16, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Privateer Holdings Closes $40 Million in Convertible Note Financing". Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  4. ^ "Cannabis investor Privateer Holdings tacks on another $40 million in funding". Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  5. ^ Lawler, Ryan. "Privateer Holdings Closes $75 Million In Funding To Create The P&G Of Pot". TechCrunch.
  6. ^ "Portfolio — Privateer Holdings". Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  7. ^ Tadena, Nathalie. "Why Cannabis Company Leafly Bought A Full Page Ad in the New York Times". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones.
  8. ^ "Peter Thiel-Backed Fund Hits the Jackpot With $12 Billion Tilray Stake". Bloomberg. September 19, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "Canadian medical marijuana exports begin with Tilray's deal with Croatia, Australia". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  10. ^ "Tilray to export medical cannabis to New Zealand - Marijuana Business Daily". Marijuana Business Daily. 2017-02-15. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  11. ^ Spooner, Rania (2017-03-01). "Medicinal cannabis imported by Victorian government to treat ill children". The Age. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  12. ^ "Tilray to begin exporting MMJ from Canada to Chile - Marijuana Business Daily". Marijuana Business Daily. 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  13. ^ "Tilray grows capacity in North America's only GMP cannabis facility". Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  14. ^ "Health Canada approves Tilray study of medical marijuana for PTSD | CHEK". CHEK. 2016-09-07. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  15. ^ "NSW medical cannabis trial to treat chemotherapy patients suffering nausea". ABC News. 2016-02-26. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  16. ^ "SickKids to study oral cannabis treatment in kids with severe epilepsy". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  17. ^ "Bob Marley family launches "first world cannabis brand"". BBC. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  18. ^ Appleford, Steve. "Marley Natural: Inside Reggae Dynasty's Splashy L.A. Cannabis Launch". Rolling Stone.
  19. ^ Staff. "Marley Natural Premium Cannabis Products Launch In Washington". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 12 April 2017.

External links[edit]