The heir to a fortune earned from bourbon during the post-Prohibition era is building a new company in the cannabis industry.
Ben Kovler is the great-grandson of Harry Blum, who invested in the Jim Beam brand after the end of Prohibition. After buying out his partners for about $1 million in 1941, Blum sold the company in 1967 for an undisclosed sum.
Kovler is also the founder and chairman of Green Thumb Industries (GTI). Today, GTI announced they will be acquiring a publically traded Canadian company in what is known as a reverse merger.
In a reverse merger, a private company purchases one already traded on a stock exchange. This allows the private company to sell shares to new investors to gain new capital. The move also avoids the complex and costly process of going public itself.
United States legal restrictions prevent GTI from revealing the name of the company they will be taking over. But High Times has learned that the firm is Bayswater Uranium Corporation.
Kovler stated in a press release that his company is taking advantage of newly legal cannabis markets.
“We believe this is Prohibition 2.0 and brands distributed at scale will win,” he said. “Our business plan is simple: Enter, Open, Scale. The liquidity in the Canadian market will drive down our cost of capital and allow us to execute on our business plan to deliver shareholder returns.”
At this time, GTI does not plan to begin cannabis operations in Canada. Instead, the acquisition gives them access to a new source of capital to expand its operations in the U.S.
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