Cheryl Shuman, Founder, Beverly Hills Cannabis Club, USA, was named by U.S.-based Fortune magazine as one of the most powerful women in cannabis. She is an investment advisor frequently featured on U.S. television outlets CNN, Fox Business, CNBC and others.
HT: What’s your general advice to those who want to invest in the cannabis sectors?
CS: Investors need to truly understand what makes the cannabis and hemp industry “tick.” Before there was an industry, this sector was a movement. When the first stocks were traded in the sector, it was fueled by the hunger of the movement to see the end of prohibition.
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Soon the industry will consolidate and the green rush will be over. Those who invest wisely will make major profits. Those who are inexperienced without professional guidance are risking everything. I urge those who want to invest in high risk stocks to look into private companies that no one has on their radar yet.
HT: What are the keys to making those investments in private companies work?
CS: Great investments are those where everyone genuinely respects and likes the teams they are working with and have the same vision. If not, it’s likely to fail. It’s important to research the companies well to assure a good “fit”. This is still a very young industry and not everyone is the expert that they claim to be. Finally, all investments should be properly vetted by a professional. Otherwise, it’s buyer beware.
HT: Tell us about your company.
CS: We’re a privately held company with a family office style investment strategy. Our company was founded in 1996 in Beverly Hills, California. Today we have holdings in 30 countries. We are currently in cultivation on approximately 7,000 acres throughout the U.S. In addition, we have real estate and investment holdings in emerging markets of Latin America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and more. We are preparing our expansion to Europe with our headquarters in Malta.
HT: Who are the participants in the cannabis fund that you are advising? What are they looking for?
CS: They include international sovereign funds, private equity, venture capitalists, legacy investors, family offices, angel investors, celebrities, high net worth individuals and corporations. Most of our investors are interested in finding that big breakthrough company that will get them in early with founders shares before the general public knows there is even an opportunity to invest.
HT: What’s your advice to cannabis startups and early-stage players?
CS: Your personal brand can be the key to success. When I survived cancer in 2007 and spoke publicly to the media about how I felt that CBD had saved my life, many laughed at me. Cannabis helps us to feel better in so many ways but proving it is the challenge.
What makes you great? What is your personal story and motive for being involved with the business you are building? I encourage entrepreneurs to share their personal stories as a branding strategy. Communities want to invest in brands and the people behind the companies. We say “your vibe attracts your tribe.” I believe in this completely. Learn as much as you can and network.
HT: What do you see happening over the next few years with legalization in the States?
CS: Recreational cannabis is gaining traction as global attitudes change. The WHO recently proposed rescheduling cannabis in international law, for example, while Luxembourg is set to legalize cannabis by 2021, New Zealand is holding a referendum on it in 2020, and Australia’s Capital Territory voted to legalize recreational cannabis. Cannabis is now legal for recreational use in 11 U.S. states, and in 33 states for medical use. We expect recreational cannabis to be legal in all 50 states by 2024.