Beverly Hills real estate firm Starpoint Properties said it plans to invest $100 million in California marijuana companies over the next 12 months. The news catapults Starpoint CEO Paul Daneshrad, a figure previously unknown in the industry, into the first tier of cannabis investors nationwide.
Daneshrad’s announcement, and a similar pledge out of Florida this week, comes as the industry is both expanding and trying to keep off the radar of weed-hating U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Daneshrad said he’s not especially worried about the legal situation. While medical and recreational weed remain federally illegal, in a few years, he said medical marijuana will be available in 35 or 40 states. “Trump and Sessions are going to come in and say ‘okay 40 states we don’t agree with what you and your citizens want. No, you gotta listen to us?’ I don’t see that happening,” Daneshrad said.
If anything, Daneshrad sees the chilling effect Sessions has had on the market as tilting the field in his favor. “If you’re Goldman Sachs, or GE or Procter and Gamble, you can’t play, which we don’t mind,” he said. “I don’t mind barriers in the marketplace. It keeps some of the competition out.”