Ep. 455: Kevin Murphy

August 2, 2019

Kevin Murphy, CEO of Acreage Holdings, discusses with us his beginnings in the cannabis industry as well as the importance of medical cannabis, especially for children and veterans. Murphy notes that every successful business has had to ask for help along the way – after all, good partnerships lead to good economics. He also believes that the speed of the industry’s growth and job creation will directly depend on when the STATES Act gets passed.

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Seth Adler:
Acreage Holdings. Kevin Murphy joins us. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com. That's two n's and the world economy or wherever you currently get your podcasts. Over at canneconomy.com we just had a digital workshop. Very much appreciate the over 30 leaders in policy, business and science who gave their direct insight, very much appreciate our sponsors, Bedrocan, MedMen and Warner brands and our partners, ASA, Leep, MPP, MCBA, NCIA, Resource Innovation, NSSDP. You can go ahead and check out each of the sessions on-demand at canneconomy.com. That's two n's and the word economy. And so without further ado, Kevin Murphy.

Seth Adler:
Let's just dive in on cannabis kind of almost the moment before where I know that you were kind of interested and involved in alternative investments.

Kevin Murphy:
I was.

Seth Adler:
But when did cannabis and this kind of position kind of either present itself or put itself in a situation where you could grab it?

Kevin Murphy:
Many years ago I was born out of a traditional money management environment. I had always been entrepreneurial in my life in the late nineties. Set out to start my own money management firm, was very, very fortunate to have gotten some significant backing from a very large insurance company, which really jettisoned our success. I was also very fortunate to monetize on that business, and had become a private investor for a number of years. So, I honed my skills historically in making investments, and enjoyed looking at all sorts of things.

Kevin Murphy:
In 2011, I was introduced to cannabis. And I'll be candid with you, it was something that I was not terribly familiar with, didn't have a strong relationship with the plant. But it was something that I thought would make for a great business. And that was simply because, and I guess the original pitch to me was, "Murphy, I'm not a math guy, but if we can grow it for $400 a pound and sell for $400 an ounce, it makes sense." And I thought, "Okay, well that's a good start."

Seth Adler:
That algorithm adds up right there.

Kevin Murphy:
But I think secondarily and equally as important, I had done some due diligence on the medical side of it and had come across a couple of doctors from Dartmouth college that were so passionate about the healing capabilities of the plant that I thought, "Wow, what an incredible opportunity to be in business, to be commercial, but to also do extraordinary things for other people that really do need the plant." And so, that was really the original attraction.

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