Why This 27-Year Old Anheuser Busch Scion Is Selling Cannabis Instead of Beer
Adolphus Busch V, great-great-grandson of the founder of Anheuser Busch, is starting his own cannabis company.

From beer to bongs.

Adolphus Busch V, the great-great grandson of the founder of Anheuser Busch (BUD) , is throwing back to his grandfather's roots and starting his own company. ABV Cannabis Co. is a cannabis company based in Colorado. Right now, Busch's startup focuses on making a disposable vaporizer pen. 

So why no Bud?

Back in 2008, InBev--a Belgian-Brazilian brewing company--offered $46 billion for the iconic Anheuser Busch. The company originally rejected the offer, but InBev managed to turn shareholders against the family-laden board. The takeover by InBev was successful at $52 billion later in 2008.

There are no Busch descendants on the board of Anheuser Busch InBev. And apparently, they aren't allowed to work inside the company either.  

In 2013, after he had graduated college, Busch V headed back to his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri to apply for an entry level job at Anheuser Busch. He was quickly turned down. 

"Even though the company was sold in 2008, I still had an interest in going back and working for a company that my great-great grandfather started and that was family-run for quite a long time," Busch told TheStreet. "They turned me down because there was a conflict of interest in hiring Busch family members after the company was sold."

"Honestly it was kind of a punch in the gut...I couldn't even apply for an entry level position," Busch continued. 

Anheuser Busch Inbev didn't respond to TheStreet's request for comment.

The Next Act

Throughout college, Busch had watched the budding cannabis industry emerge and decided it was a long-term opportunity. After Busch moved back to Colorado from Missouri, he got more involved in the industry. Eventually, after a series of jobs with various cannabis companies including BioTrack and Keef Cola, he decided to start his own company. 

"I knew I could take all I learned from my pioneering family heritage and create a new legacy for myself in the cannabis space," Busch said.

Adolphus Busch V.
Adolphus Busch V.

Busch's early intuition may prove right. The cannabis industry is growing at a rapid pace amid the U.S. push to legalization. Tilray  (TLRY)  is fresh off a very successful IPO in August on the Nasdaq. Constellation Brands (STZ) , maker of Modelo beer, has invested over $4 billion into Canopy Growth (CGC) , another publicly traded cannabis company. The two are reportedly diving into cannabis-infused beer. 

"There's no question about that," Busch says when asked whether or not he is interested in growing a family-based company. "I'm a single owner of this company right now...I kind of wanted to grow this company organically in the beginning. I have a single investor." Busch says his goal isn't to sell out to Anheuser Busch, but rather partake in a vice industry that could one day rival the alcohol industry. 

Currently, ABV Cannabis products are only available in Colorado, but Busch has plans to expand into other states. Eventually, he said, he would like to break into the California market.  

What's next in the product line for ABV Cannabis? Busch said that his company is currently working on prepackaged joints. 

Surprsingly, a cannabis infused beer is not in the cards. 

To be a profitable investor and build long-term wealth, you need the right information and techniques. Join TheStreet Oct. 13, 2018 for a special investing event for sophisticated and active traders. Register for "Invest Like the Pros: Jim Cramer's Boot Camp for Investors" here.
 
A good portion of the conference will be devoted to investing in cannabis. Cramer will talk exclusively with Canopy Growth (CGC)  CEO Bruce Linton and Bill Newlands, president and COO of cannabis/alcohol player Constellation Brands (STZ) .

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