NEW YORK (MainStreet) The ArcView group sponsored a conference in Las Vegas in January and in Boston in April. It was sort of a stoner version of "Shark Tank." And when it comes to wielding influence to push the marijuana agenda forward for potential profit, money talks.
ArcView is a San Francisco angel investor group for the cannabis industry. Among the investors is Joby Pritzker, scion of the Pritzker family -- one of America's wealthiest.
ArcView is looking to invest in the marijuana business. The group's website doesn't mince words about the fact: "Cannabis is the next great American industry. We look forward to building it with you."
Joby Pritzker is a descendant of the founder of the Hyatt Hotel chain. Members of the family are well-represented among the Forbes 400. Eleven of his relatives make the list. One relative, Penny Pritzker, is the current Secretary of Commerce. She is worth a cool $2.2 billion and is ranked #252 on the Forbes 400.
Joby Pitzker is active in business and social organizations, and through his investments in the marijuana sector, he is not just trying to increase his wealth as managing director of Tao Capital Partners. He is also trying to assert influence: he's board member of the Marijuana Policy Project, and he is the CEO of Star Conscious Events and on the board of the Libra Foundation, which supports "a globally integrated portfolio of social justice advocacy, based on the human rights values of dignity, equality and participation."
When a member of one of the wealthiest and politically powerful families in the United States - indeed in the world - lends his support to a cause, it has a higher chance of success. So with such financial and cultural heavyweights like this, how do the anti-marijuana groups stand a chance?