On March 24, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Business and Professional Division will host a panel discussion focusing on cannabis legalization, the investment landscape and other critical issues tied to the “green rush.” Kenny Silverboard, senior director of the Federation’s Business and Professional Division, said the event “will take a look at the whole industry, including the investment side, dispensaries, as well as the push for medicinal legalization.”
Among the panel members will be Jordan Tritt, CEO of the Panther Group — a local cannabis advisory firm — and Georgia State Rep. and attorney Mike Wilensky.
Tritt is among a growing number of cannabis professionals based in Atlanta. He attended the Epstein School and earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He currently lives in Toco Hills with his wife, Erica, and three children.
“As a member of the Georgia State House Regulated Industries Committee, I am focused on Georgia continuing to progress in this space,” Wilensky said. “I am proud to know Jordan for more than 25 years and am highly impressed in his knowledge and leadership in the cannabis industry.”
Tritt comes from a family of entrepreneurs and medical professionals who taught him how to identify early opportunities in emerging industries. His father, Ramie Tritt, was an early investor in healthcare “roll-ups” (when smaller companies in a fragmented industry are merged to become part of a larger business with expanded profits and payroll), co-founding a company he took public in the late 1990s. In 2014, the elder Tritt entered the cannabis industry, starting a fund that invested in 12 companies over the next three years. Jordan joined him in 2016, starting a second venture fund focused on the cannabis space.
Together, the Tritts have invested in some 40 cannabis companies across more than 20 sub-sectors. “The cannabis industry moves very quickly (six months in cannabis is like two years in the real world),” Tritt said. “Many trends have emerged, including new consumer types and product categories such as edibles, packaging, holders and the like. With deep experience in data and advertising, Panther is able to drive growth for companies, using consumer data, demographics and purchasing behavior to create targeted advertising. This strategy is critical, as consumers evolve past ‘stoners’ looking for highly potent cannabis. For example, some people with anxiety are looking to take the edge off, while high-performance athletes are looking for pain relief and help with other ailments.”
Even wholesome TV personality Katie Couric now has a CBD company and extols the benefits of the cannabinoid.
Tritt has identified five specific strategies to reduce risk and maximize return in the cannabis industry:
1. Be an active investor, serve on boards of companies when possible and support management through key decisions.
2. Select companies led by experienced and coachable management teams: “Invest in the jockey, not the horse.” This has gotten easier with management consisting of more sophisticated operators routinely leaving more established careers to enter a growing industry.
3. Create a portfolio of diverse and synergistic companies across many sectors, including opportunities that apply to cannabis and other industries. This minimizes the concentration risk of individual segments of the industry.
4. Focus on growth-stage companies with a proven business model, significant traction and a clear path toward an exit. This reduces the companies that fail and yield zero return.
5. Pick a small percentage of unique earlier-stage companies to be positioned to invest in subsequent rounds.
Because cannabis is still federally illegal, the industry is made up of a patchwork of individual state markets. This makes building relationships across the country crucial. Initially, Tritt focused on relationships in established markets such as California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. But as the green wave of legislation moves toward the Midwest and Northeast, the Panther Group has continued to make inroads in each state, shifting focus to emerging limited-license markets like Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Maine, New Jersey and New York.
For now, the firm is staying nimble. With staff currently in Georgia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, California and New York, it’s poised to capitalize on new developments in the ever-changing cannabis space.
- Business Brief
- Atlanta Jewish Federation
- Jordan Tritt
- Panther Group
- Mike Wilensky
- The Epstein School
- Ross School of Business
- University of Michigan
- toco hills
- Georgia State House Regulated Industries Committee
- Ramie Tritt
- Katie Couric