This Entrepreneur Raised $150 Million For A Hemp Venture — During A Pandemic

Collective Growth started trading on the Nasdaq on May 1

After being fired from his last two jobs, Canadian entrepreneur Bruce Linton is back with a new venture and a new goal: to disrupt the industrial supply chain.

The co-founder and former co–chief executive of Canopy Growth Corp., the Canadian cannabis market leader, raised $150 million in an initial public offering of a special-purpose-acquisition corporation, or SPAC, called Collective Growth Corp., with the intent of using the proceeds to acquire hemp companies.

Collective Growth started trading on the Nasdaq on May 1, and Linton and his partners rang the opening bell virtually. SPACs, or blank-check companies, have no business until they acquire or invest in one or more.

The coronavirus pandemic had one positive effect on fundraising, Linton told MarketWatch in an interview. “People have been at home, and they’ve been seeing the blue skies with less traffic and pollution,” he said. “It makes them think more of sustainability, and that’s where the hemp plant comes in. If you deconstruct the plant, it can be used for sustainable building materials, and that’s good at a time when people are aware there’s a problem with the supply chain and the environment.”

The hemp plant has far less THC than related plants that produce cannabis and has long been used for industrial purposes. THC is the ingredient in cannabis that produces the high associated with cannabis use.

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