Peter Thiel, whose funding helped pioneer Paypal and Facebook, is now investing in the budding marijuana industry with his venture capital firm Founders Fund.

Because the marijuana trade has been illegal until recently, no established brands or distribution infrastructure have been established, at least none that could operate in the light of day.

That may be set to change as legalization initiatives at the ballot box have been successful as of late. Currently, buying and smoking marijuana is legal without a prescription in four states plus the District of Columbia.

Thiel will invest in a holding company named Privateer which owns Leafly.com—a kind of Yelp for marijuana buyers—and also controls a Canadian medical marijuana growing operation.

Brendan Kennedy, co-founder and CEO of Privateer, has secured a thirty-year agreement to use Bob Marley's name and image for branding purposes in an industry where most brands are "so amateurish."

As for the possibility that the legal marijuana industry might stay illegal in a majority of states, Thiel says government regulation of business tends to follow public opinion. And the public, for now, is more in favor of a legal marijuana market than ever.

In a Big Think interview, Peter Thiel takes issue with the free market in which he operates as a businessman. Like Bill Gates, Thiel argues that the market often stifles long-term innovation:


Read more at the Guardian

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