Collective Growth Corp., the new special-purpose-acquisition (SPAC) hemp venture by cannabis industry veteran Bruce Linton, has raised $150 million in an initial public offering, MarketWatch reports. The proceeds will be used to invest in and acquire hemp companies; SPACs have no business until they invest in, or purchase, a company.
Linton told MarketWatch that the coronavirus pandemic might have actually helped the company raise the capital. The firm raised $24.2 million in pre-IPO financing.
“People have been at home, and they’ve been seeing the blue skies with less traffic and pollution. 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.” – Linton to MarketWatch
For now, Linton said he has his sights set on the European market where, he said, they have the “best technology” for hemp processing since they never enacted a full ban on the plant like the U.S. did.
Linton also expressed interest in companies studying the potential benefits of psychedelics, such as MDMA and LSD, as a treatment for mental health disorders and addiction. Linton currently serves as a director of Mind Med, which is focused on psychedelics for health and listed on the Canadian NEO Exchange on March 3.
Linton was fired from Canopy Growth – which he co-founded and served as CEO – last July after he reportedly fell out of favor with directors installed by alcohol distributor Constellation Brands, which owns nearly 40 percent of Canopy stock.
In November, he would join Vireo Health as executive chairman, but the firm cut ties with him last month “on an entirely without-cause basis.” He told MarketWatch that Vireo executives “want to do things differently” than he did, adding that they “did not need to fire” him as he “would have been happy to leave.” He said he helped the company raise $8 million during his short tenure.
Collective Growth began trading on the Nasdaq on May 1 under the symbol CGROU.
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