Joe Montana Really Likes Backing Weed Companies

Retired NFL star has found success investing in the legal marijuana industry
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2024 3:15 PM CST
Joe Montana Really Likes Backing Weed Companies
Former San Francisco 49ers player Joe Montana is introduced before an NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.   (AP Photo/Lachlan Cunningham)

NFL great Joe Montana has found a lucrative way to stretch his retirement savings, and dabbling in legal marijuana probably wasn't the first thing to come to mind for the former 49ers golden-boy quarterback. Nonetheless, SFGate reports that his venture capital firm, Liquid 2 Ventures, made some moves in California's legal weed industry in recent years that seem to be paying off handsomely. A 2019 investment in cannabis distributor Nabis has proven especially shrewd—the company has weathered a downturn in the burgeoning industry, boasting a whopping 430% growth over the past three years. Today, it claims to have a hand in 22% of all legal marijuana product sales in the state. "We're moving a big chunk of the market today," VP of revenue Brian Dewey told SFGate. Montana's firm was an early investor in Nabis, and doubled down in round B funding in 2021.

Along with Nabis, Liquid 2 Ventures has invested in Meadow, which sells point-of-sale software specific to the marijuana industry. And according to ESPN, the firm also sank $75 million in 2019 into cannabis operator Caliva. At the time, Montana endorsed marijuana's potential medical benefits, including providing "relief to many people" and making "a serious impact on opioid use or addiction." In 2017, he also invested in Herb, a producer of marijuana-related media, per ABC News 7. While Montana's been mum on whether he personally partakes in that which he peddles, top athletes like former NFL stars Ricky Williams and Jim McMahon and NBA star Bill Walton are more vocal about getting high on the regular. (Mike Tyson has in the past been candid about his $40,000-a-month habit.).

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