From Financial Post:
“This bud’s for you” has taken on a whole new meaning for Chris Burggraeve.
The former chief marketing officer for Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the brewer of Budweiser beer, is moving from barley and hops to cannabis as the alcohol industry casts its sights on the burgeoning market for state-sanctioned marijuana.
Burggraeve, 52, has made two investments in the space. Most recently, he joined the advisory board of GreenRush Group. The San Francisco-based startup, which says it aims to be the Amazon of weed, closed its US$3.6 million Series A fundraising round last week. Burggraeve, a native of Belgium with a master’s degree in economics, also co-founded Toast, which makes pre-rolled joints.
The former beer executive is one of many entrepreneurs and investors increasingly flocking to the cannabis industry from the traditional business world. Big Beer took its first step last month when Constellation Brands Inc., which sells Corona in the U.S., announced its investment in Canopy Growth Corp., a Canadian seller of medicinal-marijuana products. In Burggraeve’s view, that’s just the beginning.
“This is one of the fastest-growing categories globally,” he said. “Why? Because people want it. When consumers want something, you ignore it at your peril.”
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