Pizza, Pot and the Power of the Investor

If there is one thing that most cannabis enthusiasts love, it’s pizza; and what’s not to love? Pizza is one of the most versatile dishes on the planet and there are too many variations of it to count. Now, Unique Pizza and Subs, a pizza company in Pittsburgh, is bringing together America’s two favorite things: Pizza and Cannabis.

Unique Pizza and Subs is currently working with edible cannabis experts in Colorado to help develop a special pizza sauce as well as a frozen pizza that is infused with cannabis-laden sauce. In order to comply with state law, Unique Pizza and Subs will develop the sauce and then ship it to medical and recreational marijuana states where chefs will then infuse the sauce with cannabis.

James Vowler, President and CEO of Unique Pizza and Subs, spoke to the Wall Street Journal about his upcoming line of canna-pizza products. “With the development of our Signature line of exceptional quality frozen pizzas and the Cannabis-infused custom sauce we will continue to lead our industry in innovative product design.”

Vowler then took the time to thank his shareholders. “This is an exciting time for our company and I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our loyal shareholders who have stuck with us during the restructure and I hope all of you will soon be justly rewarded.”

It is not that uncommon to thank your shareholders in a press release, but this particular instance is intriguing because, according to The Cannabist, the company is expanding into cannabis-infused pizza due to the influence of its largest shareholder, an unknown gentlemen from Canada.

On August 14, 2014, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting edible medical marijuana was unconstitutional.  With the full weight of judicial system in support, Canada’s medical marijuana market became much more profitable. This Canadian shareholder more or less used his influence to steer this company into the cannabis market to make huge profits in Canada.

Vowler spoke with The Cannabist about the company’s venture into the edible marijuana market. While he did not explicitly say that this mysterious shareholder influenced the company, he certainly implied it. “This marijuana thing was just kind of a side thing we wanted to look into because of this gentleman in Canada. We are entertaining that idea but again we are certainly family-oriented and I’m not sure if the marijuana pizza fits in our mold or not.”

When Vowler thanked his shareholders, he was not speaking to all of the share holders; he was speaking to that one influential shareholder who moved the company in the direction of cannabis. I draw attention to this because I want you to reflect on the power of the investor.

While Vowler was reluctant to move Unique Pizza and Subs in the direction of cannabis, this unnamed investor was able to convince him to do it anyway. This investor’s influence was likely due to his owning the largest share of stock, but the potential profit had to have also been a huge factor.

As an investor, you hold a sizable amount of sway over the direction of a company. You do not need to jump specifically into a cannabis-related business in order to get into the cannabis industry. You can invest in a pre-existing company and then use your influence to steer that company in the direction of cannabis. The person that will make it big in the cannabis industry is not going to be the person that looks at business like everyone else, it is going to be the person that redirects and redefines opportunity.

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