- CompanyCronos Group
This Ivy League–trained M&A lawyer turned venture capital investor bet on legal marijuana before it was in vogue, an early move that has paid off handsomely. After taking over as CEO in spring 2016, Gorenstein quickly rebranded the Canadian cannabis company (then known as PharmaCan) and last year oversaw the debut of Cronos’s stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as well as the Nasdaq through a secondary listing—making it the first cannabis stock to trade on a U.S. stock exchange. That’s helped make Cronos one of the most valuable publicly traded cannabis companies, with a market cap of $5.8 billion; its stock has returned some 9,800% under Gorenstein’s leadership. While a federal marijuana ban restricts Cronos’s ability to operate in the U.S., it received a major American stamp of approval in December in the form of a $1.8 billion investment from tobacco giant (and Marlboro maker) Altria—which now owns 45% of Cronos. The partnership could yield new products such as cannabis vaporizers.
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