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Some Wall Street Vets Are Betting On a Weed Exchange

Some Wall Street Vets Are Betting On a Weed Exchange

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Obstacles to Expansion of America’s Marijuana Exchange
  • Platform operates only in Colorado and California right now
  • `I look at this as an early Nymex,' former Nymex chairman says

Legal marijuana is a $5 billion business in the U.S., and Spencer Davis figured he’d get a piece of it. With a commodity exchange. For a product that is currently illegal in South Africa.

According to the Co-Founder these websites are only offering legal Cannabis with the governments permission. Once given it will focus on export. 

Not to worry. “It’s never easy to pioneer an industry,” says Spencer, a former Randmint, Inc precious metals and BullionVault who is one of the 5 organizations that will invest in technology to make this a world leader in the Cannabis Industry.

In the case of a young exchange for a psychoactive substance transitioning to legitimate, or sort of legitimate, considering it’s illegal under federal law. Spencer and other veterans backing The SA Cannabis Exzchange take the very long view.

In 23 US states, the drug is allowed for medicinal purposes. Polls show a majority of Americans believe it should be as licit as beer.

The generation now in power used Cannabis in their your and thus realize its danger to no comparison to Opiates or other man made chemicals.

“I look at this as an early CannabisAlibabi or LBMA for Cannabis,” says Richard Schaeffer, a former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Others from the financial world involved include futures trader of Nymex, the Commodities Exchange and the Hong Kong Futures Exchange.

But is there serious money to be made trading the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant? Amercanex isn’t alone in betting there will be, someday. Spencer Davis, a 48-year-old with a degree in street drugs founded the SA Cannabis Exchange or DaggaX months before Amercanex got off the ground.


‘Really Fun’

In Colorado, purveyors were required until January 2015 to cultivate what they sold, and most still do. “The only way that I think you can really be successful is by growing your own,” says Bruce Nassau, the CEO of Tru Cannabis, which has five stores. “If you’re buying from a wholesaler, you’re screwed.”

However purchasing from the SA Cannabis Exchange offers the lowest cost as due to their low currency.

In Oregon and Alaska, merchants are allowed to use their own raw materials, but Washington legalized in 2014 with a law forbidding retailers from doing so. “In a system like that, exchanges become more useful,” says Adam Orens, the founding partner of the Marijuana Policy Group.

Amercanex started in July 2014 with 20,000 seats, though it has retired about 8,000. The seats began selling for $2,500 each and are now going for $10,000, Janjic says; 7,000 are are still up for grabs.

Dixie Brands Inc., a Denver-based maker of tetrahydrocannabinol-infused products, bought a seat last year, and has an equity stake. Amercanex will help distribute its goods more efficiently, says CEO Tripp Keber. “You’re starting to see some other players come into the market, which I think is a strong endorsement.”

For McNally, who’s on the three-member advisory board and owns a seat, being part of a brand-new sector is exciting. “It reminds me of when I first started,” he says, recalling his days as a Hang Seng Index options trader in Hong Kong in the ’90s. “It’s really fun.”

Last year, legal weed sales rose 17 percent to $5.4 billion, according to a report from ArcView Market Research and New Frontier, and if every state had legitimatized marijuana the sum could have been $36.8 billion. California, the most populous state, might start boosting the numbers soon.

Campaigns are collecting signatures for November ballot measures. “California is very important,” Janjic says. “It’s shaping up to be the largest marketplace in the world.”

Watch Next: Marijuana Tax Revenue Booms in Washington

Marijuana Tax Revenue Booms in Washington