Drug Enforcement Agent Switches Sides, Joins Pro-Pot P.E. Firm

Dec 10 2013 | 12:09pm ET

A longtime Drug Enforcement Agency agent has turned from fighting narcotics to favoring at least one.

Patrick Moen is set to join private-equity firm Privateer Holdings, which invests exclusively in companies seeking to profit from the growing legal marijuana industry. He will serve as the firm's compliance chief and senior counsel.

Privateer Holdings does not invest in directly in pot growers, processors or distributors in the U.S., for fear of violating federal law. But it does invest in companies indirectly tied to the drug, which has been decriminalized in Colorado and Washington state, and is allowed for medicinal purposes in 18 other states and the District of Columbia, as well as in all sorts of legalized marijuana businesses in Canada.

"The potential social and financial returns are enormous," Moen told The Wall Street Journal. "The attitudes towards cannabis are shifting rapidly.

Moen spent 10 years as a DEA agent, focusing on heroin and methamphetamines in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining the agency, he was a police officer and sheriff's deputy in upstate New York—where marijuana has been decriminalized but remains illegal, including for medical purposes. During his law-enforcement career, he said, marijuana prosecutions were rare.

Moen approached Privateer about a job after hearing the firm's CEO, Brendan Kennedy, interviewed on the radio. But when he first visited the pot-trepreneur, Kennedy wasn't happy to see Moen's business card slide across his desk.

"I started to sweat a bit," Kennedy told the Journal. "I thought, 'This is bad.'" Moen went on to reassure him, "This is my résumé."

Privateer has raised $7 million and aims to raise a further $25 million next year.


In Depth

Q&A: Pantheon’s McCrary Says Private Equity Market ‘Robust’

Dec 17 2014 | 8:32am ET

Dennis McCrary is a partner at Pantheon, a private equity firm with $32.2 billion...

Lifestyle

Cohen Donates $1.5M To GOP Governors Association

Dec 10 2014 | 7:13am ET

The Republican Governors Association raised close to $25 million from October 1...

Guest Contributor

Q&A With Daniel Gallancy: Institutional Interest In Bitcoin Is Growing Steadily

Dec 12 2014 | 7:54am ET

Daniel Gallancy is founder and CEO of SolidX, a provider of total return swaps for...

 

Sponsored Content

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

December 2014 Cover

Futures 2014 person of the year

Jeff Sprecher was simply looking for a platform to trade energies when launching ICE 14 years ago but it has grown to reach the pinnacle of both the listed futures and equities world.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.