Special Bonus Essay: Is cannabis this year’s tech bubble? And is it about to burst?
Everyone’s hot to invest in large cap cannabis stocks, but in this exclusive essay Good Tree Capital’s CEO Seke Ballard makes the case against large cap investment.
In a recent episode of the podcast I interviewed Seke about Good Tree Capital’s groundbreaking online lending platform that makes loans to vetted small businesses that can’t get financing through traditional institutions. I was impressed by his intelligence, strategic thinking, and passion to help the little guys get a leg up in an industry that is being shepherded by billions in venture capital investment, and we have stayed in touch. He is far wiser on financial matters than I, and I have encouraged him to put his thoughts on paper and I happy to share his insight and analysis of the current market with you, our listeners.
Here’s a little background, just so you know where he’s coming from. Seke’s first job after graduating from the University of North Carolina was for the Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia (of the former USSR), a country with a median annual income of less than $5,000. During that time, he partnered with World Vision International to start a competitive small enterprise development fund that financed micro-businesses operating out of local bazaars. He saw first hand how a little could translate into a lot and the program was later expanded to Armenia and Azerbaijan. This cemented his view about access to financing being key to wealth creation and economic development.
From there, Seke he earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and entered corporate America: first at Procter & Gamble where he worked in Corporate Finance, then at Amazon HQ in Seattle, where he was responsible for creating and launching the company’s private label consumables business in the US, China and India.
While helping Jeff Bezos conquer the world, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational cannabis. He witnessed the birth of an industry – who was in and who was out -- and was inspired to launch Good Tree Capital as a way to help equalize the playing field.
In the service of transparency please note: Members of my family have invested in Good Tree Capital but I have not.