He’s the ‘leading cannibus financial analyst’

By Mark Yost
The Houston Business Journal

Marijuana is a long way from being legal in Texas, but that hasn’t stopped two entrepreneurs from setting up shop here.
I recently wrote about Stuart Maudlin and his Marijuana Investment Conferences, which plans to host its first event at the Westin Memorial City in September. Shortly after that story appeared, Amegy Bank, Houston’s fifth largest financial institution with $9.6 billion in local deposits and a unit of Salt Lake City-based Zions Bancorporation (Nasdaq: ZION), politely told Maudlin to take his business elsewhere.
weedThat story prompted Alan Brochstein to contact me. Over breakfast at Kenny & Ziggy’s, the Houston native told me about how he went from being a bond trader for Kidder, Peabody & Co. in New York to the leading “cannabis financial analyst,” which is how he describes himself on his Houston-based website, http://www.420Investor.com.
But where Maudlin is optimistic that his conferences can connect companies that make grow lights and hydroponic supplies with investors interested in making money in the legal marijuana business, Brochstein is more cautious.
“I see 2018, maybe 2020 before the big money gets invested,” said Brochstein, who launched his website earlier this year.
The problem, he said, is that in terms of federal law, marijuana is still a schedule I drug, in the same league as cocaine and heroin.
“Until that changes, Big Pharma’s not going to get involved,” he said. “It’s too risky.”
Indeed, Brochstein is quick to point out that while recreational marijuana has been legalized in Colorado and Washington state, and medical marijuana is legal in nearly two dozen states, it’s still prohibited by federal law. And while President Barack Obama has told Attorney General Eric Holder not to prosecute these cases, “how long is that going to last?” Brochstein asks. “Another two years?”
And let’s be clear, Brochstein is not an investor nor is he looking to connect investors with companies. He’s merely analyzing companies in this burgeoning industry, like he would the tech, retail or oil and gas sectors.
He started out with just a handful of readers who paid $22 a month. The price now for new subscribers is $54 a month and he has about 1,700 people reading his stuff. Mostly, they’re paying for Brochstein’s insights into this developing business sector. And one of his key views is how this market will develop.
“A lot of people think it’ll be Big Tobacco, others think it’ll be Big Pharma,” he said. “Both are wrong. It’ll be the alcohol companies, because they see legalized marijuana as a competitor.”

About Mark Yost
Mark Yost is the author of the Rick Crane Noir series, published by Stay Thirsty Press. Rick Crane is the classic, anti-hero private eye in the spirit of Sam Spade and Jim Rockford. He works in the unmistakably noirish underworld of Upstate New York, running errands and fixing problems for Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., one of Upstate New York's most notorious crime bosses. But readers quickly learn that deep down, Rick Crane is one of the good guys. "Cooper's Daughter," the first book in the widely acclaimed series, is a fast-moving tale in which a heartbroken father comes to Rick and asks him to find out what really happened to his daughter, who was murdered and the details buried in the Unsolved Crimes File of the local police department. The second book in the series is "Jimmy's Nephew," which begins with the death of Joey "Boom Boom" Bonadeo, an up-and-coming boxer and the nephew of Rick's underworld boss. What starts out as a routine investigation turns into a case that will test Rick's faith -- in the Catholic Church and his fellow man. Book No. 3 in the series, "Mary's Fate" is due out in August 2015. Mark Yost also writes for The Wall Street Journal Arts in Review page, as well as the Book Review section. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America -- Midwest Chapter, International Thriller Writers, and a number of other author groups. He is also a member of the Amazon Author's Program. Mark lives in the Loyola neighborhood of Chicago, but he and his son, George, call the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn "home."

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