The ownership of a large marijuana farming operation discovered in Texas last week remains mostly a mystery, according to an ABC News report. A rancher strolling on land he was leasing from the Army Corps of Engineers called the cops after encountering two men who fled, and a small camp and the farming operation. (The Army hasn’t had this much pot since Vietnam.) More than 5,000 plants were found, indicating that the camp had been in operation for a long time. There was also, according to the report, a sophisticated watering system.
The men may have fled the current, clandestine operation in Texas, but if they’re lucky they’ll run straight into the arms of a whole new investor class: pot private equity. Just last month the New York Times published a short editorial by Kevin A. Sabet called Marijuana is Now Big Business. (It should have read “Is Now Big LEGAL Business,” since the big part isn’t new, but nevermind.) That article and others tell of a former Microsoft executive who plans to create “the Starbucks of marijuana” and of a couple of Yale MBAs–Brendan Kennedy and Michael Blue–who have started a fund called Privateer Marketing to do nothing but fund marijuana growers, catering to Colorado and other states where Cheech and Chong have played the long game and won. If the Texan pot farmers are on the run, they could do worse than show up at the Seattle-based Privateer’s doorstep.