As a hedge fund manager in New York, Tim Rotolo was used to looking for undervalued assets and inefficient capital structures. In the nascent legal cannabis industry, he thinks he’s found both. In early 2017, Rotolo teamed up with Antony Radbod, and David Kivitz to create an investment and holding company Archytas Ventures. Their first venture has been to lease cannabis extraction equipment to companies in the loan-starved industry.
“Equipment is the guts of the cannabis growing and processing business,” said Rotolo. And it’s expensive. Extraction machinery, lighting, irrigation systems, grow tables and other equipment can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Because marijuana is still federally illegal, banks will not make loans to companies in the industry for fear of losing their federal charter. That makes it hard to fund equipment purchases.
The trio of founders had begun by looking for