Former NFL Player Tiki Barber Rushes Into The Cannabis Industry
November 9th 2108 photo/istock/takoburito
By Roger Malespin
NFL fans remember Tiki Barber, who played ten seasons with the New York Giants and retired in 2007 as the team’s all time rushing and receiving leader. Since his retirement, Barber has been seen as a correspondent for Sunday Night Football and The Today Show, but has really made a name for himself as a businessman and investor. His latest business endeavor is taking him to new highs, as he and partner Kevin Shin announced the formation of Grove Group Management, which will focus on helping businesses navigate the waters of the legal cannabis industry.
Barber’s new company has many goals in mind, but it is especially concerned with helping minority communities. Grove Group Management will not only help minority business entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry, but also work to help those with past minor marijuana convictions land jobs.
"A disproportionate number of minority communities are affected by misdemeanor marijuana offenses," said Barber "So there’s an altruistic bent to some of these things that we’re doing. It’s very important to minority communities that we’re all focused on it.”
The idea for the business venture came from a meeting between Barber and Shin at an event for Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), where their mutual interests in market capital and social justice could intersect. They have hit the ground running toward their goals, as they have already received sponsorship from the National Minority Business Council, the first cannabis company to do so.
Shin is a highly successful businessman who has dealt with government agencies on zoning, government subsidized debt and tax programs while working on multiple mergers and acquisitions around the world.
Cannabis businesses have quickly become a hot commodity on Wall Street, with major companies such as Coca Cola, Heineken, and Corona beer maker Constellation Brands investing in them. Shin sees it as a diverse market whose ceiling is yet to be determined.
“We've seen a massive shift bringing cannabis as an asset class to the forefront of investors' minds. Chemical compounds in cannabis are now being used in several industries from pharmaceuticals to beauty products. In addition, market analysts are drawing comparisons to the alcohol and tobacco industries. This positions cannabis to be one of Wall Street's biggest winners well into the future," Shin said.
Barber and Shin are aware of the challenges facing cannabis businesses, especially not being able to use banks in business endeavors and the exorbitant tax penalties they are forced to pay, but they remain optimistic about legitimizing cannabis businesses sooner than later. If that does happen as anticipated, Grove Group Management will be one of the premier names in cannabis business management.
GGMs focus on small, minority, and women-owned businesses is exactly the kind of investment the industry needs right now. The barriers for entering the industry are very high and out of the hands of most in the aforementioned groups, so a company like GGM will be essential in ensuring diversity in ownership and ideas, which is great for the industry overall.
They may be a brand new company, but don’t mistake GGM as inexperienced. Besides Shin as the CEO, GGM is has filled top positions with executives with decades of business experience in all key disciplines, from finance, supply chain, distribution and marketing to data capture.