Jim Beam Heir Turns to Pot With Plan for a Cannabis Empire

With the end of what he calls “Prohibition 2.0,” Kovler is preparing to take Green Thumb Industries public in Canada.

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Shortly after Prohibition ended, one of Ben Kovler’s ancestors invested $5,000 in a family of distillers led by James Beauregard Beam.

Kovler, 39, sees similarities between the liquor industry of the 1930s, when his great-grandfather Harry Blum helped build Jim Beam into one of the most recognizable bourbon brands, and today’s market for cannabis. With the end of what he calls “Prohibition 2.0,” Kovler is preparing to take Green Thumb Industries public in Canada.

 GTI, a cultivator, processor and dispensary owner that operates in six U.S. states, plans to go public next month through a reverse merger with an already-listed Canadian company, Kovler, the firm’s founder and chairman, said in an interview. He’s also the biggest shareholder.
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