Exclusive Interview with Mitch Baruchowitz, Managing Partner of Merida Capital
Private equity firm Merida Capital Partners has deployed approximately $23 million into the cannabis industry over the past 15 months. Managing partner Mitch Baruchowitz, who got involved in the industry in 2010, worked with Theraplant to win one of four licenses in Connecticut and has been an investor in it since 2014, when he helped Leafline Labs attain one of the two licenses in Minnesota, spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about the firm’s Fund I investments and how that strong base is helping the company grow and diversify its portfolio.
Baruchowitz describes Merida Capital as an “active private equity firm,” which means it takes a hands-on approach to use its investment as a way to partner with and to help grow companies in the cannabis space. The firm has a 15-person team with expertise that spans finance, cannabis, technology, and credit risk. A core team of five to seven people really hones in on investment analysis.
Other partners with the firm include David Goldburg, who has a background in credit investing; Jeff Monat, a hedge fund analyst; Peter Rosenberg; a West Coast-based investment expert; and Kevin Gibbs, a real estate finance expert. Together, the firm’s partners have many years of investment experience in cannabis space, particularly in the medical space, which gives them a high level of insight into the regulatory environments shaping the industry today. Baruchowitz credits his partners with getting him interested in the cannabis market while he was working as the general counsel for a broker dealer, and he believes that the expertise of his team is an asset to the companies in which Merida invests.
Unlike many other companies in the market, Merida’s name isn’t derived from anything related to cannabis. Instead, the company is named