The heir to the Budweiser brewery empire just announced the launch of a brand new cannabis company, joining a number of major industry heirs who have been leaving their family businesses behind to invest in the cannabis sector. Adolphus Busch V, great-great-grandson of the founder of Anheuser-Busch, launched a new line of disposable vape pens under his eponymous ABV Cannabis Company brand this week.
Busch was initially turned down for a job at his family business due to a nepotism rule implemented by InBev, the company that now owns Anheuser-Busch. Undaunted, the industry heir turned his sights to the burgeoning cannabis industry. After graduating from Colorado State University, Busch began working a number of sales, compliance, and marketing jobs at a variety of well-known canna-businesses in the state.
Before long, the 27-year-old entrepreneur decided to start his own business with funding from his family. The company's first product line is a range of disposable vape pens, containing CO2-extracted cannabis oils with added terpenes for flavor. These products are already available at a number of licensed Colorado retailers. From there, ABV intends to bring cannabis flower and other pot products to market, all grown in a licensed Colorado facility.
"Growing up I always knew I wanted to work in the family business, creating quality and affordable products that appealed to a variety of consumers," Busch said in a statement. "However, once I saw all the incredible benefits that cannabis could bring to people and the immense opportunity presented by the cannabis industry, I knew I could take all I learned from my pioneering family heritage and create a new legacy for myself in the cannabis space."
Busch may have inherited some of this interest in cannabis from his father, Adolphus Busch IV. Last year, the elder Busch heir drafted a letter urging Missourians to support an effort to legalize medical marijuana in the Show-Me State. The younger Busch is not the only alcohol heir to enter the world of legal weed, though. This spring, Jim Beam heir Ben Kovler launched Green Thumb Industries, a canna-business operating cultivation, processing, and dispensary companies in six U.S. states.
Many other alcohol industry executives, including Chris Burggraeve, former chief marketing officer for Anheuser-Busch, and Keith Villa, former brewmaster for Blue Moon, have also left the beer industry behind to invest in legal weed. Current alcohol executives are also eyeing the potential of cannabis-infused beverages, and several major alcohol firms, including Constellation Brands and Molson-Coors, have invested heavily in the cannabis market.
The medical marijuana industry is also attracting wealthy investors from other industries, including William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. II, who sold off the Wrigley gum empire and recently invested in Surterra Wellness, a Florida medical cannabis company that just announced a line of “Coral Reefer” branded products with Jimmy Buffett.