Cannabis startup Caliva raises $75M from former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and Joe Montana

San Jose cannabis company Caliva is proving that weed’s still hot, even as some markets cool off.

The company is announcing a $75 million round of investment that includes participation from former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and football legend Joe Montana. If that pair seems unlikely, it just goes to show that cannabis attracts an eclectic mix.

With what the company itself refers to as a “war chest,” Caliva intends to expand its portfolio of products as well as ramping up its efforts courting cannabis users in California through a combination of branded brick and mortar stores, direct to consumer sales and sales to distributors. While state regulations slowed the overall market over the last year, Caliva grew its revenues by 350 percent, growing its company to 440 workers

A general partner at Liquid 2 Ventures, Montana isn’t new to cannabis investing. In 2017, the former quarterback participated in a seed round for Herb, a cannabis-focused media company. Given the extreme toll pro sports take on the human body, it’s not uncommon for former athletes to get involved in the cannabis business, particularly with CBD products.

“As an investor and supporter, it is my opinion that Caliva’s strong management team will successfully develop and bring to market quality health and wellness products that can provide relief to many people and can make a serious impact on opioid use or addiction,” Montana said of his interest in the cannabis industry.

Caliva currently operates a popular retail location situated conveniently for Silicon Valley’s droves of weed acolytes, but the company is more than just a well-liked dispensary. Beyond just carrying popular brands, Caliva sells its own products at its own stores — everything from vape pen oil cartridges to pre-rolls —in addition to operating a distribution center nearby.

“I know great opportunities when I see them,” said Bartz, who will also join the company’s board.

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