MICHAEL BLUE: Harding grad hits it big.

Meet a  billionaire with Arkansas roots — Michael Blue, who grew up in Searcy and graduated from Harding University. He owes his wealth to marijuana.

The story is from Bloomberg.  It’s about a Seattle-based private equity firm, Privateer Holdings, which has invested in the cannabis industry, a move that just brought an apparent jackpot.

Brendan Kennedy, Michael Blue and Christian Groh founded Seattle-based Privateer Holdings Inc. in May 2010 and the firm later invested in Canadian pot firm Tilray Inc., whose market value topped $21 billion Wednesday after surging more than 1,200 percent in the past two months.

The trio effectively owned about 45 percent of Privateer’s holdings in Tilray as of March 31, according to the cannabis company’s prospectus. Privateer’s stake in Tilray is now valued at $7.2 billion, giving each founder a net worth of at least $2.4 billion, assuming they hold equal stakes. Billionaire Peter Thiel is among Privateer’s backers. 

After Harding, Blue, 40, went to the Yale School of Management. He’s chief financial officer and managing partner at Privateer. He worked at other investment firms previously. His company’s play in cannabis was drawing big attention as long ago as 2015.