If and when that day comes, Montana may be well-positioned to profit. The former quarterback participated this week in a $75 million funding for Caliva, a company that sells branded marijuana products in stores throughout California. And that's not Montana's first foray into the space: Liquid 2 Ventures, the VC firm where Montana is a general partner, participated in a $4.1 million round in 2017 for Herb, a digital media company focused on the cannabis industry.
As legalization spreads, the lines between medical and recreational marijuana continue to blur. But Montana seems most concerned with using the substance to make people feel better—particularly, as he points out in a press release announcing the Caliva funding, in using cannabis-based products to "make a serious impact on opioid use or addiction." Montana expressed similar thoughts in an interview last year with Playboy, advocating more research on marijuana's possible benefits in healing and pain relief.
The plant's medicinal properties have become something of a cause célèbre for former players in the NFL, a league that's been wracked with issues of painkiller overuse and addiction. Former top 10 draft pick Eugene Monroe has been perhaps the most vocal proponent of using cannabis as a substitute to opioids for fighting the pain that's unavoidable in a game built on violent collisions between very large men.
The ongoing conversion of one of the most famous names in pro football history into a marijuana investor is one of six big things to know from the past week in VC: