cannabis

George Mancheril has a habit of fidgeting with his wedding band while talking at warp speed about debt capital markets. The effect is more evocative of Wall Street uppers than Californian cannabis, but looks can be deceiving.

True, Mancheril cut his teeth back in New York, working in fixed income trading at Goldman Sachs and structured credit at Guggenheim Partners. But he's been a Santa Monica resident for the last eight years, and now, as the 35-year-old CEO of Bespoke Financial, he's bringing his Wall Street expertise to the cannabis industry.

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NBA players, talent agents and Snoop Dogg's venture firm are among the investors behind LEUNE, a California cannabis brand eying new U.S. markets.

The company closed a $5 million round on Thursday from big name athletes like Carmelo Anthony, John Wall, Lebron James' agent Rich Paul and Anthony Saleh, who manages artists like Nas and Future.

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Dealmaking in the frenzied cannabis market continues to flourish with the latest megadeal announced Thursday. Investors aim to build a Coca-Cola or Hershey of marijuana, launching the first national pot brand in the United States.

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