Boris Jordan, the billionaire founder, chairman and largest individual shareholder of Curaleaf, one of the world’s largest cannabis companies, is fending off Internet rumors falsely suggesting his company has links to the Kremlin.
Noah Hamman, the CEO of AdvisorShares, an actively managed ETF firm that has a $90 million position in Curaleaf, says he doesn’t see the issue or the controversy around Curaleaf.
“We are not selling Curaleaf based on the Russian war, or any internet speculation,” Hamman says. “This position remains a high conviction position and anyone that suggests we would sell based on that speculation is incorrect.”
Jordan says the recent attacks are motivated by money. “We—American patriots, who are very, very pro-American—are being attacked for financial gain,” he says.
Morgan Paxhia, who cofounded cannabis investment firm Poseidon Asset Management, also dismissed the Russian connection as xenophobic. “People were quick to jump on anti-Russian sentiment without asking if it were true and the stock suffered for it,” Paxhia says. “It was debunked but the damage was done. Social media is a very powerful tool and can be a very powerful weapon.”
Right before the close of the market on Thursday, Curaleaf released its fourth quarter and full-year earnings, reporting 2021 revenue of $1.2 billion, a 93% increase over 2020, and $298 million in adjusted EBITDA, a 107% increase. The company recorded a net loss for 2021 of $102 million, compared with a net loss of $57 million in 2020. Curaleaf’s stock was up nearly 1% for the day at the close of the market.
“The stock price will always recover,” says Jordan. “The key thing is the business doing well, and I’m confident this has created a buying opportunity.”
I am a staff writer on the vices beat, covering cannabis, gambling and more. I believe in the many virtues of vices. Previously at Forbes, I covered the world’s richest people as a member of the wealth team. I have been a staff writer at Inc. magazine where I wrote about entrepreneurs doing business in the legal fringes of society. Before that, I reported stories that took me to the West Bank, Moscow and Brooklyn.
Curaleaf Holdings is taking steps to head off speculation on social media that the marijuana multistate operator will be subject to U.S. economic sanctions because of its ties to Russia.
“Rumors and misinformation spread during turbulent times,” the Massachusetts-based company said in a statement posted on its website, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The speculation on social media that the Company and its major shareholders and executives will somehow be subject to any U.S. government economic sanctions now or in the future is incorrect.”
Curaleaf noted that Boris Jordan, its executive chair and largest shareholder, “is an American citizen, born and raised on Long Island, New York. He is not, and has never been, a citizen of any other country.”
The company also acknowledged Jordan’s links to Russia, saying he “spent several years working in Europe and Russia and currently has several businesses in the U.S. (Curaleaf among them), Europe and Russia.”
MarketWatch reported that Jordan owns 22% of Curaleaf’s stock. Jordan has in the past praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.