How a stressed-out Wall Streeter went from vodka to cannabis and created a soda to chill by (minus the hangover).
November 14, 2019 5 min read
After 30 years of trading bonds on Wall Street, Jay Moskowitz got tired of it. “I felt like I heard the clock ticking, and I knew that if I didn’t try something else soon, I’d never have the chance,” he says. So one day in 2013, to everyone’s surprise, he up and quit.
He had no idea what he would do next and didn’t decide for a while. But he was tending to his beehives at his lake house when a former coworker called and said, “I’m buying a medical marijuana license in Connecticut, and I want you to run the company.” This was totally out of left field for Moskowitz. He didn’t smoke marijuana, and he wasn’t following the cannabis market in the least. However, his old colleague had a successful track record in politics and film, so Moskowitz figured he might be onto something and took the offer.
Ultimately, the deal fell through when the license and facility were way out of their price range, but it set Moskowitz on his new path. He suddenly realized: All those years as a bond trader — honing his business skills, learning from entrepreneurs, and garnering insights about human behavior — had prepared him for this very moment, and perfectly positioned him to start…a cannabis company.
So he began learning more about it. Within a few years, he hit the market with his new CBD sparkling drink line, Bimble. Here are four strategies he used from his Wall Street days.
Follow the research. Back when he was a trader, Moskowitz prided himself on his ability to understand markets, identify new opportunities, and know where to focus from a business perspective. A lot of it boiled down to good research. So Moskowitz ended up in Israel to meet with top laboratories researching cannabis. “Clinical studies in the U.S. have been nearly impossible, and Israel has had a huge window of opportunity to establish itself as a leader in the field,” he says, noting the country’s more favorable regulatory atmosphere. After all, it was at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where Professor Raphael Mechoulam isolated