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Cannabis Executives, Investors See Asia Saying ‘Yes’ to Pot

The cannabis investor conference in Hong Kong this week started with some stern warnings against smoking pot in the city, which can land you in prison. Then folks got down to talking business.

The Hong Kong Cannabis Investor Symposium on Thursday drew executives from some of the world’s hottest cannabis firms together with more than 200 attendees to talk about the plant’s misconceptions and its investment opportunities. Pot stocks have returned 73 percent in the last 12 months, outpacing Bitcoin, gold and any major equity index. And, despite the prohibition in Hong Kong, many of the forum’s participants said they see attitudes in Asia changing.

"When people see legalization in the U.S. is being accepted, it’s very likely the same trend will happen in Asia," said Jim McCormick, chief operating officer of KushCo Holdings Inc., a California-based provider of cannabis packaging services. "Sooner or later, it’s going to happen."

Sumit Mehta, chief executive of Mazakali, a cannabis investment-banking platform based in San Francisco, said legalization in states across America would trigger changes in Asia because "it was the U.S. that exported propaganda against cannabis around the world.”

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