Navigating Cannabis Finance: Insights with Alex Zuckerman, the Managing Director at WhiteHawk Capital

Welcome to a captivating dialogue with Alex Zuckerman, a seasoned finance expert and Managing Director at White Hawk Capital. Join us for an in-depth exploration of the intricate world of cannabis finance, where we dissect the distinctive challenges and opportunities that confront lenders within the dynamic cannabis industry.

In this episode, we uncover the strategic insights of White Hawk Capital as they navigate the ever-evolving cannabis finance landscape. Discover how their seasoned approach to underwriting deals and industry-agnostic mindset have positioned them as pioneers in providing capital solutions to cannabis enterprises.

Delve into the nuances of regulatory complexities, decipher market trends, and unravel the macroeconomic forces that mold the contours of cannabis financing decisions.

Whether you’re a cannabis industry luminary or a financial connoisseur, this discussion offers an unparalleled plunge into the nexus of finance and cannabis, offering a profound perspective on the captivating realm of capital lending within this thriving market.

Tune in to gain unparalleled insights from a true expert at the crossroads of finance and cannabis.

Transcript:

00:01 Eric:

This is the Roots to Risk Podcast hosted by Eric Schneider, alongside Isaac Bach. Roots To Risk brings you insights, the latest stories, and long form discussions about the cannabis finance industry. You’ll hear interviews with industry leaders and their perspective on current and future trends, how they’ve built success and what challenges they have faced. Our goal is to facilitate candid conversations and provide informative content for the cannabis community at large. Let’s go. What is going on ib? How are we doing today?

00:31 Isaac:

Doing good. E how are you doing?

00:33 Eric:

I’m good. This, I know these come out once, you know, once a week, once every other week, but this is our fourth one this week.

00:40 Isaac:

Hey, you know, God could get content out somehow and, you know, talk, not talk about insurance for a few hours a week is always a positive.

00:48 Eric:

There’s no doubt. There’s no doubt. I, I love that this has nothing to do with insurance and just highlighting the, the people in the space and, and what they’re doing, and, um, you know, one firm that that may not be on, on people’s radar, white Hawk Capital, they’re, they’re pretty agnostic in, uh, in what they do and the deals, but they’ve had some success in cannabis over the past few years. And I know speaking with, you know, Alex Zuckerman, who we’re gonna bring on here in a second, they want to get more involved, um, and, and have done some really sizable deals with large scale, very, um, prominent operators.

01:25 Eric:

And, uh, you know, it’s exciting to see more companies like that, right? That are just like traditional lenders and, and getting into the cannabis space, getting their beak wet.

01:34 Isaac:

No, for sharing. I think, um, you know, this is our first company that’s on the kind of debt financing side, so, uh, definitely gonna be interested to hear how, you know, he views the industry.

01:48 Eric:

Hey, Alex, how we doing today? Thanks for joining us. Hey, Eric,

01:51 Alex:

How are you? Thanks for having me.

01:54 Eric:

Absolutely. No, really appreciate you, uh, you hopping on with Isaac and I today on, uh, roots to Risk, and, uh, yeah, I mean, we’d love to just get a better understanding for the viewers on White Hawk Capital and, and what you guys provide to the cannabis space.

02:08 Alex:

Yeah, sure. So, um, what, I’ll give you kind of the overview of White Hawk. We are not cannabis dedicated. Um, yep. But we’ve done five deals in cannabis, and I can talk about those if they’re interesting. I think, you know, it’s a small enough number where we can probably touch on each one quickly, um, some by name, some not. Yeah, that’d be great. But, um, it’ll kind of give you a, a examples of what, of what we’ve done. Um, but I’ll start by saying, uh, white Hawk Capital, um, is NASA based, direct lender based, uh, here in Los Angeles.

02:41 Alex:

Um, we were previously known as Great American Capital Partners. We were part of an investment bank here called B Riley. Uh, in 2015, B Riley bought a business called Great American, which is an appraisal liquidation valuation firm. And the idea was to start a direct lending platform based on the knowledge, expertise, and flow of the Great American folks.

03:01 Alex:

So that was done in 2015. I joined in 2019, uh, in the middle of fund two. I actually had a, uh, public markets background, so I did stressed and distressed, uh, public credit at a hedge fund here in Los Angeles called Canyon for nine years. Uh, got to know the folks at Great American Capital Partners, a deal we did for Sirius Canada. Um, I was covering consumer retail at that time and just wanted to get into the private credit markets, um, for a variety of reasons that, that we could talk about, if that’s of interest.

03:31 Alex:

But, um, uh, anyway, joined in the middle of Fund two in early 2019. In July of 2020, we spun out amicably from B Riley Informed White Hawk. So we are on our fourth fund as a group. Second fund is White Hawk, uh, all of our cannabis deals. And, and, and I guess all of our deals done so far as White Hawk, which in our last fund, in fund three, that was a $500 million fund.

03:53 Alex:

And we are, we just had a first close on our fund iv, which we’re targeting, you know, something north of 500, somewhere between 500 and a billion for our, for our fund iv. Um, we are, uh, really industry agnostic. Um, the key, you know, the, the key, uh, parameters that, that, that we kind of are always inside of is we’re always lending against assets as opposed to enterprise value or cash flows. And, um, we’re always kind of underwriting to a liquidation downside as opposed to kind of, you know, assuming the business will continue.

04:29 Alex:

Um, you know, most times the business does continue and that’s great. We get refinanced out, but we are always underwriting to kind of a liquidation scenario. We define assets quite broadly, so, you know, kind of moving down the liquidity, uh, hierarchy, I guess, you know, you have ar um, inventory, then Mac machine equipment, real estate, and then you get into intangibles like brands.

04:52 Alex:

Um, and we’ve even looked at kind of software ARR as, as an asset. So we, we are pretty, uh, creative and entrepreneurial in terms of what we deem to be an asset. As long as we think, you know, we can cap our downside or, or recover our principle by monetizing those assets in a downside scenario. Um, I got interested in cannabis, uh, geez, it was probably two years ago now. Um, yeah, kind of this time, 2021. Um, sort of asked the question if we could do it.

05:24 Alex:

We hadn’t done it previously, and, and it was kind of like, let’s go try and see what happens. Um, and so we did our first deal, uh, and this is public with Glasshouse. Um, so that was a $50 million deal, actually a hundred million dollars facility that we did, that we did for Glasshouse. And, uh, helped them, you know, facilitate building out their, their greenhouse, um, up in Camarillo. I was actually up there yesterday with Graham, uh, you know, super incredible to watch that.

05:55 Alex:

’cause I, I was there before they even closed on on it. And, um, to watch it kind of be filled with plants now is, is pretty cool. Um, I guess I’ll, jo, I can just keep going and kind of walk through some of the deals we’ve done, if, if that makes sense.

06:09 Eric:

Yeah. I guess, I guess for,

06:11 Alex:

For me, jump in.

06:13 Eric:

Yeah, yeah. I guess, I guess I, you know, are there, are there other members of your team that, that also work in the, the cannabis space at White Hawk? Or you kind of spearhead that?

06:22 Alex:

Yeah, I think our general model is to be generalists and we don’t really have industry verticals as opposed to the hedge fund where I worked, where I could covered consumer retail. Um, but I think in certain industries, whether it’s crypto, which is not me or cannabis, um, you know, we have, uh, a person who’s kind of, it just makes sense for them to look at all the deals because you talk to the people in the industry, you go to the conferences, um, it, it, it wouldn’t really make sense to, to, you know, have multiple, uh, senior people doing deals in that space.

06:56 Alex:

So yeah, the, the short answer is yes, I, I work on all of our cannabis stuff. Um, my colleague Jonathan Yin has worked on all the deals with me as well. Um, and, and then we hired a, we have an associate, um, kind of mid last year who’s jumped on the, the cannabis deals as well.

07:12 Eric:

That’s awesome. How, how’d you get in touch with Graham and Glasshouse? Like, how’d that relationship start and, you know, were, were you seeing some deals across your desk prior to that?

07:22 Alex:

Um, yeah, I mean, we get deals in, in a really wide variety of ways. I mean, at this point in cannabis, uh, I feel like hopefully, uh, and maybe this, this podcast will help, I feel like our name is, is relatively well known just ’cause of some of the deals we’ve done. But yeah, going back two years ago, we hadn’t done anything. And I think, you know, that was actually a hurdle because people, uh, you know, I think had gone down roads with lenders before, and then they get to the end and they’re like, oh, our committee isn’t comfortable with cannabis, or Our LPs aren’t comfortable with cannabis. So it definitely took some work, um, to kind of establish credibility.

07:55 Alex:

And I think the really only way you can do that is by doing deals. Um, we met the Glasshouse guys through East West Bank and, um, okay. Yeah, we’ve done a couple deals, uh, including East West Bank, um, in, in part of our syndicates. So, uh, that was how we, that introduction was made. But, you know, we, we see things from, from, you know, all different, uh, sources, bankers, uh, brokers, companies themselves, conferences, um, you know, we’re pretty agnostic as to how the deal comes in.

08:27 Alex:

And we, we try to cast as wide of a net as possible.

08:32 Isaac:

Uh, that’s really interesting. I guess, you know, because you guys are industry agnostic, you know, how does the underwriting process look different across industries or you guys stick to kind of your standard process? Or is there anything unique to the cannabis side when you go see a deal from, you know, our industry specifically?

08:47 Alex:

Yeah, it’s a really good question. So I think the challenge for us in cannabis is, um, we can’t advance on working capital in the way that we would for almost any other industry. Um, AR is usually relatively small anyways, and then, you know, at least for California, where our two largest deals are, um, AR is tough because frankly, a, a large swat of retailers aren’t, aren’t paying. Um, and so combination of it usually not being a substantial amount, uh, on the ballot sheet with questionable quality, um, we just don’t lend on AR and then inventory, uh, for obvious reasons.

09:26 Alex:

We can’t, you know, go in and take the cannabis and sell it, um, due to obvious regulatory restrictions. So we really can’t advance on that either. Um, nor will any, you know, our, our business model is to get a third party appraisal on almost anything that we lend against.

09:43 Alex:

And I, uh, I could be wrong and, and, and maybe people reach out to me and correct me, but I haven’t seen any third party firms that are doing cannabis inventory appraisals. Um, but even if there were, I still, I don’t, you know, I think the regulatory issue is probably the bigger issue. So, uh, where I’m going with this is it really leaves real estate for us, um, with, with one, with one notable exception, all the, uh, actually two exceptions. Uh, the, so we’ve done five deals in cannabis, three of them have been real estate heavy.

10:14 Alex:

Um, Glasshouse obviously owns a ton of real estate. Uh, we have another private Arizona operator that owns a lot of real estate. Um, and then, uh, and, and we were in a deal in Michigan that we got taken out of that owned real estate that, that leads to.

10:29 Alex:

One is a, uh, private cal, our other large California deal that I alluded to. Um, they have a, you know, can, can’t, can’t get into details obviously, but they have a really successful, uh, brand, uh, that’s kind of dominant in their category in California. And, uh, we sort of, we, we got the brand appraised and we got comfortable there that the brand had value. I think it’s definitely the exception that proves the rule. I’m really skeptical of brand value right now in cannabis generally, um, just because the inner, the, the state by state model makes it tough to develop a brand across states, but we really feel like this brand is, is kind of a, a, a gem and a unicorn and, uh, we got comfortable lending against that and just the cash flows of the business as a secondary, uh, kind of consideration because they’re quite robust, particularly for California.

11:19 Alex:

So that was kind of the exception that proves the rule for us. I don’t see us doing a lot of asset like type deals like that again. Um, sorry, my camera just went on here for a second. Um, but, but we did do that deal and then we have a deal, this is public, uh, for a public company called Green Lane, and we can lend against the inventory and ar there because it’s non plant touching. So we were able to get that inventory appraised. So that’s sort of, uh, not, not plant touching, but obviously cannabis adjacent. Um, so hopefully that gives you kind of a sense.

11:49 Alex:

I, I think on a go forward basis, we really are, you know, barring another very unique situation that comes along, will, will, will only be lending into situations where they own their real estate.

12:00 Isaac:

No, for sure. And that, that makes a lot of sense and actually leads into the next question I wanted to ask you with, um, you know, a lot of the sale leasebacks have been happening, um, you know, across the board in the campus industry as companies find, you know, new ways to get capital in. Um, how has that affected your guys’ deal flow or, you know, the companies reaching out to you for loans?

12:20 Alex:

Uh, you mean companies having done sale lease specs?

12:23 Isaac:

Yeah, yeah.

12:24 Alex:

Well, if they’ve done a, I I, I think we’re an alternative to a sale lease spec, right? ’cause you’re maintaining your ownership of the property. You’re borrowing for three years. Um, you’re not locking into a, you know, 20 year contract with escalators. There’s pros and cons to both. I’m not an expert on the sale leaseback model. I know there are definitely firms that want to retain ownership of their, uh, real estate. For example, if you think, you know, safe’s gonna pass or you think, uh, we’re five years away from some kind of major regulatory reform or two years away, or 10 years away, whatever your view is, you may want to maintain ownership even in return for a higher interest rate over a short period of time.

13:01 Alex:

Because over the long period of time, you think you’re gonna be able to get cheap bank financing and five years or something like that. And, you know, so you gotta look, you can’t just think about what you’re paying on a yearly basis. You have to look over the life of your asset. Uh, maybe you pay higher carrying costs today, but you maintain ownership of it and over the life over 10 years, 20 years, you, you’re, it’s actually much cheaper. So that’s kind of how I think about us versus a sale leaseback. If a company’s already conducted a sale lease back, there’s not really much for us to do, um, obviously because they don’t own that real estate anymore.

13:32 Isaac:

Right. Yeah. That, that’s more I was alluding to like, because I know that has been something that more companies have looked into. Um, you know, we’ve had a number of our larger clients go to sale lease backgrounds. So I just wanted to understand how that’s affected your guys deal flow and if you’ve seen a, a slowdown overall, you know, since that picked up.

13:48 Alex:

Yeah, I, I mean, we have, uh, so I was saying before we started, now we actually have seen a slowdown lately in kind of deal flow. But I think, I don’t think that’s because of increasing sale leasebacks. Maybe it’s because I think we’ve hit, we’re hitting a bit of a maturity point where people who can e borrow against their real estate or do a sale leaseback have kind of done that, um, already. And then I also think frankly, the, the number of credit worthy borrowers who are even gonna, you know, have a conversation with us has, has declined, uh, just because we haven’t had any relief on two 80 and we haven’t really, you know, the, the, the macro market for cannabis has softened as we all know.

14:25 Alex:

So it’s almost like, uh, people aren’t reaching out anymore because they just don’t have the, the package that we’re looking for, which is, you know, a, a high standard frankly.

14:34 Alex:

I mean, we’re looking for real estate and we’re looking for kind of positive cash flow. We’re not doing any construction finance, we’re not doing like anything pre pre-revenue. Um, we’re not stepping into, into situations with deep losses or turnarounds in cannabis. So, um, I think, think it’s just been kind of this eye of the storm type situation for us. You know, we closed our last deal in December and, uh, I don’t know that we’ve put out a term sheet since then, but we’re always looking and talking to people and, and happy to look. But, uh, yeah, it has quieted down a bit. Um, but I don’t necessarily think that’s because of sale lease specs, uh, other than cumulatively, I suppose everyone who owned real estate may have either borrowed against it or sale lease backed it at this point.

15:16 Alex:

Gotcha. Not, it seems like buying new real estate right now, it feels like.

15:20 Eric:

Yeah, <laugh>. Yeah. And, and it seems like most of the deals that you guys are doing are with, you know, either multi-state operators or, or large, you know, publicly traded companies or or large private. Is there like a minimum check size that you have or, yeah,

15:34 Alex:

Like a maximum we’re 15 to 20 at the low end. Okay. Um, I, maybe we would do a 10 if it was like amazing or there was some strategic reason or it could grow significantly from there. Uh, but really 15 to 20 is, is, is our low end.

15:51 Eric:

Got it. And, and in terms of deals that are either on your desk or, or what are you guys thinking for the next 12 months or, you know, 12 to 18 months, you know, what are you guys looking at from a deal perspective? Um, and just like the industry in general, right? You know, what are your thoughts on where things are going now and, and what it’s gonna look like over the next 12 to 18 months?

16:14 Alex:

Yeah, I mean, I’m, I’m, I don’t know that I’m a a good person to make many macro predictions, but I can tell you that I’ve observed that, um, flower prices in California are up substantially. I mean, maybe two x off their lows nine months ago. Uh, and so that, and, and when you look at like, the number of licenses that have come outta the market, uh, and the square footage, the canopy space that’s come outta the market, um, which makes sense, right? Because prices were meaningfully below most people’s marginal cost production. Um, that feels like it may have some staying power and some legs, but I think everyone’s a little shellshocked and nervous to, to get too excited about it.

16:51 Alex:

Um, but I feel like that probably has positive knock on effects. I, California is by far the market I’m most familiar with. As I mentioned, our two, our large deals are there.

16:58 Alex:

Um, I’m less familiar with kinda the East coast and limited licensed states. Uh, it feels like price compression there will kind of continue for now. Uh, but I, you know, as you guys know, you really have to go state by state. Um, I have no insight or predictions into, say for the regulatory environment. You know, there was a big hearing today. Um, you know, I think from my perspective, one thing that’s gonna be interesting is kind of all the upcoming debt maturities for the, you know, tier one MSOs and how they’ll deal with them in tier two, I guess as well.

17:29 Alex:

Um, you have a lot, I think you have a lot of guys that have kind of 24 to 26, 2000, 24 to 2026 maturities. So is there some role for us to play there? Will they go back and do something syndicated through, you know, uh, Seaport or Canaccord or will they go to the private market?

17:44 Alex:

That’s an interesting thing to watch. And, um, something I’m interested in. Um, so those are so kind of a hodgepodge of observations and, and sort of things I’m watching, but I don’t have any, any, uh, brilliant macro insights. I mean, other than it seems like, you know, at some point there will be a washout, I think there’ll be consolidation. There has to be consolidation, um, and ultimate, and this decline in CapEx spending, you’re seeing from all the large guys, hopefully will kind of put a lid on supply and, and pricing can stabilize here.

18:15 Alex:

But again, I think it’s market by market.

18:19 Isaac:

Are there any markets, you know, I know you mentioned you’re, you’re most familiar with California and that’s where your two biggest deals are. Are there any markets that interest you guys to potentially look at deals if you get an opportunity or ones you’re keeping your eyes on right now?

18:33 Alex:

I’m pretty agnostic as to market. Um, I think I, I don’t like the concept of saying we would never do a deal here. We only want to do deals there. Um, frankly, I think that was an opportunity for us in California because people were just not looking at things because it was California. And, um, to me that’s kind of like, I mean, every deal is different and you can have a great deal in California and you could have a bad deal in Florida. You could have a bad deal in New Jersey. I mean, it just, it, it’s hard to say like, I would never do this state, or I would only do these states. I know some people have that approach or have historically.

19:06 Alex:

Um, I guess Canada doesn’t have a lot of interest to me. Uh, I haven’t seen anything in Canada that was really worth, uh, you know, we don’t, we don’t have a problem with Canada as lenders.

19:16 Alex:

We’ve done stuff in Canada. In fact, uh, I, I met got, I met, uh, the founding partners of my firm through a deal we did for Sears, Canada. So I have no problem lending into Canada from like a legal perspective or a jurisdictional perspective. But from an industry perspective, we just, you know, I, I don’t even know if something appraises for $50 million there if it’s worth 5 million. I just have no, no idea where things clear in Canada. So probably not gonna do anything in Canada, but anything domestically in the us I think we would look at

19:49 Eric:

Anything like internationally outside of Canada or us. Have you ever looked at,

19:53 Alex:

I just feel like cannabis is hard enough that why do I want to do that to myself? Um, never say never, but yeah, you know, we, we, we are very focused on what the, um, legal framework is in countries. And of course in cannabis that’s very different because, you know, cannabis companies can’t access the bank US bankruptcy courts. So I, I’m not, I haven’t spent any time thinking about like, would we look at Western European, you know, German cannabis company or UK cannabis company. Uh, nothing’s ever really come across my desk.

20:24 Alex:

And I think there’s probably enough to do here, uh, that that’s not a likely path. But again, I, I am, I’m, I’d always rather look at deals than not. And so if there’s something super interesting that’s European, I mean, I don’t see us do anything in South America or, you know, anything like that. But, um, maybe in, in Western Europe, we would look at it

20:45 Eric:

For. And, and I know that you guys are, um, agnostic at White Hawk, but do you have like a certain amount of capital, like designated for the space or earmarked, or is it just very much like deal by deal depending on what kind of comes across your desk? I didn’t know if there’s, like, part of the fund is, yeah,

21:03 Alex:

Not officially, not officially. I think we keep an eye on industry exposure. Our LPs care about industry exposure, so we don’t want to be 50% of anything cannabis or oil and gas or healthcare or retail. We, we just wouldn’t want to be 50% anything. But whether that number is 10% or 15, I, I don’t, you know, we don’t have any hard and fast rules, but we look at industry exposure and, uh, we care about that. But we, we, it’s, it’s, it’s not something where we’ve said, okay, a hundred of our $500 million fund is gonna go for cannabis.

21:40 Eric:

And, and I know that you guys have had, like you mentioned, uh, previously that there’s certain, um, underwriting guidelines that are a little different in, in cannabis given the, the regulatory framework. But when you, when you first did a deal in this space, was there any moment or like Aha, where you were like, this is way different or more complex, or like, I didn’t know, like a lot of people when they first come into the space, they always have that, you know, oh yeah. Initial experience where they’re like, yeah,

22:10 Alex:

I think the two things for me,

22:12 Alex:

Sorry, I didn’t to interrupt you. Um, I think the two things for me are two 80 d e, which is unique to cannabis and very onerous. And, uh, I remember asking someone, you know, when, whenever in March of 21 when they said, you know, they’re like, oh, well because of two a e and I said, what’s two a e? And then it was very obvious that I was brand new to the industry. And, um, you know, obviously spent a lot of time thinking about that and, and what that means for conversion from EBITDA to free cash flow. It just doesn’t look like any other industry. Um, so that, that was something that we had to understand and get comfortable with.

22:46 Alex:

And then, uh, you know, the, the fact that companies can’t access the bankruptcy courts, which for us is a big deal because we, you know, when we document credit agreements and we think about our recoveries, we almost always assume we are gonna be going through some kind of in court process.

23:03 Alex:

And so we had to get comfortable with the receivership model and how we should, you know, work that into credit agreements, how that would play out. And frankly, there’s just not a lot of, uh, receivership precedent to look at. Um, there’s a handful of cases you can look at, but, um, it, you know, so anytime there’s not a, you know, the great thing about US bankruptcy court is there’s hundreds and thousands of cases and case law and precedent that you can look at over many, many years that get people comfortable that you’re not gonna go in expecting one thing and get a different outcome.

23:34 Alex:

And, uh, look, I think that’s priced into the cannabis market for sure, but it’s something that you really have to think about as a lender, because you’re not gonna be going through a regular way bankruptcy.

23:47 Eric:

That’s an interesting point, honestly, I, I haven’t really heard that brought up too much, obviously two a d e and, and the different challenges from a regulatory perspective. But, um, that makes, that makes a lot of sense.

23:59 Alex:

Yeah. Yeah, I mean that’s, that’s certainly, as a lender, that should be on everyone, the forefront of everybody’s mind. We always, yeah, look at the, the great outcome is company does well and refinances us out, but we, that will upside will take care of itself. We always have to underwrite to the downside.

24:17 Eric:

And, and before we, we wrap things up here, Alex, this has been awesome and like a really, really great insight. Um, you know, pro like, part of the goal of what we wanted to do here was bring on people with different backgrounds and different experiences in the cannabis space. Um, and, and to date, we haven’t had, you know, a debt provider. So this has been really helpful insight and, and hopefully the viewers get value out of it. Um, but before we, before we wrap things up, Isaac here is just gonna give some, some fun fastballs at you and then we’ll, we’ll wrap things up Okay.

24:47 Eric:

And get you on your way. Alright.

24:49 Isaac:

Yeah. A a little bit, a little bit off of, uh, the work topic. So, um, you know, when you, when you wake up in the morning, have a big meeting, getting ready for a workout, what’s, uh, what’s the song at the top of the playlist to get you going?

25:01 Alex:

Oh, well, for workouts for sure. I’m all hip hop rap. Um, good question. Let’s see, I, I like, I like Rick Ross for, uh, for, for lifting and working out. Um, definitely, uh, definitely my workout playlist. I’m just, I’m looking at it right here is just like all,

25:18 Eric:

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t, I didn’t peg you for a Rick Ross guy. Super,

25:21 Alex:

Like ratchet hip hop for, for working out for sure.

25:25 Isaac:

<laugh>. I love it. That’s how I’m too, the, the, some of those, uh, preset Spotify, like getting the zone playlist or <crosstalk>. Oh no,

25:32 Alex:

I’ve got, mine’s been building from like 2005 or whenever, whenever I got on Spotify. So I’ve got like a 400, uh, 400, it is 15 hours of, uh, of wrap here for my workouts.

25:45 Isaac:

I love that. Um, that’s awesome. Um, next one, you know, I see the, the book shelf behind you. Um, you know, what’s one book that you’ve, uh, derived a lot value out of, um, you know, have turned back to a few times maybe, or think that people should definitely look into?

25:59 Alex:

Yeah, I’ll give you a, a nerdy finance one and then a non-finance one. So <laugh>, uh, I mean, uh, the, the Caesar’s Palace book, uh, Caesar, it’s called Caesar Palace Coup or some, something along those lines. It’s like super fascinating for me, even though I’m now in the private markets. Um, I just think for anyone who has any interest in like business and finance, um, we, when I was at Canyon, uh, I didn’t cover gaming, but we were very involved with that case and there’s just like, just to read about it, it’s like reads like a telenovela. It’s, it’s fascinating.

26:30 Alex:

And then all the machinations between the private equity firms and the, the hedge funds. Um, I read, you know, I, I read it or I think I listened to it pretty recently, which was a couple years after it came out. So it was a little late to the game, but it was awesome.

26:42 Alex:

I just like super gripping. Um, not super relevant to cannabis or private lending, but, um, I just think if you like business and you like finance and you like the markets, um, it’s super interesting. And then, um, I really like, uh, David Goggins stuff, um, for like inspirational stuff. So I have like, uh, just happens to be sitting here, never finished as his new one. And it’s just, you know, good for trying to convince yourself to like go work out or something when you’re on three hours sleep with your newborn. So I like that one too.

27:13 Isaac:

No, for sure. His, uh, his stuff that, you know, is all over Instagram now these days and everything. He, uh, he has a way to make you kind of feel bad about you

27:21 Eric:

Yourself. I was just about to say, he just makes me feel soft all the time. Yeah, I

27:25 Alex:

Guess it depends on if you feel like you need

27:26 Eric:

That. Not that I’m too tough,

27:27 Alex:

I feel like I need that sometimes just for my silly three mile run or whatever while he is out there doing, you know, ultras. But, uh, I’ll take, I’ll, I’ll do what I can.

27:38 Eric:

He’s putting bandaid No, for sure.

27:39 Isaac:

Bandaids on his toes. Yeah, I, I don’t know if I need to be running. Uh, you know what, he did eight ultra marathons in like eight days. Crazy.

27:47 Alex:

Just scale it down to your, to your life. <laugh>.

27:51 Isaac:

Exactly. Um, and then last one, you know what, uh, what’s your favorite restaurant that you’ve ever been to? Or, you know, what’s the one that you and your wife go to, um, that you guys enjoy the most? Oh,

28:01 Alex:

That’s a good, good question. Um, we, uh, what do we like? So there’s um, I mean these are obviously are all like LA restaurants. There’s like Catya, which is near us, which is kind of like a, it’s, I don’t know, kind of cheesy and that it’s like a trendy LA spot, but it’s actually like really good sushi and we really like it. Um, there’s a restaurant out in Santa Monica called a Lafonte, which like looks out on the water and the food is amazing. That’s like my go-to business lunch spot if I can. Um, just awesome ambiance and good food.

28:35 Alex:

And then there’s an Italian restaurant in, um, I guess it’s in Culver City called Scopa that we really love.

28:43 Isaac:

I love it. Those are good additions to the, uh,

28:46 Alex:

<crosstalk>. Yeah, I didn’t know I was getting, you’re gonna get all the, uh, human interest. We’re,

28:50 Eric:

We’re building a playlist, a book list and uh, and a restaurant list. Yeah, there

28:53 Alex:

You go. Well, if you, those are three choices for you in la.

28:58 Eric:

Awesome. I love it. Well, well really appreciate your time, Alex. And this has been, you know, awesome and I think, uh, really insightful. Um, and I’m sure we’ll see on the, the conference circuit and, uh, good luck with, with upcoming deals and, um, you know, great to see that you guys are getting more involved in the cannabis space and, and hopefully some more deals come across your desk. Yeah,

29:17 Alex:

And if anybody wants to reach out to me, I, I like talking about the industry, so it’s, um, a Zuckerman, a z u c k e r m a n at Whitehawk Capital, we have a website too. So appreciate

29:28 Isaac:

That, Alex. Thank you.

29:32 Eric:

Alright, another one in the books, last one for the week, <laugh>. Um, I think a great one. I think, um, a lot of great nuggets and tidbits from Alex and, and how they view cannabis deals compared to other deals in their portfolio. And, uh, love the Rick Ross drop. That’s, I mean, yeah, was not expecting that, but loved it.

29:54 Isaac:

No, me either. Uh, <laugh>, I’m actually curious. 15 hours of, you know, hip hop and rap music. That’s a, that’s a long playlist. I’d be curious to see what else is on there. But no, I think his insight and, you know, honestly some of the things that, um, you know, from an actual operational perspective and how they have to underwrite against the downside risk, um, you know, given the regulations around cannabis is interesting and I don’t think, um, you know, people think about it that way all the time. So it was definitely given insight that he provided on that side of things.

30:26 Eric:

Yeah, like even, you know, obviously the one thing about the bankruptcy laws in the US like makes sense, right? Um, and also just that from an asset perspective, they can’t factor in cannabis stock because you

30:41 Isaac:

Can’t flip it,

30:42 Eric:

Take the possession of it. They wouldn’t be able to just sell it. Well, maybe in New York City right now, but not under the table <laugh>. Um, but you know, it’s, uh, another, another great addition. I think, you know, I know I sound like a broken record, but just another angle and, and content that we’re trying to provide to the viewership and, um, just bring, bring a, a broad array of operators, debt providers, investors, so on and so forth.

31:11 Isaac:

No, for sure. And you know, hopefully for, for them, like Alex kind of had mentioned, you know, it’s good for, um, people to know that they’re, they’re in the industry, um, even though, you know, it might not be their, their sole focus, but they, they’ve done a lot of big deals in the space and, um, you know, hopefully some, uh, companies reach out to Alex and have some conversations with them on, you know, helping them on the financing side, instincts hug.

31:33 Eric:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, uh, another one in the books.

31:38 Isaac:

I’m happy I’ll have to see your face on another one of these for a week,

31:41 Eric:

<laugh>. It’s just not nice. It’s just not nice. I’m kidding you. How long, how long would 15 hours of music take you to get through and workouts? You think? You, you probably how much you work out in a week?

31:52 Isaac:

In a week? Uh,

31:55 Eric:

Sicko probably work workout two to three hours a day.

31:58 Isaac:

Yeah, it would take me a week.

32:00 Eric:

<laugh>, yeah,

32:01 Isaac:

A week. It’d take me a week.

32:02 Eric:

15 hours of music. Well,

32:04 Isaac:

I mean, the, the, I’ve shown you that little jump rope thing I use, I go through that for about 45 minutes a day. So there’s, there’s a good amount of time right there

32:15 Eric:

When he is not selling insurance or on a podcast, he is working out, ladies and gentlemen, I will tell you that. Or with Sarah or with Sarah.

32:23 Isaac:

Sarah’s not up when I work out. That’s the, that’s the key differentiator.

32:27 Eric:

All right, brother. Well, uh, another one in the books pump for the next one.

32:31 Isaac:

Yep, me too. Talk to you later.

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