Curaleaf founder Boris Jordan was born in New York to Russian parents. He's a former supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin. In a revealing interview on Ethan Nadelmann's Psychoactive podcast, Jordan says Putin will never legalize cannabis.
"It's going to be difficult for two reasons," Jordan explains. "Under Putin I don't see it happening because he is anti-alcohol and anti any drugs. The man is a health freak. He is never going to allow it."
Jordan points to a Russian cannabis study Putin backed three years ago. "Although I don't know where this study is now, he did allow one Russian government-owned organization to build a greenhouse and to plant cannabis as well as the opium plant to do medical research as to whether or not it actually works," Jordan says. "He had enough pressure on him with everything that's going on in the United State and Europe that he allowed for that to happen. He said, 'If you guys can bring me medical evidence that these things actually cure or at least assist in medical conditions and this would be a cheaper variant to synthetic drugs, I will give it serious consideration.'
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"But recreational [marijuana]? Never under Putin's watch. He is adamantly against it. He apparently cracked a joke once and asked some Russian who knew me if Jordan is still selling weed to the Americans? That person said yes and Putin said thank God."
Boris Jordan on Putin: "He apparently cracked a joke once and asked some Russian who knew me if Jordan is still selling weed to the Americans? That person said yes and Putin said thank God."
Jordan continues about the Russian warmonger: "His view of cannabis is very negative, at least for his own population. However, when that old guard steps away from power, I can tell you the younger generation right underneath him is much more open-minded on these things. If I was a betting man - I'm in cannabis, so I guess I am - I would argue that Russia could move very quickly under a new regime.
"However, there are massive stigmas in Russia, very similar to the ones in the United States... I see a tremendous amount of similarities between the Russians and Americans - the way they think, the way they behave, a lot of things are very, very similar. The young generation of Russians are very progressive. I think that generation, assuming it doesn't run off because of this war, would move on cannabis very quickly."
Many have asked my position on the unfolding situation. Being of both Ukrainian and Russian descent I pray for diplomacy & a peaceful resolution that protects the lives of all citizens on both sides of this conflict.— Boris Jordan (@Boris_Jordan) February 25, 2022
Nadelmann challenges Jordan about "putting out a lukewarm statement hoping there could be peaceful resolution" when Russia invaded Ukraine in February and for "failing to condemn Putin." The host suggests Jordan's low-key tweet (above) may be due to Putin's proclivity to kill his opponents, and that Jordan chose "to take the shit from the community than rather be bolder," referring to cannabis industy criticism. "Is that basically what happened?"
Jordan ducks the question with this answer: "I'm an old-line student of business. Maybe I need to change but everything I know about business is that business and politics is separate. I do not get involved in poliitics while I'm running businesses... I try to stay out of the politics because I don't think there's an up side to business getting involved in politics."
Founded in 2010, Curaleaf, based in Massachusetts, currently operates in 23 states. It's considered "the world's largest cannabis company by revenue." CURLF is currently trading at $5.63 per share on the OTC market. Their market cap is $4.25B.