Blazing a trail from bars to buds

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As New Zealand gears up for an overhaul of our cannabis laws, a former Queenstowner has found himself immersed in the high-stakes industry in the US. Daisy Hudson reports.

Todd Metzger considers himself a “serial entrepreneur”.

The former Queenstown hospo boss owned resort bar The Bunker from 2001 to 2004, but after returning home to Michigan, he turned his attention to the cannabis industry.

He now owns two businesses, one selling medicinal cannabis, and another doing consulting work in the industry.

“I’m a little bit of a risk-taker, and I find excitement in these new industries, because we’re actually creating the market-space in real time, there’s really no model for you to go on, so everybody’s kinda doing their own thing,” he tells Mountain Scene.

“If you have business acumen and a little bit of creativity, you can go far in this space.”

He was granted his first cultivation licence in 2010, and in 2015 he established his first retail location, Alternative Medicine.

A 2018 law change legalised recreational cannabis in Michigan, and he’s looking to branch out into that.

“Aside from just going for our own licences, we also have Murray Hill Development Group, which focuses on cannabis real estate, consulting work, design and layout work,” he explains.

“There’s quite a few different layers to it, rather than just selling and growing cannabis.”

He’s also expressed an interest in investing in the budding New Zealand industry.

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daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz