Dr. Don Davidson — Dr. D. to friends and colleagues — was a rising star in the weed business. Now he lives in a van. (Photo provided)
SAN DIEGO — Along with the cheers of stoners and patients in each successive state that legalizes weed, America’s Green Revolution, like the rise of the digital age, has created a new generation of mega-wealthy entrepreneurs.
In 2018, sales of cannabis in the U.S. reached nearly $10 billion. Sales of CBD — reported to have therapeutic effects across a range of illnesses and ailments — reached a half-billion last year. The recent federal legalization of hemp is expected to push sales to nearly $2 billion in 2022. With federal banking regulations lagging behind legalization statutes, tales abound of armored cars full of cash convoying across state lines to more cooperative banks.
But it turns out there’s a flip side. An investment in the weed business is like any other.
Sometimes you lose everything.
Two years ago, Dr. Don Davidson — Dr. D. to friends and colleagues — was living in a mansion on a hilltop near Malibu, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He had spent the previous several years working 14 hour days to build, with the help of home pot-delivery service Eaze.com, the largest marijuana-related telemedicine platform in the world.
Along the way he banked hundreds of thousands of dollars and created an email list of over 150,000 patients. In anticipation of the legalization of recreational use in California, he invested tens of thousands of his earnings to create his first line of marijuana products. There were billboards, branding parties around the pool and hot tub, a vintage Mustang in the driveway, a chief on staff, and a revolving cast of model-quality girlfriends. He was one of the weed industry’s rising superstars.
Today, the 34-year old graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine lives in his van.
Mind you, it’s a pretty cool van, tricked out for off-road travel — matte-black with big tires and solar panels and a trailer/chuck wagon with a full cooking setup. He calls it the War Pig. It even has a microwave and a generator.
A couple years ago, when he first bought the War Pig and spent a small fortune having it customized, it seemed an outrageous overspend, kind of like the container full of white custom leather sofas and other furniture he ordered from China to fill the mansion’s various lounges and sitting rooms. Things were going so well. Go big or go home, right?
Only now, the man toy is his shelter. Everyday, Dr. D has to find a shower and toilet.
Published: July 31, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News