Tennessee treasurer orders state pension fund to sell marijuana investment

Women, minority execs show few gains in U.S. cannabis industry, according to the latest data from the MJBiz Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Report. Get your copy here.


Tennessee’s treasurer has ordered the state’s pension fund manager to sell stock in a marijuana company after learning about the investment.

Treasurer David Lillard said he was unaware of the investment until he was contacted by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The newspaper reported that more than a dozen public pension funds invested in marijuana through a California-based real estate investment trust (REIT).

The REIT, Innovative Industrial Properties, serves the marijuana industry and trades on the New York Stock Exchange as IIPR.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, has routinely opposed any move to legalize medical marijuana.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System passively invested in Innovative Industrial Properties through a small-company stock index.

State Senate Finance chair Bo Watson, a Republican, said the investment is contradictory and confusing to the public.

Rep. Jeremy Faison, also a Republican, said the stock is on the rise and is questioning the decision to sell the shares.

Lillard said the state needs to review the process on purchasing indexes.

 – Associated Press