In the boardroom at his former merchant bank office in Calgary, Sonny Mottahed is taking down a black-and-white photo of the wooden derricks over Spindletop, the historic crude find that started the Texas oil boom.
In its place, he’s hanging a photo of the “HOLLYWOOD” sign vandalized to read “Hollyweed,” a playful riff on the Los Angeles landmark that he hopes heralds the start of a new boom in Canada: legal marijuana.
After 25 years in the oil patch, most recently running his own advisory firm, Mottahed is striking out into the pot business. He’s intrigued by the potential of the nascent industry as Canada prepares to legalize recreational marijuana this year, while dismayed at the challenges facing the oil patch.
“The market wasn’t doing any transactions,” Mottahed said. “So I needed to look at doing some things differently.”
Exxon Mobil Corp., launching a career that took him to more than 30 countries, with