As part of my series about “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business” I had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Trenk, the founder and Managing Member of Lizada Capital, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, which invests in the legal cannabis industry. Lizada Capital, LLC was established to lead the movement of legal cannabis, now among the fastest growing industries in the United States, as a means to improve quality of life by delivering safe and effective products and services to medical patients and other legal users. For the past five years, in response to changes in legislation and the national climate in the medical marijuana segment of the healthcare industry, as well as the movement to legalize the adult use of cannabis in multiple states, Mr. Trenk developed Lizada Capital, LLC as an investment vehicle to take full advantage of this exciting and rapidly-expanding new frontier. Mr. Trenk’s current portfolio spans more than 50 businesses in the legal cannabis industry, including The Gold Q, a line of fast-acting hemp-infused skin care and wellness products and Quigley’s fast-acting cannabis-infused products. Mr. Trenk has been a business owner and investor for more than 40 years. He began his career in 1973 as a bi-coastal innovator in the non-emergency medical transportation business. He spent twenty years providing a broad range of therapeutic healthcare products and services in acute, chronic, and out-patient settings. Mr. Trenk made early investments in the technology, internet, and alternative energy industries, and has also invested in both residential and commercial real estate. Mr. Trenk has also spent twenty years in the aviation industry, serving the broad tourism market and the narrow charter market in New York City and Las Vegas.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Ihave had a 40 year plus entrepreneurial carrier Involving ownership and management roles in the healthcare services industry, investment banking and aviation services. In 2011 I sold a part of the family aviation business that I had been operating for a number of years.

At about that time, my son, who was an elected official (Councilman and Vice mayor of his hometown in Arizona) had graduated law school.

He had been recruited by a very prominent Scottsdale law firm, the Rose Law Group, which was at the leading edge of Arizona is legal cannabis industry. Influenced by the fact that my best friend growing up was part of the family that was involved in the liquor industry since for Prohibition, I recognized the potential opportunity that the end of Cannabis prohibition represented.

My first four knowledge about the emerging legal cannabis industry let me to the ArcView Group. I was fortunate to be excepted into this group in its formative stage. I fell in love with people, the mission at the opportunity on first exposure.

The rest, as they say, is history. I have since invested in some 50 legal cannabis companies through Lizada Capital, LLC, my personal cannabis holding company.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

My most interesting story involves the application and acceptance process for membership in The ArcView Group at that time.

Because of the nascent character if the industry and questionable history of some of its participants, ArcView Was quite selective. They required a great deal of information and conducted a background check on applicants. Because the process took some time, my imagination began to wonder into what might results from such scrutiny. Fortunately for me, I passed muster and was excepted into what is certainly one of the most supportive, collaborative and gratifying group experiences of my life.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Early on in my ArcView membership I met someone who was raising money for a cannabis inhaler, a unique delivery method for marijuana involving Vapor instead of smoke.

I was very excited about the opportunity and offered everything the entrepreneur was seeking. In my quest to support his brilliant and disruptive product offering, I apparently succeeded in creating the illusion that I was interested in usurping control of his baby. On the contrary, I was too ignorant to have such an ambitious objective. However, despite my ambitious efforts to convince contributions Would be synergistic, I was rejected. Six years later, the entrepreneur has got nowhere.

The lesson… Some of my greatest successes are the ones that didn’t happen.

Are you working on any exciting projects now?

I’m involved in a company called Tech-Holdings, LLC. With a disruptive, proprietary, fast acting technology. It is positioned to disrupt the infused cannabis product business. Our patented technology overcomes the critical issues of accurate dosing and time to onset which plagued the edibles segment of the industry. We have developed line of THC infused products, line of health, wellness and beauty topicals and TheAntiDō, a remarkable antidote for undesired psychoactive effects of Cannabis that allows for continuing therapeutic benefit.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There are several. However, my partner Tony Alfiere, the inventor of our patented technology, profoundly changed my involvement in the industry by getting me involved day to day. This was contrary to my interest in being a mentor and more passive investor. The irony was that when we first met I paid little attention to Tony. It wasn’t very long before I ended up totally immersed in the advancement of his invention.

This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?

On the contrary, the cannabis industry is developing into a large consumer product play. There is much we should learn from conventional, marketing strategies.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?

Three things that most excite me:

1. The opportunity to help people

2. The opportunity to innovate in a huge, but still emerging marketplace

3. The opportunity to make generational wealth in my lifetime

Three things that most concern me:

1. The learning curve involved effectively and fairly regulating the industry

2. The delay in legislative action on banking and 280

3. The potential harm done by bad actors

Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”?

1. How rapid the evolution of the industry would happen.

2. How dynamically changing the marketplace is, on what seems to be a day to day basis.

3. How rapidly technology and products would be imitated.

4. How competitive pricing would become on such an accelerated time frame.

5. How difficult it would be to choose between very talented capable people who are rapidly joining the industry.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

As I was taught by my maternal grandmother, it’s very easy to be trusting and supportive of people who pretend to be aligned with your objectives. That includes inv
estors, partners, employees or customers.

The lesson: it’s OK to trust everyone. But, don’t neglect to cut the cards.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have chosen the cannabis legalization movement as taught to me by my friends in the ArcView Group. It is my honor to promote the mission of creating a large scale, sustainable industry for the benefit of all free men and women AND those less fortunate than I, who have become the victim of the biased enforcement of drug policy.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Please visit my website at, connect with me on LinkedIn and support the companies and organizations that I advocate for.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!