Patrick Moen, a 36-year-old from Portland, Oregon, recently made a dramatic career shift. Tired of leading a team of Portland-based DEA agents in arresting drug traffickers, he has joined a firm in Seattle, Washington that invests in budding marijuana businesses.
Torben Bjørn Hansen\Flickr”The potential social and financial returns are enormous,” Mr. Moen, who is becoming managing director of compliance and senior counsel of Privateer Holdings Inc., told The Wall Street Journal. “The attitudes toward cannabis are shifting rapidly.”
According to The WSJ, Moen’s shift was inspired by an interest in the legal marijuana industry. Perhaps not surprisingly, his job interview was a little weird:
Mr. Moen…said he was pondering career moves when one day on the ride to work, he heard Mr. Kennedy [Chief Executive of Pirvateer] interviewed on the radio. The legal marijuana business had interested him, and he reached out to Mr. Kennedy online. They set a meeting at a Portland-area coffee shop. Mr. Kennedy says he was nervous; all he knew of Mr. Moen was that he was affiliated with the Justice Department.
When he sat down and Mr. Moen slid him a business card, “I started to sweat a bit,” Mr. Kennedy says. An envelope followed. “I thought, ‘This is bad.’”
“This is my resume,” Mr. Moen said.
When he announced his career change, it was Mr. Moen’s time to be nervous. “I was concerned about blowback from colleagues and from friends and family,” he says. “On the surface, it seems like a pretty abrupt about-face.”