49ers legend Joe Montana invests in San Jose-based cannabis business

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Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, looking to hit pay dirt in the legal marijuana industry, is part of a $75 million investment in a pot operator, it was announced Thursday.

Caliva is based in San Jose and delivers marijuana and THC products, from vape pens to edibles, throughout the Bay Area. Heisman trophy victor and retired National Football League running back Ricky Williams and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton have been particularly outspoken in their embrace of marijuana.

Montana's venture capital firm, Liquid 2 Ventures, made the investment.

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While NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana's footballcareer ended more than 20 years ago, his investment game has been strong - and growing - since the late 1990s. Former Yahoo and Autodesk CEO and Cisco board member Carol Bartz also participated.

"What we're trying to do is be the No. 1 brand in California", O'Malley said. The company also plans to open five or six additional retail stores in major cities in the state this year, he said. But the state Bureau of Cannabis Control issued just 547 retail licenses in 2018, and sales fell below expectations. The former 49ers QB hasn't publicly said if he uses marijuana, but he is certainly intrigued by the business of it.

As investors size up the fast-growing USA cannabis industry, some are betting that the future lies in branded consumer products, rather than cultivation or retailing. Back in 2017, Montana was part of a group that invested more than $4 million in Herb, a cannabis technology company.

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