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The Green Rush Everyone Keeps Missing

If you’ve played in, or are playing In the marijuana game, you’re no stranger to the madhouse, with weird rules that change almost weekly, and shady characters that come and go.

If you’re not, haven’t and are considering it, todays a good day to start researching, exploring how your skills and experience can carve out your own slice of a pie that’s yours, because so many keep missing the big picture

As we speak, the U.S. Govt is holding sessions on the legality of Marijuana, Stocks are popping and people are buzzing about this merger and that growing

Hope at a time like this is welcome, so let’s approach this opportunity differently than we normally would others

This one could bring about massive change

The U.S. will be smack in between two nations with legalized marijuana

On the consumer side, you’ve got a lot of celebrity buzz and fluff churning out higher-priced products (both flower and ancillary)

And as cannabis users are willing to spend more, the “green rush” tends to have folks flock towards plays in the retail // grow game

Something that always struck me as… interesting was the range of the players coming in, there has been very little in between

On the side that’s been in the game for years, it’s a fun myriad of everything form the stoner archetype, to the techie, to the shy engineer.

On the new arrivals, you’ve got the schemers who are eager to create something in their image, ex wall streeters and corporate people are increasingly reinventing themselves to “fit” into the space – if time and experience has taught a lot of us anything, it’s to approach with caution.

I’ve lost count of the ex wall streeters, ex corporates, 35 and older pushing their way of doing business into a space that traditionally runs on a model that really isn’t that sophisticated

And here’s where we’ve found a LOT of opportunities

The ecosystem

There’s GOOD money in the gaps suit and tie approaches leave because teaching a dog new tricks is hard, they’re too used to getting their way – so their employee turnaround is like a revolving door and their staff comprised of others just like them (or the occasional young talent they dupe)

While they’re trying to throw “market fit” and spreadsheets together to help woo investors

Talent can capitalize on this – go direct to customer. Some of the biggest players aren’t famous, because they’re playing a different game than the person who is far more interested in keeping their investors happy.

Again, an opportunity for folks who rather solve problems for the source, the plug as many of us know it

They’re what actually makes it all move

And because there’s a lot of people who publicly turn their noses up at the entire thing, they help in essence, build a moat around the entire thing, they inadvertently help keep profits coming in

In fact, back in 18’ this is how my friends and I created leverage, that led to deals with Weedmaps, that was then leveraged to get Med Men, that then led to brick and mortar deals with Dillards and so forth

How?

When there’s a rush, in a product that mainstream people aren’t fully versed in (like wine and spirits) players like Med Men value vanity metrics almost as much as expensive stuff

Mainstream customers viewed Med Men as THE player because they were sprouting up in good locations and with their clique and following, players like this are going to pay a premium to maintain that image

If there was a loophole to be found, they’d quickly use that to get a discount – which brings us to opportunity gap number 2

We started by meeting their demand to compete with what they viewed as competition (WeedMaps and Leafly) and with federal suits and red tape giving both a headache…

There was always a cure

Can only begin to tell you just how squeamish the new players are when it comes to federal attention – and how quickly many throw some of us under the bus

Back to the money, there are solutions that branding, personal relationships and tech could solve

First problem we tackled was their high attendance, low conversion

Insert wristbands to pay (and remove the “idea” of money)

Crank it up with some influencers being scared to promote anything cannabis and that gave us the opportunity to assist overlooked and potential micro influencers

Training a few content creators in making helped setup weekly show and tells at premium retailers like Erewhon that led to sales (bootstrapping for the WIN)

When approaching this space, we derived a lot of inspiration from the wine and spirits industry

Observing how many people pretended to know what the person selling them was talking about inspired taking an approach of simplify everything

If there was any jargon, I’d ask for it to be simplified – no jargon, no uppity anything, plain english that I would often test by explaining it to my then 7-year-old son. If he understood it, then we went live with it

This would lead to just about everyone we encountered being able to act as an unofficial ambassador – and you know that word travels fast in some circles

WIN WIN WIN was the goal, and to this day it’s still paying off with residuals from getting a lot of these brands leveraged into Nordstrom and Erewhon

Here’s to doing the most, with what we’ve got

Here’s to escaping average

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