99 Words of Wisdom Pt. 1

A look back at some of the most importand

Advice and Motivation

“Roll with the punches, stay focused on company objectives and bring home that Spam.”

Helen Cho, Aloha Green Apothecary director of strategy

October 2018

“Don’t give up, be creative, leave your ego at the door and educate yourself as much as possible.”

Beth Stavola, MPX Bioceutical Corp. chief operating officer

July 2018

“Heading into a new year, two things continue to be certain in this industry: not only must you know how to grow good, clean cannabis, you also have to know how to sell it.”

Shawn DeNae, Washington Bud Co. CEO

March 2018

“Don’t underestimate yourself! The history of the modern cannabis industry is a story of ordinary people overcoming unbeatable odds through civic faith, hard work, empathy and an unwavering dedication to the truth.”

Ammon Ford, Gleam Law attorney

September 2018

“I’m 52 and I’ve seen the story spun a million different ways and it always seems to turn out the same. The Man’s got you under his thumb. If you want to navigate through this life and through this world of big government, then you’ve gotta jump through the hoops or just turn your back.”

Jon VanderClut, Frogville Farms

January 2018

“Yes, the business is difficult and comes with its fair share of headaches and challenges, but along with that comes the incredible opportunity to change the society we live in and to build a future of healing and acceptance.”

Helen Cho, Aloha Greens Apothecary director of strategy

November 2018

“We failed at first because we didn’t do enough research.”

Mike Hayes, Miracle Greens owner

June 2018

“Try to immerse yourself in any cannabis industry events and figure out how to transfer your existing skills to the cannabis market.”

Natasha Strother Lassiter, Prime Wellness chief operating officer

October 2018

Marketing and Branding

“Misappropriating a powerful, famous brand has consequences. Famous brands are not only heavily promoted, but they are also aggressively enforced.”

Nicole Syzdek and Mary Shapiro, Evoke Law attorneys

January 2018

“We haven’t seen an icon or indicator to emerge, besides the green cross, that easily distinguishes a store as a marijuana retailer. But we don’t necessarily think it needs to be part of dispensaries’ exterior design. A well-designed exterior will draw interest to the store, which may not have been the case if there was a green cross outside. I think the green cross is a great symbol, but it can be intimidating to first-time customers.”

Rachel Chichester, Urban Chalet senior designer

May 2018

“A lot of people think that branding starts with a logo. The logo is the really the last thing you do when you look at brand development and strategy. What do we want to do? How do we want to help the industry? How do we want to talk about that?”

Lisa Jordan, Canna Advisors vice president of marketing

April 2018

“By the time this industry grows up, the leading companies will wear the fanciest intellectual property. These leading companies of the future are shopping for patents and trademarks to place in their closets now — or they’ve already started designing their own clothes.”

Tom Zuber, Zuber, Lawler & Del Duca managing partner

September 2018

“Real benefits connect to your customer’s desires, such as saving time, reducing costs, increasing profits, becoming happier, healthier, more relaxed or more productive.”

Kari Brua, WYD Agency partner

November 2018

“Had we not established our brand long before being regulated, we would be struggling to get a toe-hold in this highly competitive market.”

Shawn DeNae, Washington Bud Co. CEO

April 2018

“The use of cannabis leaves and green crosses are likewise overused images in visual branding, and most certainly, so is the color green. Because so much of the visual branding in cannabis is green, virtually any other colors stand out.”

John Sidline, The Cannabis Story Lab principal

May 2018

Business

“Running a business is hard. It means doing a little bit of everything and taking on a lot of risks and responsibilities. Some entrepreneurs entered the cannabis industry because they thought it would be simple, lucrative and relaxing. As many of you can attest, that assumption could not be more wrong.”

Ammon Ford, Gleam Law attorney

September 2018

“Think about raising money as a ‘project’ with timelines, milestones and goals, like any other business project. Commit the project to paper, move through it methodically, have a team of professionals to support you. Then go do it.”

David Kerr, Fifth Avenue Law attorney

March 2018

“Poor cash management is the No. 1 killer of retail businesses today. Generating profits may be the sign of a good business, but profits matter little if a business runs out of cash.”

Patricia Outcalt and Richard Johnson, The Retail Owners Institute owners

June 2018

“From inception, cannabis businesses should create registrable and enforceable brand names. To achieve this goal, it is critical to select a mark that is both ‘distinctive’ and ‘exclusive.’”

Nicole Syzdek and Mary Shapiro, Evoke Law attorneys

March 2018

“Banking has been and will always be the Achilles’ heel of the cannabis industry. Not being able to bank like every other legal business in the United States is not only discriminatory, short-sighted and unnecessary, but it is also incredibly dangerous.”

Scott Lambert, The OG Collective co-owner

June 2018

The Cannabis Industry

“The winds of change often take a long time to shift directions, but once they reach that inflection point, they can really start to howl. I think we’re seeing a big shift in the change of direction and I think it’s going to pick up speed.”

Morris Denton, Compassionate Cultivation CEO

August 2018

 

“It’s a complex business that has zero boring days.”

Morris Denton, Compassionate Cultivation CEO

August 2018

“Data has quickly become one of the most important components driving growth in the legal cannabis industry.”

Xena Ugrinsky, GenreX Consulting CEO

June 2018

“It’s amazing to see how many people are getting into the cannabis industry without thoroughly researching how things have played out in states like Washington, Colorado and Oregon.”

Greg James, Marijuana Venture publisher

July 2018

 

“Those of us in this industry need to continue to galvanize around those issues that will help all of us: access to banking, the elimination of unfair tax treatment (IRC 280E), enhanced penalties for crimes committed against state-licensed cannabis businesses and the rescheduling of cannabis (just to name a few).”

Eric Gaston, The Evergreen Market co-owner

June 2018

 

“Perhaps the greatest thing about the cannabis industry is the breakneck speed at which everything evolves. The speed of this evolution and the shifting regulatory environment have created the best opportunity for both personal and business growth. There is little time to lament over challenges or disappointments; unlike many traditional businesses, cannabis operators do not have that luxury.”

Chris Coggan, Therapy Crafted Brands CEO

November 2018

 

“I am certain that I will look back on these early cannabis days and be grateful for the experience. They will make me who I am in the future. I’m also sure that I will be thankful that they are in the past.”

Danielle Rosellison, Trail Blazin’ Productions co-owner

August 2018

 

“There is no playbook to follow, and everyone — including licensees, the Department of Health (regulators) and legislators — is figuring it out as we go. Aloha Green Apothecary is always juggling numerous objectives, many with moving targets. This business has us honing our prioritization and timing skills on a daily basis — and it’s not always glamorous.”

Helen Cho, Aloha Green Apothecary director of strategy

July 2018

 

Competition

“We consider competition in our decisions; competition does not dictate them.”

Helen Cho, Aloha Green Apothecary director of strategy

June 2018

“If you plan to grow or process weed, you better know how to sell. This can’t be understated. … If you can’t sell, don’t get into the cannabis business. Relationships with the owners/buyers in the retail stores is critical, and those relationships are created and kept alive by salespeople.”

Cary Falk, THC Farms owner

July 2018

“Ultimately, in order to be competitive, small and mid-size businesses need to optimize operations based on facts instead of gut feel.”

Xena Ugrinsky, GenreX Consulting CEO

June 2018

“A lot of cannabis companies are reluctant to make other people’s products because there’s an emotional connection to the brand. That emotional connection might not allow people to see what makes the most sense for their business.”

Kelly Ogilvie, Deepcell Industries CEO

June 2018

“If you’re established in the cannabis industry, you may have a real advantage in product development and knowing your audience. Imagine how far you’ll go when you buttress your passion with the strategies and tools the big players are just now bringing to the table.”

Xena Ugrinsky, GenreX Consulting CEO

June 2018

“With this mean, dog-eat-dog (approach to competition), then everyone’s going to get burned at some point. They’ll get (a pest outbreak) under control in the long term, but it will cost everybody some money. If we have this communal bunch of information, everybody will be financially protected. “

Joshua Vlach, Oregon Department of Agriculture entomologist

April 2018

Compliance

“We can’t afford any slip-ups or blemishes. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the average business.”

Morris Denton, Compassionate Cultivation CEO

August 2018

“To remain compliant, cannabis companies need to factor in health insurance requirements — early and often — starting now.”

Dede Kennedy-Simington, BenAssist Health Insurance Services president

April 2018

“A faulty traceability system increases the possibility that state-legal product could be diverted out of state — a direct violation of one of the Cole Memo’s eight enforcement priorities. In the current political climate, this is nothing short of reckless.”

Garrett Rudolph, Marijuana Venture editor

May 2018

“Protect your investment and the hard work you have already put in by making sure you have the required insurance coverage. Workers’ compensation insurance protects employees and employers. If you have any subject workers — even just one — you are required to have workers’ compensation coverage. Coverage exists to protect you, your business and your employees if any are hurt while working for you.”

Bob Hamre, Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division compliance specialist

January 2018

“You want to be perceived as a ‘good actor’ on all levels. Regulatory compliance is not a burden; it is your protection.”

David Kerr, Fifth Avenue Law attorney

April 2018

“(Cannabis business owners) can — and they should — develop a relationship with their local fire department. The fire department is not the bad guys. They want to help.”

Raymond Bizal, National Fire Protection association director of regional operations

September 2018

Cultivation

“Only the toughest growers and processors will survive, and they won’t be getting rich.”

Cary Falk, THC Farms owner

July 2018

“It’s easy to get caught up by the promises of new technology, the sales pitch of a cold-calling equipment vendors, or ‘cutting-edge’ research. But too often chasing these leads can derail the schedule of a project and eat through the fees of your crack-shot design team.”

Nadia Sabeh, Dr. Greenhouse owner

April 2018

“The traditional models followed in the agriculture industry have existed for decades because they work.”

Greg James, Marijuana Venture publisher

July 2018

 

 

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