Promoting a strong positive culture, caring about your team, and learning and adapting – these approaches have been followed by nearly every start-up success story across America. The owners of DIZPOT, John Hartsell (“Harts”) and Jeff Scrabeck, already knew this when they became professionals servicing the cannabis industry. After missing their chance at a license in Arizona’s tightly contested, well financed lottery, Harts and Scrabeck created DIZPOT – a distribution business turned branding and packaging powerhouse turned software developer. What they realized was that their business model was heavily sought after by customers as it filled a void and supported areas that clients needed to keep pace with market demands.
A story that sets the tone for their approach to business is demonstrated when asked how they arrived at the name ‘DIZPOT’. Hartsell will tell you, “We were at a bar in central Phoenix trying to come up with a six-letter URL – there’s just not that many left, and it’s been said that the most memorable URLs are six letters or less. Jeff is a genius at names, and he came up with the name ‘DIZPOT’ as we were talking about becoming the Dispensary Depot.”
Once they secured their memorable six-letter URL, the two set off to become Arizona’s most respected distributor of generic packaging, cones, desiccants, glass pipes, and every other item which a dispensary might need. It didn’t take long to understand that branding and branded packaging was where the real demand was.
“We have always sold a lot of generic goods, but in our second month in business, DIZPOT created and sold its first branded package to Swell Farmacy, Arizona’s largest chain at the time,” Scrabeck recounts. They’d been trying unsuccessfully to create a specific package for a couple months. Harts told them, “…hell, we can do that in three or four weeks,” and then we delivered!”
With a quick pivot from solely distribution to including custom branding and packaging, DIZPOT became one of the few companies focused on becoming the cannabis industry’s resource for fast, quality, and efficient packaging. According to Scrabeck, “A company could buy their goods from anywhere, but we do this for our paychecks. We produce many millions of packages every month and ship them all around the world. DIZPOT takes on all liabilities and gives one-hundred
percent guarantees for the quality of our finished goods.” In January of this year, when a tsunami capsized a shipping vessel near Kobe, and a DIZPOT container full of custom packaged goods sank to the bottom of the sea, DIZPOT covered every loss, and communicated every alternative in a manner so efficient, most clients didn’t notice any interruptions to their original timelines.
Now, in business for a half-decade, DIZPOT is servicing clients in all places where cannabis is legal. Like many other cannabis-facing businesses, the DIZPOT team has had challenges in banking, insurance, and other legitimate services due to the federal status of marijuana. Losing banking relationships, social media accounts, insurance policies, and software partners due to proximity to the cannabis company, DIZPOT has strengthened its’ value by adding software development as a means to scaling its branding and packaging business.
During this discussion with Harts, he said, “Our company cannot leverage the same tools for business growth of a typical start-up. Our hands are tied by the nature of our federal government’s laws. We need the SAFE Banking Act now and we need our government to react to the world which has already changed, cannabis is legal despite them.” He continued describing how mainstream software for marketing and business development such as Salesforce and Mailchimp are ineffective tools due to the incredibly specific nature of the cannabis industry’s needs. “Our industry is organized differently and is growing faster than any other in history. Maybe the dot com boom is relatable, but the cannabis industry is different in many ways—it has a live, organic product and is sold in person, at a store. It is by nature, tangible and by law or the laws of history, intangible.”
To this end, DIZPOT is not only known for its branding and packaging services but also as a tech company with a Web Dev team currently kept busy customizing software to mimic cannabis industry specific tools created for other industries. Recently, the team began working on DIZPORTAL, a series of solutions which connect mainstream software in a manner similar to ERPs such as NetSuite.
“We’re doing our best, we’re reacting to a world that was not ready for how fast our industry would grow and at DIZPOT we’re not going to wait for it to catch up,” said Scrabeck. In a world where companies are growing by many multiples, it is the belief of the DIZPOT duo that only the early adapters and those with a combination of entrepreneurialism and innovation will thrive. Hartsell ended our conversation by saying, “There’s a ton of room in our business for growth and collaboration but none for lack of creativity.”
For more information about DIZPOT, go to DIZPOT.com or find them here: