Category: Features

The rising tides of consolidation and M&A

October 18th, 2019

2019 was expected to bring an influx of merger and acquisition activity to the cannabis industry, and thus far, it has not disappointed. Not only has the volume of mergers increased over years past, the scale of the deals has jumped up significantly. Mid-sized and larger companies are merging together…

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Harnessing the economic force of franchising

October 17th, 2019

Franchising in the United States is part of the nation’s business culture and an economic force, generating $451 billion throughout the country last year. So it is not surprising that entrepreneurs in the world of cannabis are attracted to the fast growth franchising can provide. In a franchise business, the…

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The Bright Side

October 15th, 2019

Cresco Labs has operations in 11 states, nine of which have retail operations. In Illinois alone, thanks to mergers and acquisitions, the company owns four different retail brands. Plus another in Pennsylvania. And another in Arizona. And one in Florida. Oh, and yet another in New York. But beginning this…

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10 Women to Watch: Blythe Huestis

October 7th, 2019

In her own words, “it was perfect timing.” When Blythe Huestis relocated from Arizona to Pennsylvania to start working as the president and director of retail operations for Beyond Hello, the company began designing its chain of Pennsylvania cannabis stores. Contributing to the look, feel and identity of the Beyond…

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10 Women to Watch: Sharelle Klaus

October 4th, 2019

Fifteen years ago, DRY Soda CEO and founder Sharelle Klaus set out to create a non-alcoholic, low-sugar beverage that would compete for shelf space against brands owned by the likes of Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Conventional wisdom might have called her business plan a long shot. She had to essentially create…

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10 Women to Watch: Lori Ajax

October 2nd, 2019

As the top regulator in the world’s largest legal cannabis market, California Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Lori Ajax has a lot on her plate. She oversees a department of 87 people that handles the licensing, enforcement and administration of the Golden State’s nearly 2-year-old recreational cannabis program, but she…

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10 Women to Watch: Keyva King

September 30th, 2019

This spring a new store popped up among the high-end retailers in Palm Desert, California’s El Paseo shopping district, known as the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert.” Royal Highness, a cannabis boutique, first opened its doors in April and unlike many cannabis retailers around the country, it does not at…

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10 Women to Watch: Fran MacKenzie, Margaret MacKenzie and Liz McEvily

September 27th, 2019

Life on the Salt Creek Ranch has always been a family affair. Years before it began growing the hemp for the Eleven Acres brand — and others — Fran MacKenzie and her sister Lesta worked the land as ranchers, raising grass-fed miniature Hereford cattle. But after her sister died in…

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Building a team before receiving the license

September 26th, 2019

Anyone who has worked through the mechanics of applying for a cannabis business license has been required to disclose to the applicable regulatory authorities the names and qualifications of various team members. In heavily competitive medical cannabis states, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, the team makeup comprises a…

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10 Women to Watch: Liz Jackson-Simpson and Angela White

September 25th, 2019

Many cannabis advocates and business leaders talk about repairing the harms caused by the decades-long War on Drugs, but Liz Jackson-Simpson and Angela White are doing more than just talking. Through the San Francisco-based Success Centers, Jackson-Simpson and White provide job training services and educational workshops, as well as helping…

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