Green Entrepreneur

Green Entrepreneur

Winter 2019

How-to guides, ideas and expert insights for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a cannabis business.

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United States
Entrepreneur Media Inc.
Back issues only
USD 5.99

en este número

10 min.
raise up

Raising capital is one of the most complex, frustrating, and time-consuming challenges facing founders in any industry. It is also one of the most critical functions of a high-performing leadership team made even more challenging given the complicated and dynamic regulatory considerations in the cannabis industry. There is no one guaranteed way to succeed in soliciting investment, but after doing private transactions for more than a decade, I’ve found that success is in part a result of a cohesive strategy and a sustained, multifaceted approach that can be summarized with the following five principles. Relationships Investing in private companies comes down to the people involved, and the ideal situation would be that you have a group of investors with whom you are a known person with a track record of success. Although…

9 min.
the black market threat

One morning last August, Jonathan Doneson woke up with a cough that shot straight through his rib cage. “It killed me,” says the 52-year-old, who runs a women’s apparel company with his wife. “It was like I’d taken a really big bong hit.” But Doneson didn’t have a bong. What he had was a discreet vape pen with marijuana cartridges he’d bought from a friend. For months, he’d been hitting it eight to 12 times a day, installing a new cartridge when the old one ran out and keeping a low-grade buzz to manage his stress. The habit felt so harmless that he didn’t even think to mention it to the doctor who X-rayed him following his bong-level cough. New York has yet to legalize recreational weed, and some of Doneson’s cartridges…

5 min.
an unlikely ally

Vicente Fox has “one specific purpose” these days: to end cannabis prohibition across the globe. His newfound passion for the cannabis industry has come as a surprise to many. As a former Coca-Cola executive turned center-right politician and president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, he was not particularly supportive of cannabis. But after learning about the health and economic potential latent in the world of cannabis, he quickly became not only an ardent industry supporter but also the only former head of state active in cannabis enterprises. In recent years, he has taken up positions on a number of cannabis companies’ advisory boards, including the parent company of the iconic publication High Times and Canada-based Khiron Life Sciences, a major industry force in Latin American markets. At this year’s…

6 min.
track star

Jessica Billingsley believes that consumers want to know precisely what’s in their weed and how those materials got there. Yet until relatively recently, it was difficult for cannabis producers and retailers to provide them with real, robust transparency—simply because of a lack of adequate tracking tools. That changed nine years ago, when a Colorado cannabis firm invited Billingsley, a tech entrepreneur, to invest in them and help them select their business software. Realizing that nothing on the market worked quite right for the unique supply chains and regulatory frameworks of the cannabis industry, she built something new. That project became what is now MJ Platform, a seed-to-sale monitoring and regulatory compliance system. Billingsley put this in layman’s terms: “If I had a gummy, I could tell you the farm on which…

6 min.
inside the world of a cannabis influencer

Trippy Treez and I are sitting at the newly opened Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood. We’re sharing a watermelon indica pre-roll and discussing how annoying it is to get weed stuck under long fingernails. She teaches me how to open the pre-roll packaging by using my teeth—which sparks an idea for a new Trippy Treez video on how to roll a blunt without ruining your manicure. Then she tells me that she once made a video on how to keep your lipstick on while smoking throughout the day. When you post videos and photos with hundreds of thousands of views almost every day, everything is fodder for content. Teresa (who doesn’t want her last name used for fear her mother will find out what she does for a living) goes by “Trippy…

2 min.
this bud’s for you

How can I help you?” a lovely saleswoman in West Hollywood recently asked me during my visit to a local weed shop. Budtenders like her make an average of $14.90 an hour, and the turnover rate is 70 percent within the first 90 days of employment, according to recent research by Vangst. This is shocking, considering a budtender (or flower host, wellness guide, cannabis consultant, or whatever you call them) is often the first person a cannabis consumer encounters in their purchasing journey. They’re the ones asking questions, making recommendations, sharing their expertise. So why does the industry treat them like, well, bartenders without the tips? The lack of support for decent, experienced budtenders is in a way ironic considering that the industry is trying so hard to educate potential customers. Until…