Equity of Opportunity means access to all parts of the value chain. It means ongoing support, ongoing access to knowledge, ongoing access to financing, ongoing access to contracts as the industry evolves. Entrepreneurs need equity across the entire value chain- not just the more visible dispensary segment.
Consider- according to Parker et. al. (Karen Parker, NYU Salomon Center @NYUStern, Wiley Publications, 2019), there are over 3000 cultivators, over 1500 extractors, over 4000 distributors or retailers, and over 15,000 “ancillary” businesses. These include equipment suppliers, realtors, consultants, attorneys, accountants, janitors, security people, IT people, etc. That’s right- two out of three industry participants do not even touch the product! Equity means access to all of these business sectors and professions for historically under-represented communities and people.
So now let’s go a step deeper-
Who is making the money? Are all sectors profitable? Equally so? Who makes more, a dispensary or the consultants, attorneys, accountants and equipment suppliers that support it? Just where in this industry is it best to participate? Is this changing over time? Where should entrepreneurs focus and specialize? Does the data even exist?
Good question- does the data even exist???
If this were a sport, we’re about to enter the playoffs (1st round). Yes, Easterners. The game seems to have just begun, but you need to bring playoff level business skills. Your competitors, some of whom have experience gained in Colorado, Washington State, California and even Canada, are in playoff shape. And they are bringing playoff level skills. Those without these skills, i.e. teams with losing records, are already out of the game. And if only those who can afford top talent can obtain good data, the deck is already stacked.
What will the Mid Atlantic Growers Association do about all of this?
Specifically, once properly capitalized, the Mid Atlantic Growers Association will commission best in class business and legal consulting research and, with the proper disclosures, make this information freely available to members and in some cases, the public. This will allow small, newer cannabis businesses to compete effectively against more established players for funding, talent and market share.
Our capitalization strategy will focus on the sale of logo merchandise through the Catalog section of this website.Please watch this blog (bookmark it!) in the coming weeks and months as we address these and other issues.