“So tell me again why I can’t spark a doobie right here”? asks Herbie.
“First of all, we’re in a National Park,” says Monk. “That’s Federal, so regardless of State laws, you cannot light up in a National Park. Any National Park.
Second, ‘doobie’ is old school. Today, it’s all about the Blunt, right Blunt”? Blunt wags his tail.
“Yes. In the U.S. But in Canada, you can.”
“When can we go to Canada”? Asks Herbie.
“Soon,” says Monk. “Soon.”
“And Herbie, not only can you NOT smoke it, don’t even bring it in.”
“OK,” says a disappointed Herbie. “So let’s connect with Astro and go on in.”
“Wait, wait, who is ‘Astro’”? asks Monk.
“Astro is my rather cerebral friend, a scientist by training. He wants to open a processing lab, so I figured he should review the Mentor’s stuff with us.”
“OK, cool. Where do we find him”?
“Sunrise, at Cadillac Mountain,” says Herbie. “That’s the highest point on the east coast, and entirely appropriate, don’t you think”?
Herbie, Monk and Blunt make reservations at the Blackwoods campground in Acadia. They get up early, cook breakfast and drive to a parking lot near Cadillac Mountain. And there, in all of his cerebral glory, is Astro.
After some brief introductions, and reiteration, for Herbie’s benefit, that there shall be NO consumption within the park, Herbie, Monk, Blunt and Astro begin the hike up the final stretch of trail.
“You know,” says Astro, you guys are kind of lucky I decided to join you. I mean, that Mentor of Herbie’s went over some heavy stuff from what I understand. This way I can explain it to you.”
“Don’t even start,” says Monk. “As the grower in the group, let me remind you how ‘down to earth, real and natural’ this industry is. We laugh at people like Astro over here as soon as they leave the room.”
“Both of you stop it,” says Herbie. “I should point out that without the entrepreneurs and leaders among us, you guys would just be stoned on the couch, never putting your ideas into practice.”
And with that, the trash talk has begun.
“So to review,” says Herbie:
Not everyone makes money in the Cannabis industry.
As markets evolve, different challenges emerge in each market, such as “industry overcapacity”. Conceptually, think of a series of SUVs driving individually over hills representing business challenges. (Review the sessions with the Mentor).
You want to continually assess the attractiveness of your chosen industry sector(s) as things evolve over time. The mentor gave us a 10 item framework, that you should address with the help of qualified executives and consultants.
“Let’s start with this concept of ‘sectors’- what was he talking about”? asks Monk.
“Basically, do not assume you want to open a dispensary. There are lots of other ways to participate in the industry- growers, labs, packagers, services of various types. Some of these businesses can be very profitable without the headaches that dispensary operators have, like security and handling all that cash. I was listening to a podcast the other day and they raised a fascinating, and very important point,” says Herbie.
“So I’m listening to NCIA’s Cannabis Minority Report podcast. Several weeks ago, early June. The host, Khadijah Adams (@NCIAorg) was interviewing Tiffany Watkins of Vanguard Media Online (@_vanguard_media). The point was made that, as a minority in an industry that is still illegal at the Federal level, you can expect a higher level of scrutiny, a higher level of harassment, a higher level of many negative things. This alone is a reason to consider a sector of the industry where you do not touch the product. That was an absolutely fascinating point, and one that minority participants need to consider. Particularly if these other sectors are profitable. And if local law enforcement is not too happy about legalization.
So go through the exercise that the Mentor recommended- identify different sectors of the industry by paging through the leading magazines and reviewing the ads carefully. Understand what the companies really do. Then go through the “10 step” industry attractiveness framework for each sector. Hire good people to do this for you.
Come on. Let’s go check out Cadillac Mountain. And when we leave the park, let’s go find some of that crazy Live Rosin that Maine is becoming known for”, says Herbie.“I’m in” says Monk. “Check” says Astro. “Woof” says Blunt.