Marijuana Business Magazine March 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | March 2019 70 Genifer Murray, strategic business development for Drug Plastics and Glass in Denver, strongly re-emphasized that sentiment. “Do your research. Then do more,” she said. “Then do it again. You don’t know how much you don’t know.” Many business owners are surprised when they are hit with unexpected issues that could have been anticipated, including zoning ordinances, restric- tions on advertising and mandated tracking and handling of products. “However, all of these issues are spelled out in the regulations, if you take the time to read and understand them,” Murray said. She added that the cannabis market is now flooded with products, and compe- tition is fierce. “So, take the time to understand the market before you jump in,” Murray said. “Sound business practices are your best chance at success.” 2. Stay focused on your goals and the tasks you’re specialized in—and hire staffers to handle those areas outside your comfort zone. While developing your company, avoid succumbing to shiny-object syndrome, where you chase after every new trend and fad. Just because people are buying one type of edible today doesn’t mean they’ll be buying it tomorrow. The same goes for strains of flower or flavors of vape cartridges. “Set your own goals and pace,” said Scott Reach, founder of Rare Dankness, a cannabis genetics and cultivation company established in Denver in 2010. “Focus on the road ahead. Lost time is lost money.” For Tim Cullen, CEO of Denver- based Colorado Harvest, a key challenge in running his vertically integrated company is the constant opportunity to improve in all areas—from marketing to merchandising to customer service and many others. “Find your focus, do your thing, hire out the rest of it," he said. "You cannot do everything. Keep repeating that until you believe it.” For Cullen, his passion was plant production. He was comfortable in the garden, but there were other aspects of the business he knew very little about. “Bookkeeping was an area I knew was important, but I decided I could save a few bucks and do it myself on the cheap,” Cullen said. “In hindsight, this was a rookie move. (After mucking up the books), I had to bring in professionals to sort it out at a much higher cost than a part-time bookkeeper ever would have been.” He’s found that same logic to be true about marketing, merchandizing, legal, compliance and other areas. “I now view my position as more of a coordinator of a wide variety of specialized folks that work with me to create an outstanding experience for our customers,” Cullen said. “I could never have accomplished that alone.” 3. Be a stickler about complying with the laws and regulations. One of the surest ways to sink your com- pany is to get on the wrong side of regula- tors. That’s why several Colorado industry insiders emphasize the importance of crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s. Bob Eschino, the founder of Den- ver-based Medically Correct, which makes the popular Incredibles line of infused candy bars, said his job is to take care of his company, and that means following the law. “If you’re not compliant, you don’t have a company,” he added. When it comes to business owners in emerging markets, Kyle Sherman, CEO of Denver-based cannabis software company Flowhub, advises business owners against trying to interpret laws themselves. Genifer Murray of Drug Plastics and Glass. Courtesy Photo Tim Cullen of Colorado Harvest Courtesy Photo YEAR MEDICAL SALES CHANGE RECREATIONAL SALES CHANGE 2014 $380,284,040 - $303,239,699 - 2015 $418,054,912 9.9% $577,536,343 90.5% 2016 $445,616,062 6.6% $861,587,411 49.2% 2017 $416,516,782 -6.5% $1,091,185,437 26.6% 2018 $332,173,492 -20.2% $1,213,517,589 11.2% Source: Colorado Department of Revenue Colorado Marijuana Sales Pioneering Advice