Marijuana Business Magazine September 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | September 2019 10 Bringing a Mainstream Retail Approach to Cannabis Joe Caltabiano, co-founder and president of Cresco Labs, shares his vision for Sunnyside, a next-generation retailer By Bart Schaneman C resco Labs, a Chicago-based multistate cannabis company, is hoping to create a consistent retail experience for marijuana consumers across state lines, one that feels much more familiar to mainstream retail customers. The focus on consistency will help ensure that con- sumers know what to expect, whether they’re shopping in Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania or any of the eight other states where Cresco does business, according to Joe Caltabiano, co-founder and president of Cresco Labs. Branding the new stores as Sunnyside, Cresco envi- sions a retail experience that’s more in line with up-to- date, mainstream shops such as international cosmetics retailer Sephora. The Sunnyside stores will be in both medical and recreational cannabis markets and cater to marijuana consumers concerned with wellness. “ The original cannabis stores were relegated to the industrial areas, the dim-lit streets,” Caltabiano said. “We’re bringing this out to the sunny side of the street, to the corner of Main and Main, or where people go to do their food shopping, in more of a traditional environment.” Caltabiano spoke with Marijuana Business Magazine about challenges when expanding across state lines, how the company adopted its strategy and how this approach will give his company an edge. What are the challenges when trying to convey the same retail experience while expanding to different states? The regulatory environment certainly dictates a lot of it. Within the regulatory environment—and every state is slightly different—but as our government affairs team works with regulators to craft laws or shape the future of Five Questions | with Joe Caltabiano Cresco Labs plans to standardize its retail experience in recreational and medical marijuana markets under the Sunnyside model. Courtesy Photo