Conference season is ramping up and the ONE Cannabis/Unity Rd. team hit the ground running with the first stop at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo (CWCB Expo) in Los Angeles last week. Book signings, panel discussions, speaking slots—the team was everywhere and had a great time all around.
Three members of our team—including our CEO, COO, and Director of SEED—covered topics in panel discussions and individual presentations that are directly relevant to anyone who wants to succeed in cannabis. In case you missed it, here are the top highlights from each session:
1. Rabbi B’s Whole New World
SEED Director (and in-house rabbi) Dr. Baruch HaLevi participated in a panel highlighting how the cannabis industry has the potential to change the socio-economic landscape of America, aka the country with the largest GDP in the world. If you’re wondering what SEED stands for, it’s Social Equity and Economic Development, and it’s exactly how we expect to make that kind of change possible.
We’ve covered social equity a lot in the past. (HYPERLINK 3 ARTICLES) During the panel, Rabbi B gave an impassioned series of explanations revolving around incorporating more clergy members of the black community into the conversation—they hold the status of gatekeepers, and can go to great lengths to help introduce legal cannabis business opportunities to people who deserve to profit from them.
Also, CJ Wallace, the son of Notorious B.I.G., was on the same panel— he’s involved in cannabis in a big way, so that was pretty cool.
2. Big Banks and Big Weed
ONE Cannabis CEO Christian Hageseth tag-teamed a banking discussion with Eric Kaufman of Dama Financial. Funny enough, we’ve covered this too. Anyway, Chris came to the discussion having operated eight of his 10 years in the cannabis industry with banks, and mostly hit on how best to establish solid banking relationships (a feat in and of itself) before leading into the probability of the STATES Act passing and how that would affect the industry.
Since the expo, the House of Representatives has passed the SAFE Banking Act, sending it to the senate for the next round of scrutiny. If everything goes well, presentations like the one Chris and Eric gave won’t be necessary (which they’d be more than fine with considering the upside). Until then, however, operators can still use insight on banking, including understanding the monetary cost, knowing the risks and best practices for securing an account. Chris gave a strong argument for working just as hard at establishing a relationship with the bank as making your own finances faultless.
Banking has been an elusive aspect of the industry for many operators, so their collective information was well-received. Thanks, receivers.
3. Our Bread and Butter—Franchising
The cannabis franchise space is not exactly crowded—we’re pretty much it. Fittingly, ONE Cannabis COO Mike Weinberger took the stage solo to talk about why franchising is the vehicle that will drive the industry forward. The cannabis crowd is still largely new to franchising and it was a great way to introduce people to a simple-yet-defining way of changing how cannabis brands scale.
Mike did a follow up hour the next day—solo again– and elaborated on what national opportunities are available for cannabis operators. It’s an interesting topic that’ll only become more relevant as the industry gains territory and talks of federal legalization become more common.
But franchising isn’t just lots of stores that look the same, and that’s what Mike really hit home by focusing on the how and why of the model. A successful franchise is one body with many appendages—a customer should be able to walk into any location and breathe in the same atmosphere. It’s no easy feat to organize a culture people want to be a part of at such a large, fragmented scale but it’s well worth it. That’s the other foot Mike stood on; why franchising. That’s the easy part really, and you can read more about it here.
If you’re interested in opening a dispensary, cannabis and franchise expos like CWCBE can be extremely valuable. They allow the opportunity to meet directly with our team, learn what we can do together and move the conversation forward. Keep an eye out for us at upcoming franchise and cannabis shows to meet us. We’re always happy to talk!