Old friends and new faces. The Bay Area is a strange place. Here’s my couple of notes:
- There is so much capital in the area that it’s hard to fathom.
- The area is filled with incredibly talented and smart tech folks.
- Modern cannabis activism was born here and you can feel it.
- Not enough people have studied the Oregon or Washington Market.
Outside of the New West Summit was a strike. The employees of the Marriott, the host of the show, were holding a strike. It was definitely weird walking past the strike to come inside. A strong part of me wanted to pick up a picket sign and march with them, but I knew they weren’t protesting us, the Cannabis Industry. They were protesting the Marriott.
Once inside I spent 3 hours touring the show and meeting with the few vendors I had contacted before hand. One thing that I have learned about trade shows is that if you don’t reach out to a vendor before hand, you’re likely not going to be talking to the right person at their booth. That’s why I scanned the entire vendor list before hand for companies I wanted to meet and sent out introductions asking to schedule a good time to get together.
Many of these companies have a lot of capital at the moment. California is unique in that way because it’s the 6th largest economy in the world with many many investors. There’s a culture of making high risk investments in the Bay Area especially so it’s no surprise that these companies are well capitalized. Let’s hope they get $10 for ever $1 spent over the next 3 years.
Innovation is second nature to the community. Farms in Mendocino are already banding together to create a champagne effect in the region. Every company is either using innovate tech to get a leg up or building it themselves. It’s beautiful, amazing, and will lead to some incredible innovations over the next 18 months.
Everyone is passionate and fighting the good fight. For the last 30 years many of these entrepreneurs have been at war. The war is coming to an end, but the mentality hasn’t changed. There’s a lot of fight in this community. I’m excited to see that fight turned towards regulations & taxes. California has some terrible regulations & taxes holding the industry back. The legal market will not beat the black market in this environment. Fortunately, everyone believes and agrees that regulations will change. If they don’t then the industry will fight the good fight.
The industry has no idea what’s coming. Mass production, and over zealous capital investments will flood the market with supply over the next 12 months. Look at Washington & Oregon. The industry in California still has stars in their eyes. They seem to have no idea what is coming or they outright deny it. We’re here to help every farm succeed, but it’s going to take some careful planning. Plan on a wholesale price drop of 50% across the board. Plan on efficient operations. Lean up your expenses and figure out how to drop your cogs. If you don’t do it now, you will be scrambling to do it later. When you need us, we’re here to help. We’ve seen what happens in a couple different markets now. California is shaping up to get by the economies of scale worse than all of the others.