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Carlisle & Whitley – FIFO*

Gordon Carlisle and Todd Whitley from BrightWire in Olympia, Washington participated in cannabis technology opportunities before it was even LEGAL in Washington! It’s ultimately a case of “first in, first out” (aka FIFO). The good news is that they got paid for their efforts and learned a lot. The bad news is that the industry was so young that the experience proved frustrating for this well-organized MSP. So they exited the cannabis vertical after that first experience. However, when you watch the video, you’ll discover that they are open and receptive to re-entering the cannabis technology space nw that several years have passed and the industry is displaying signs of maturity.

A Short History of Washington State Medical Cannabis and Cannabis Retailers

The Washington State Cannabis Industry has changed significantly since voters approved I-692 in 1998, providing support for Medical Cannabis. In 2012 voters passed I-502 allowing adults to possess up to one ounce of obtained by state-licensed and regulated Marijuana stores. In 2015, the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052) integrated the medical marijuana market with the current regulated retail market, which is ending up being a challenge for Medical Cannabis. Also passed, Marijuana Taxation Reform (HB 2136) focused on Cannabis Retailer taxes. The result? Medical Cannabis is taking a backseat to Recreational Cannabis in Washington State and support for Medical Cannabis consumers is slowly being reduced. However, HB 2136 might eventually benefit Cannabis Retailers. (Note: Cannabis = Marijuana)

Bachaud : MSPs – All Together Now

Kirkland, Washington-based MSP Jim Bachaud is making his mark as a “green geek” in the emerging cannabis vertical. He shares a recent experience as being the only technology vendor at a large Seattle cannabis show. We both talk about the investment journey to develop a new vertical practice (e.g. cannabis) and how it’s not for the faint of heart. Key takeaway: patience. Watch for more secrets from this thriving MSP.

Industry Watch: Seattle’s HempFest hits 22 Years!

A long-time event is still here but I question why in this vid. HempFest started a couple decades ago pushing legalization and then BOOM – it happened! This year (August 2019) the speaker’s agenda was top heavy on government affairs and the theme was “no pot prisoners.” However, as I explain, the gathering is more celebratory in nature focusing on the consumer. One hint? Lots of food trucks as the vendors. CORRECTION: I said there were 10K to 20K attendees over the three days; the truth is that crowd was in excess of 100K.

Foote: Cannabis MSP in the 49th State

DanTech who is capitalizing on the cannabis vertical. Foote shares the contrast between his cannabis clients. One is sophisticated and embracing technology in creative ways. The other is learning the business of business and Foote is helping them with both technology services (that be the MSP part) and also acting as a business advisor. Foote’s firm recently celebrated ten years in business os he knows a thing or two about starting, owning and operating a business. And Foote gives a shout out to a couple well-known SMB MSP vendors.

Remke: Fall Shows to Consider!

The last kilometer is how we frame up Remke’s Point of Sale (POS) solution set in the cannabis vertical. It’s all about making the sale. As we turn to Fall, Remke shares some up coming shows that he’ll be attending including the MJ BizCon show of shows in December 2019. I predict 50,000+ attendees and Remke concurs. Apparently, according to Remke, the Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center has been compounded with the addition of the North Hall for exhibitors!

Roebuck: NCIA Conference Report

Contributor Duane Roebuck (BlueStar) recently returned from the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) annual conference in San Jose, California and shares his insights. Roebuck considers this one of the top conferences in the industry and it favorably impacted his ability to engage in Point Of Sale (POS) business development efforts. Along the way in this interview Roebuck throws in knowledge nuggets from this three years in the cannabis vertical.

Cannabis Vertical Stigma?

Is there a stigma to working in the cannabis vertical? Despite employing 300,000 in the US (and supporting countless suppliers and vendors), research from Leafwire and others shows cannabis stigma may still be a big issue. For some workers in more conservative sectors, expressing their interest in entering the cannabis industry may lead them to be ostracized by colleagues, family, and peers.
Josh and Jake join Harry to tackle this issue directly. Josh and Jake are California-based Managed Services Providers (MSP) targeting the cannabis vertical and they share their experience. Harry adds that focusing on the medical side (and CBD) is a prudent first step.

Haskelson: PCI and the Cannabis Vertical

Wow – what a vid! Contributor Marc Haskelson (The Compliancy Group) schools the 420MSP audience on what is PCI (and who governs it) followed by the specific PCI relationship with the cannabis vertical. The end game is to be positioning when the laws and regulations for cannabis evolve and transitions can be conducted in a valid and fluid way – like any traditional business. We touch on current topics such as a recent U.S. Senate hearing on the SAFE Banking Act its it applicability to the cannabis vertical.

Church: Already doing it in the Cannabis Vertical

Steven Church, CEO of Cobalt Computer Services (Eugene, OR), is already ahead of the curve having served a several cannabis businesses. It all started with the proverbial medical marijuana practice helping them operating as a technology sound small business. Then the other clients started rolling in. Watch as Church describes his journey on educating customers to ascend the technology maturity continuum. Watch closely for his tip of the hat to discussing business matters such as compliancy.

Weiss: Partner-to-Partner Teaming to serve the Cannabis Vertical

Contributor Josh Weiss talks about a geographically dispersed cannabis technology practice in California. Weiss brings along his business partner Jake to talk about how the met (networking at a major conference) and then engaging in partner-to-partner (P2P) teaming. Specific include interesting technical factoids such as retaining 90-days of video at the dispensary level.

Haskelson: Leverage your vertical compliancy knowledge to elevate to Business Solution Provider (BSP)

Contributor Marc Haskelson, The Compliancy Group, talks about the serious side of cannabis compliancy. Haskelson wants to emphasize elevating the traditional Managed Services Provider (MSP) to a higher-level Business Solution Provider (BSP) by incorporating compliance expertise into the service offering (and think about addressing all of the client’s business problems). Hint – a focus on the medical marijuana market has specific compliancy issues – just watch and find out. Bottom line: distinguish yourself and charge more. Spoiler alert – view your vendors as an ally.