Rock star Managed Services Provider (MSP) Blake Schwank from CCS (Colorado Springs, CO) has diversified his core business (focusing on small and medium businesses (SMB) and K-12 education) by creating a new company (“NewCo”) that focuses on the cannabis vertical. There were important reasons to do this including banking relationships and more. Watch!
Ready to expand your overall understanding of the cannabis vertical? Fasten your seat belt as a Denver-based Managed Service Provider (MSP) speaks towards a specific use case for cannabis – animals. This is a must watch because if you are going to play in the cannabis vertical, you need to have the “context” of what the workflow and use cases are. Prepared to get schooled by Clint Latham of IT Guru (with a niche focus on veterinarians) who is a true intellectual and speaks candidly about using cannabis as a tool in his dog’s cancer fight.
A few Managed Services Providers (MSPs) in our orbit attended the enormous MJBizCon 2019 in Las Vegas in mid-December and we were right there with ‘em! We go around the horn in this interview to discover what was (and what wasn’t) important. Highlights include the maturity of the show and the industry, medical marijuana and HIPAA, compliance, the sheer size of the sector (e.g. architects now supporting this vertical). Take away? Attend MJBizCon 2020 with us for a real good time!
A busy Duane Roebuck (BlueStar) shared his insights before leaving for the airport on the MJBizCon 2019 conference. Roebuck emphasizes that, if there is one show to attend, its this one. And there is a little secret to success here: only buy the expo pass, save money, and walk the floor “…the floor is where the activity is.” As a distributor, BlueStar doesn’t have a booth (Roebuck works the floor himself). Instead, BlueStar invests in its resellers to have a point of presence on the show floor. “The thought is that all ships rise with the tide.” Shared Roebuck. He said a few years ago he had two technology resellers on the floor and this year he had seven!
Contributor Jim Remke from Chicago (POSRG) imparts deep insights into the State of Illinois going live for adult use in early 2020. Highlights from this interview include social equity components the law such as woman-owned and minority-owned business (that get extra points on their business applications), How the law also expunged past marijuana convictions. We briefly discuss the various types of licenses and the zones where cannabis-related businesses can be open. One example is that all medical use dispensaries have the right to apply for adult use. It’s all here in the interview.
Long-time contributor Dennis James of MediCannaCare.com always delivers value in our monthly check-in. James focuses on both medical use with a specific focus on assisting seniors to SAFELY use medical cannabis. We turn our attention to 2020 and James shares his insights. As part of his ongoing outreach via seminars at assisted living centers et al, James plans to integrate cannabis retailers and other ecosystem vendors into his motion. James calls is his cooperative selling strategy. It’s all about getting vendors/retailers to ask the right questions to get the senior citizen customers the right products.
One of contributors, Josh Weiss (an MSP at LA Creative), fancies himself a firmly affixed in the California cannabis vertical. He is and has earned that reputation because he is out there doing it. The past year Weiss started attending cannabis investment meetups and made four presentations. In 2020 he’ll be engaged with a cannabis co-worker space (talk about creative). First off – a focus on cybersecurity. “We’re putting ourselves out there.” Weiss shared in the interview. Spoiler alert – look for a second cannabis co-worker space in 2020 as well. One take away – you can make money as a Cannabis MSP without touching the flower but supporting the ecosystem. Another takeaway: focus only on ONE cannabis meetup – don’t try to go to every meetup. Weiss is gunning to go to MJBizCon in Las Vegas in mid-December.
Duane Roebuck of BlueStar checks in before we all go to the MJBizCon conference in mid-December. We invite viewers to join us. But back to business, we’re taking bar codes and scanning in the cannabis supply chain. “It’s not a sexy topic but its very important and essential.” Roebuck shares. The two obvious reasons are inventory control and trackability/compliance. But Roebuck asserts that people forget about driver’s licensing parsing and better customer service (lower wait times with improved retail workflow). Ya’ gotta watch to here all the good stuff.
I interview the founders of Dauntless, an independent software vendor (ISV) in the cannabis vertical. While the Dauntless solution spans seed to sale for supply chain management and reporting, the firm emphasized its point-of-sale (POS) solution called Korona at RADexpo in Portland, OR. But the secret sauce is GIANT – a global API that connects the cannabis workflow/reporting to the different state’s cannabis control boards (to report inventory, sales, etc.). This interview ends with a basic question – is the cannabis vertical ready for Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to be dauntless?
Reporting from Portland Oregon at RADexpo (“Retail and Dispensary Expo) – Harry highlights how this show is focused on the downstream third-leg of the stool of the medical and adult use cannabis supply chain. Specific mentions of store design and participating in trade associations are made in this segment. Bottom line – get involved with events and trade groups as your build your professional reputation and expertise in the cannabis vertical. I will attend RADexpo in 2020…
A summary of the Lemonhaze event in October 2019 in Tacoma, WA. This two-day conference is oriented to the end of the cannabis supply chain – the retail budtenders inside the dispensaries. So suppliers in the tradeshow hall reflect wares that support the medical and recreational sale and consumption of cannabis. Fun fact: there was a comedy track at this conference to keep it real! Put Lemonhaze on your calendar for 2020 (note it will occur in multiple cities across the country)
This month’s contribution from Duane Roebuck is extremely practical for Managed Services Providers (MSPs) serving the cannabis supply chain (in particular the retailers). Digital signage of commercial quality can be implemented by the MSP to both educate the customer and enhance the shopping experience. For example, in Colorado, there is a waiting room one starts the customer journey in before entering the actual dispensary. That allows for an opportunity to have educational signage (brand awareness, public safety, etc.). Roebuck also shared that digital signage (e.g. video walls) can dramatically improve the customer’s perception of the dispensary as well