Mr. Robert Merrill Fletcher, ChE, the founder of TheCannaUnicorns has over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience in raising capital, startups, business operations, and sales management and over four years in cannabis industries.
In this segment, Robert shares his experiences as a business owner and his advice on being practical and tactical for anyone that is either in the cannabis business already or wants to start one.
The entrepreneur mentality is a bit like a chemical engineer, you put stuff together and it explodes and there’s a tremendous amount of fun for that. – Robert Fletcher
Some Topics We Discussed Include
2:05 – Joining the cannabis and hemp business
5:10 – Opportunities that are best to take advantage
8:49 – Challenges that are against to get into the cannabis and hemp marketplace
17:42 – Analyzing deals and focusing at opportunities
23:04 – Tips on increasing your sales and revenues in the cannabis industry
25:38 – Possible risks cannabis and hemp entrepreneur faces
30:49 – Growing your cannabis business
38:37 – Words of wisdom
48:45 – Where to find them
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Robert Fletcher
Connect with Sonia Gomez
Sonia Gomez: Hey guys, Sonia Gomez here coming to you from Denver, Colorado super excited to be here on another badass rock your socks episode of the hemp revolution podcast where we are sharing and telling the stories behind the scenes of the incredible people who are pushing this industry forward.
If you are a person looking for products you can depend on to deliver the results you’re looking for check us out at medicalsecrets.com and if you’re an entrepreneur looking for tools, tips, resources, relationships, any of the keys that you need to accelerate your success and growth in this and industry. Go ahead and check us out at theemeraldsecrets.com we are happy to help.
In today’s episode, we are going to be exploring yet another entrepreneur’s story Mr. Robert Merrill Fletcher is a chemical engineer and the founder of TheCannaUnicorns thecannaunicorns.com. That’s unicorns with an S. He assists cannabis companies with raising capital and mergers and acquisitions. He is an experienced business owner and his advice is practical and tactical for anyone that is either in the cannabis business already or is starting a new cannabis business or even wants to get started into any of the areas that are related to cannabis.
Super excited to be here. We’ve had a lot of conversations around what it actually takes to be prepared. What do you need to do to get ready? number one, and number two, how do you go about taking those steps to get started in this incredible, challenging, very exciting and cash-rich industry? Ladies and gentlemen, help me welcome and put your hands together to welcome our friend, Robert Fletcher. How’s it going, Robert?
Robert Fletcher: It’s going great Hello from South Florida.
Sonia Gomez: Yay South Florida! Not to mention the fact that you’re on a 50 foot plus boat. How’s it going out there?
Robert Fletcher: Well, it’s, 75 degrees and sunny in life pretty good.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, you look like life’s pretty good. I like it. Why don’t you give our audience for everyone who’s just getting to know you a little quick and dirty on who you are, what you’re up to and how you ended up in the cannabis and hemp —
Joining the Cannabis and Hemp Business
Robert Fletcher: Thank you, Sonia. Well, I’m a serial entrepreneur and I’ve had a series of businesses usually in the tech field and one reason or another those have hamazon squash the last one so once again, you have to reinvent yourself if you’re in tech. So I went to MJBizCon five or six years ago and just watch the explosion getting ready to happen.
A lot of people have old stories about when they joined the cannabis industry and I’m pretty sure I joined it when I was about 17 thinking to myself when they legalize this stuff, I’m gonna make a zillion dollars.
So, anyway, the landscape was a little different four or five years ago, but MJBizCon there’s a great launch place for those of you haven’t been please go. It’s just astounding what’s going on there. And please also go to your regional shows as well. That’s one of my first recommendations if you’re thinking about being in the industry, either hemp or THC.
So while I was there, I watched all the regulations that are coming through. And the first business I put together was something called Glamp and Grow. Conceptually, it was go camping, go glamping and rub your plants like Kobe beef and that’s an interesting business idea for any of you guys that want that one.
But I have companies, I help companies raise capital and work with lawyers, and I work with accountants, and we help companies go public. But we also help small companies raise money, and if you’re going to raise money, you better do it right because America is a legal society and you just have to do it right. Period, end of the story.
And what usually means doing it right is just cover your butt with a risk factor. And being sure that you’re not misleading people and there’s some acceptable formats that protect you as the entrepreneur, and you want to have those in place. At the same time, we work with a lot of startups and we help startups get traction and every startup has a few things they have to do but one of the most important things is sales.
And it’s our opinion that, sales cures all ills, and if you can make sales, you can survive as a business person, the time has passed and just be an idea.
We guess we still get a lot of business plans that are just ideas and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s very few opportunities for just the idea. The players are in the starters have a nice start out of the gate, the larger players are coming in now. And it’s becoming a very professional situation.
There’s still niche opportunities and we really believe that there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in a $30 billion industry. But there’s a lot of sorting out going on right now and that’s what you’re going to be faced within the business climate.
Sonia Gomez: I could not agree with you more and a lot of the conversation that I’m having inside of our business communities, because we represent both the consumer and the businesses, and then the business conversation, we have two categories. The budding entrepreneurs, the enthusiasts too are super passionate, maybe they have an experience, they have some chunk of change that they want to throw at it and get invested. We also have the established brands. And when I say established brands, they’re at least incorporated and starting and have a product ready to go to market and are starting to figure out their go-to market strategy or how to grow and scale leveraging the internet.
So some of the questions that I get asked the most from the budding entrepreneurs is, how do I get started, where do I get started, and I get a laundry list of all of their credentials and the things that they can bring to the industry on the side with the existing businesses, they’re all trying to figure out how can they get a converting offer so they can leverage the internet to access a larger marketplace there, as a ton of challenges around going to market offline because there’s just such a significant saturation.
And the three things that the three ways for you to get involved in this industry. Number one, get a job and you need skills to do that. Number two, is add cannabis or hemp to an existing business, you know, services or products. And then finally is starting your own brand or business.
Now, you just mentioned that the window of opportunity is narrowing more and more every day. I like to say we’re in our third stage of entrepreneurial, professional coming in here. They done it, they’ve been there. They’ve worked in mainstream corporate before and they’re bringing those skill sets to our industry.
What would you say? Knowing the landscape right now and how quickly that opportunity window is narrowing, what are some of the existing opportunities that you think are best to take advantage of right now?
Opportunities that are Best To Take Advantage
Robert Fletcher: Well, I’m a firm believer in sales and sales makes everything work. And I think there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in distribution, local distribution. And if you’re willing to get off your butt and get out and get locations, if you can get 100 locations making you $1,000 a month in profits, do the math that’s 100,000 a month in profit. You ought to be able to get to 100 locations within 100 miles of you within 100 days.
That is a prescription for huge success and all you really have to do is find a supplier and buy low and sell high and I’m telling you the market and the pricing is you got a lot of very motivated sellers on the CBD side and as we talk we’re really going to have to maintain our conversation about whether we’re talking about CBD hemp or THC I’m extremely bullish on THC I’m in a watch mode on hemp and CBD simply because the immaturity of the sales channels and the overabundance of the American farmer who’s a grower of just incredible abilities and but there’s always a place for a hustling entrepreneur to build a distribution business.
There's always a place for a hustling entrepreneur to build a distribution business. - Robert Fletcher Click To Tweet
And at the end of the day, I can absolutely guarantee you that the winners are going to be the birth of people that own the client. And if you own a customer, be it on the internet or be it in a local distribution route. You are going to succeed.
If you own a customer, be it on the internet or in a local distribution route, you are going to succeed. - Robert Fletcher Click To Tweet
Sonia Gomez: Man, yet you have to know that this is music to my ears! And I’ll tell you why, be in our pre-interview conversation I shared a little bit about our story and background and I have watched this industry grow from running around barefoot and in diapers in the humble hills all the way to the point where I was behind a desk being like, is this legal, and somebody’s coming to get me and he was one of the first hundred licensed dispensaries in the state of Colorado.
So you can imagine that I was quite literally getting my feet wet and every aspect of this as a 20 something-year-old running this business, and I’ve watched it mature I’ve watched big business come in, I’ve watched them take over what we thought was going to be the legacy businesses.
Folks who came out of the hills to be in the white market went back to the hills wondering what why they ever left. And we are certainly looking at a mature marketplace here but three years ago we started at two and a half years ago we started Legalize It Don’t criticize it which has grown to over a million consumers people who are passionate and excited about this, plant, use it and advocate for it every single day.
And from that list, we’re able to generate 300 to 500 new customers a day at the push of a button, no problems, no question asked whether you’ve never launched a business or already have an established clientele, we own the network.
And I have to tell you that this is probably one of the biggest assets in the industry right now. Even though we don’t have our own product line, I’m still able to generate a multiple six-figure business because I own the network and have the traffic. Some people would say I built my business upside down because I didn’t have a product.
I had no idea what I was going to sell folks, but I knew that I generating content and education that I would capture and connect with a consumer audience and be able to convert them into a subscriber or into a sale which has a certain monetary value. Now I getting all the businesses who are like hey, can you promote for me because advertising is illegal? So I have to 100% agree and it feels really good knowing that I fucking did that right?
Just laughing right girls in the end it is that so how would you say and I also love that you saying opening up distribution and having a hustlers mindset go out there I love this formula 100 locations who are doing $1,000 a month 100 miles from your house. What a perfect formula for success.
I hope you guys are writing this shit down if you’re listening what are what do you think the biggest challenges are in this space right now beyond capital? You know we’re in the seventh eighth year of MJBizCon the networking you know, it’s a little bit saturated people have found their magnet groups right now. And yet there’s this huge rush of new money and new entrepreneurs coming in.
What do you think the challenges are that they’re going to be up against trying to get into this marketplace and let’s stay specific with cannabis right now especially with the new legislation that’s coming out or the new amendments that’s coming out right now and we’ll talk about hemp separately later.
Challenges that are Against to Get into the Cannabis and Hemp Marketplace
Robert Fletcher: Well, let’s be clear. You said cannabis and do you mean THC. I love the THC model because you got regulatory constraints. Now the unfortunate thing is, is that THC businesses are licensed like crazy. When you have a license to model you have to have lawyers, accounts and you better be darn sure you understand accountability.
You better be sure you understand things like tracking and complete credit, seed to sale, data management, and it is if you don’t go into the THC business if you don’t have a background in tracking and or legal and or managing paperwork because the news right now is full of the government busting shops that don’t have their paperwork together and that’s what you really got to be careful of. But if you’ve got the money to step into a license, you can literally buy your way into a profit stream.
I looked at the deal this morning that’s probably bigger than most of your audience but one of the eight original Florida THC licenses is for sale for I think you wanted 35 million, 25 million down and for 10 million on he’ll take back is paper and that’s bigger than most of us but it just goes to show you if you can step into that, that’s probably worth 100 million dollars in the next two or three years and that kind of three x four x five x return is protected, and it’s beautiful.
The other thing I love about the THC businesses is for those of us that have done cannabis pod tourism and travel to a rec state. It is a candy store man and you didn’t. Vegas cavis, the biggest THC store in the world in Vegas and the average ticket sale in these stores is $600. These people walking out with baggies with $600 worth of sales and those are real numbers.
So I really do think most of your audience is not going to be able to play at that level. Sonia, so at some point, let’s talk about what the budding CBD entrepreneur can do with what they got in front of them.
Sonia Gomez: Well, let’s take a look at that market as well. I serve plenty of CBD companies who are building their brand with the intention to make that lateral move over into the THC market when there is more regulatory, framework in place to allow them to operate in their states. Right now it’s still a very great area for them so they feel like they can get their feet wet with CBD.
For me the same rules apply, especially if you’re preparing yourself for the THC market. But why don’t you share? I know that you have somewhat of a tempered temperature when it comes to the CBD space. But why don’t you share your opinion of what you believe those opportunities are or what those challenges could be for a new entrepreneur in that space.
Robert Fletcher: Sure, absolutely. Now though, the one of the models that I do want to leave on the THC side is that we’ve seen some of the caregiver ability to grow. And if you have the ability to grow this plant, that is a skill that is in short supply, and there’s a lot of your audience out there that are growing their own, one way or another black, gray or white, they can grow him, they can grow. They can grow the plant, the medicine and those guys are knocking down 100 a quarter 150 grand a year simply because they know what they’re doing and it makes a difference.
The hemp CBD market is very good, it let’s face it, it’s a saturated internet already. If you’re doing extraction, you’re going to have issues because you paid for a lot of equipment, and that equipments got to be monetized and unfortunately, the prices of the price floors are falling out from under you if you’re investing in outdoor grows, you’ve got real issues because your buddy around the corner who knows if he even knows how to keep a male female plant from a female plan before you know it, you’ve lost your whole crop. We see all of that going to greenhouses and greenhouses cost money.
But once again, there’s always the ability for the artisanal business like the seasonal craft beer companies to do real well and to and to establish a regional niche and I bring you back to the get out and hustle 100 miles from you and dominated unless you have a skill set and or a piece of plastic form which is what you have Sonia and in the old days in the publishing industry, it’s called a platform and you’ve got a million people that are there that are looking for solutions and information and product and and you’ve got a, you’ve got a nice look at entrepreneurs that want to reach that market, you have the ability to filter and pick then and do a little cherry pick in and introduce A to B.
And your business model is one of the best I’ve seen. So I continue to congratulate you and I really want everyone to know there’s still opportunity out there, but just don’t think you’re going to write down a plan and go buy some bottles and and make a bunch of money. It’s business and it’s work right now.
Sonia Gomez: Hell yeah, it’s work and nobody ever said this was going to be easy and even when it was easy. Yeah, pure Cana will. I’ll use that as an example. Pure Cana was one of my first clients and when I spoke with he, he was quite literally on camera eating ramen noodles. And I was like, it’s not some gourmet ramen, like, what do you got going on there? Like, you’re doing 100 km. What’s happening? He’s like, well, I give it all to my affiliates and he was just like, eating his ramen telling me about his old plans to pay out all of his affiliates.
This man did not make any money. He put all of his money back into his business. He did exactly as you’re saying, gently and carefully built up his network had everybody else rank on on SEO for himself, and in two years was able to exit for $90 million.
Now, for those of you who are listening, these numbers might just be totally, it may be just impossible to conceptualize numbers like that. But let’s, if you bring it even down if you can generate $1,000 a month and, and do it consistently enough to be able to sell your company for three, five even 10 X the revenue which by the way that’s happening right now big businesses coming in, and again, acquiring companies who have consistent proven revenue and distribution.
If you own the network that you’re distributing to you, you’re increasing value, let’s use Dollar Shave Club as an example. They came in, they had this little idea everyone was giving them a $1, suddenly their email lists became $33 value per subscriber. And they showed up on the stock market with a billion-dollar valuation from $1 product.
So it is you don’t have to have 15 products in your product suite, you can make multiple millions or even hundreds of thousands from one product. Here’s the trick. And please correct me if I’m wrong because this is something that I see is a really significant challenge in our marketplace right now. Trying to be everything to everyone and not getting really specific about the problem that you want to solve for a specific person.
So I want to ask you, just because I want to take advantage of having somebody else weigh in on this, it’s my opinion that if you’re trying to be everything to everyone, then you can’t solve any one specific problem for one specific person and it creates brand confusion.
How important is it for you guys while you’re analyzing deals and looking at opportunities from different entrepreneurs. How carefully do you look at that go to market strategy and where does the avatar and understanding that specific marketplace plays a role in your guys’ decisions to get behind or not get behind the company?
Analyzing Deals and Focusing at Opportunities
Robert Fletcher: Sonia you hit the nail on the head, the number one what is the USP the unique selling proposition of any business and this is cannabis or non-cannabis-related and we know what is unique about you. Are you a veterinarian and you’ve got 1000 people every couple of weeks coming through your you know your store and you want to concentrate on pets. Are you do you own 100? Or can you have access to 100 smoke shops, they can take pre-rolls. We’re always looking for why are you different price advantages. We’re nervous about price advantages because the floor is falling out from under anything that’s price related.
We’d like to see a brand. One of the best brands in the world is Charlotte’s Web. They got through this whole thing and God love them. But when grandma knows about Charlotte’s Web, you’ve got some mindshare there. So you look at that kind of, do you have a brand? Do you have a distribution network? Do you have money, if you’ve got money and you can actually power through something that is a competitive advantage because most everybody is looking for money. Once again if you just have an idea, you’re not going to get far with it these days.
If you’re willing to get out and hustle, you’re going to be able to start a business and you’re going to be able to keep that business going. We’re very interested– we can we see the occasional blue sky business blue ocean business. We’re talking serious money in the pharmaceutical level play. We’re not going to talk about this on the show, but they have to have the same thing. What is unique? What is different? Do they have intellectual property? Do they have a brand, they have a patent.
And unfortunately, or fortunately, as the case may be, with the government regulatory bodies still fussing about for lack of a better term, where there’s this fog and this smoke and there’s room for the small guys to play, but the big guys can’t commit. And so that is your opportunity right now is to get out in front of those guys before the major players come in and they can’t come in until the regulatory environment clears.
So between banking and regulations and all that if you just stay under the radar, do your business and get out there. You’re going to be okay. If you’re going to sell every kind of CBD bottle on the web because you got an e-commerce store, forget about it.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Seriously, forget about it. Let’s talk about some strategies for existing businesses who are doing a solid five figures or maybe sit low, six figures per month right now, and they’re established offline, maybe they have a little bit of dabbling around online. Perhaps the Elavon exodus that happened in June drastically impacted what they were able to do in business. What would be some key ways that you may advisor direct a company to increase sales and revenue? What would be some advice that you can offer around increasing one sale and revenue?
Tips on Increasing your Sales and Revenues in the Cannabis Industry
Robert Fletcher: Well, the first thing is that they look at where their existing sales are. And it’s what people think it’s a magic but there’s the 80-20 rule and that is a percent of their sales are coming from 20% of their focus and if they can identify and clear about what that is that can be replicated and that can be scaled trying new products trying new things, God loves us each and everyone we all try new things but there’s a lot of wasted money going on there. So we say leverage what you’ve got and run hard run fast.
As you’ve done you understand the power of influencers and you understand the power of building and growing your network and you need to they need to be looking for Okay, I sell your stuff, you sell my stuff and creating as many strategic partnerships and strategic relationships as they can to increase distribution and in my mind, it’s almost always about distribution, because if you can saturate that distribution channel, let’s face it, the retailer, the buyer, he didn’t have time or energy to look at the next four products that come down somebody knocking on his door you get there first, you have the first set gummies, you have the first set of smoke, you have the first set of this, first set of that, you’ve got good quality.
You’ve got a good manufacturing process that delivers what has to be done in a regulatory environment. And you’ve got the ability to scale and now what come becomes interesting is if you’ve got five or six figures a month, you are a little bit you’re not quite a unicorn but you’re maybe [inaudible]. And we realized that and so we are looking for anybody that has current traction, is making money, is going to have a regional or state even ability to dominate their niche. And those are the people that are receiving funding these days.
Sonia Gomez: It’s so interesting because obviously, I solve for really for challenges in the industry. Number one, marketing and advertising all day long, where most companies are getting shut down. We’re thriving online. Banking and merchant processing have really had to figure out solutions for that to even keep people in business because my game is online. I dabble offline because I’m a hustler, but really my game is online.
Beyond that is stabilizing the supply chain that’s been such a significant challenge for a lot of these businesses. And then finally is opening distribution opportunities and I do two different things. I’m working with cannabis businesses connecting them to consumers. But I’ve also opened up this whole thing where I’m actually nurturing other influencers who have a minimum of 50,000 followers and can show me that with other products, they’ve generated a minimum of 50 sales when they push a button.
So now I’m starting to coach and consult on this side too, and I can create direct payers for both cannabis and hemp companies. I’m also designing education companies for our education, and media for cannabis companies so that we can start to build global brand recognition information is not illegal, only the products are, right?
So now we can start to build global brand recognition. And help them expand that way, adding new revenue streams without having to reinvent the wheel. Now the challenge I’m seeing with a lot of businesses who are in this demographic that we’re talking about here is they’re somehow always stuck in creation mode. They’re like, always feel like they have to create something new and that’s innovation rather than focusing and really looking at the metrics to say what is generating our money and where can we pour the gasoline on?
What do you think it is about the entrepreneur and I’m really more interested to find out what are companies risking right now by not going deep? and trying to play the wide game versus the deep game with their areas of expertise. What’s at risk right now?
Possible Risks Cannabis and Hemp Entrepreneur Faces
Robert Fletcher: Well, what’s the risk is that they’re going to get passed by somebody drill and straight and drill and fast and drilling hard and just coming in with the full-on business executive team. That’s what’s going to happen is the executive people that have the executive team, which is the VP of sales and the VP of marketing. Let’s face it, you’re an entrepreneur. I’m an entrepreneur, we love new ideas. There’s nothing better in this industry to go to an MTA [inaudible] and go to the after-hours and drink it up and smoke it up and have 42 ideas.
But the next day, don’t remember any. Are you saying there’s a lot of smoke in this industry for a reason, but so the next day you better wake up and you better make move those sales by 2% or 3% or 1% and have a new have some extra revenue coming in? And that takes a different mentality than the entrepreneur mentality.
The entrepreneur mentality is a bit like a chemical engineer, you put stuff together and it goes bang, and there’s a tremendous amount of fun for that. Now, the one market that we probably have not spoken about, and we should, because I like to teach everybody to think globally, is we’re consulting with probably the third CBD company in England. And if you’re in a country that is just now turning on, the beauty is, is that you can watch every mistake that the Americans have made in the book.
And you can learn from that and you can run hard in your country and there’s a lot of opportunities going on internationally and that’s something that we look at and we say and that’s that’s actually one of the reasons I kind of enjoy watching the wreck states turn on state by state because you can make a strategy per state and you can learn from the prior six states.
So don’t let’s not forget if your internet your international people ought to be learning from you. And somebody ought to be replicating your business model in the UK and across the EU and across may you know, and they should be calling you and asking for translation rights. That’s what– And so once again seminars, the entrepreneur, the unfortunate, it’s not unfortunate it is what it is you catch the ride just right you sell it for $90 million in three to five or seven years and in general though, what we’re dealing with but the operative term there is sell out.
Because we all know that the entrepreneur is eventually going to hit his Peter Principle and for those of you who don’t know what the Peter Principle is, you rise to the level of your incompetence. And so there comes a time when the guy that’s you know and then grew it and extracted it and goomy that he’s not ready to run a warehouse. God loves them he deserves his money and goes make something else a get out of the way of the train.
Sonia Gomez: I just over and over and over again, these are thoughts and ideas and pieces of conversations that are are more mature can openers are having all the time. And the interesting piece is that the cannapreneurs that I’m having this conversation with are not necessarily the ones who are minting cash in a physical location or in a modern-day industry. They’re the ones who minted cash as pioneers of the industry, from the 60s moving forward, and they’re sharing what having watched this evolution and legacy farms go down trying to keep up with the Joneses.
It’s very, very interesting to watch the contrast. I think one of the biggest challenges and watching my, what I will call my relatives my very close family and friends who quite literally have been producing the country’s cannabis for many years. They geared up and got ready for California legalization, and they put together what they thought was going to be a cohesive plan and many of them did not have what it took.
I want to hear from you because there’s a lot of folks in my network right now who I just don’t have the heart to say like honey, you ain’t got what it takes. And at the same time, I want to encourage them that whether or not their entry point into this space may not look the way that they thought it was going to, there’s still some way for them to participate and bring value. For the entrepreneur who does have what it takes and needs guidance on getting ready to get ready.
Can you please share with me maybe three or five things that must be included when putting together a plan or business plan to express or share the landscape you hope to enter into, or business that you hope to grow? What are those key components that a business plan needs in order to make sense or to qualify to have that deeper conversation with an investor or hedge fund or something of that nature?
Growing your Cannabis Business
Robert Fletcher: The first is going to be staying power, and when we’ve all, I feel so sorry for the California printers got a dead state is just digging them around left right and the months go by and you know and entrepreneurs trying to run his business and the months go by. It is the most confounding thing. Colorado at least you guys are rocking man that they beautiful but so the first is staying power when I get somebody on the phone that wants to raise money I say kind of like what you got I said when you run out of money and what happens when you run out of money? We’re not gonna run out of money. I said yes you are. You’re absolutely right and when is your wife gonna kick your ass because you’re not making any money and you’re not bringing home any money? Well, am I be meaner about– so staying power is a big deal.
The other thing is, the hedge funds and the real money is all are just like a normal business. We’re always looking for resumes and you probably you may have heard the term stack your boulder stack the board if you don’t have some serious science if you don’t — the growers is a special person and that person can be the long-haired hippie tattooed dude and he usually with dreadlocks guy and he said God loves them because they know what they’re doing.
But after that, your director of finance had better maybe have some public company experience. Your Director of Sales should have the ability to have done distribution to 1000 stores and then we’re talking about now the upper level if you’ve done something if everybody on your team has a solid referenceable skill set. Then you’re going to get looked at if you’re a man if you’re making money, all the better.
Sonia Gomez: I love how you’re isolating out the grower here, you’ve seen at a couple of times now that particular set of skills is something that is unique to the industry right now my husband, who is a cultivator of over 20 years and literally from creating the soil, all the way through to creating the distribution channels has built a really successful business from self from 95 all the way through to 2009 when we moved to Colorado to support legislation.
So in California, he was operating there under two for 15 did very well for himself and now is being approached by several companies who want to bring him in as the head of cultivation. So I love that you’re raising awareness around the grower because I don’t think that they get enough attention. They’re being there, the really skilled ones are coming from a seven-figure business and being offered $100,000 if you’re lucky between 100 hundred and $20,000–
Robert Fletcher: You can bring the genders from that. You brought up a point that I want to interject here real quickly, and that is I’ve made my fortunes in selling blue jeans to the minors. And please don’t think that you have to grow a plant to be a part of this industry. The ancillary industries are bigger than the actual molecule industries. So think about soil and think about lights and think about greenhouses and think about extraction facilities and think about driving trucks and think about delivery and think about reviews and think about me, it’s ancillary is a ton of fun.
Sonia Gomez: You literally just took the words right out of my mouth right now because I was gonna say, yeah, there’s a lot of fun and being a craft cultivator. But I want to hear from you about the ancillary businesses. What do you think the opportunities are for the folks who maybe have a specific skill set or opportunity that can serve the cannabis industry?
That’s, I mean like you said, it’s a much bigger opportunity, a lot less risk. And that for me would be an example of tailoring an existing business in order to serve a new marketplace. That’s Levi Strauss’s model of the gold rush. What are some of the exciting ancillary businesses that you’re seeing jump around the market right now?
Robert Fletcher: Deliveries a darling, delivery people I’ve heard of hemp. I’ve heard of hemp delivery guys making 2030 40,000 a week on CBD deliveries and that just promises made, promises man in Nashville of all places. So that’s an easy one. And here’s an idea for somebody just go connect out with the restaurant people and the restaurant delivery guys and throw a flyer in there that says call this number for your CBD and these have a central warehouse and the Doordash people just go pick it up and take it out.
There is big business and that’s probably you’re not going to be a lighting company because once again, you get into hardware and you’re kind of crazy. You’re in software, the software is another there’s a lot of stuff going on in software and management if you tend to be a tech guy.
There’s a tremendous amount of the accountants can play because this thing’s this business has weird accounting rules, so if you want to be accounting and then of course lawyers, your lawyer you can have it that as well. But if you’re just you know if you’ve got a, if you don’t have a bunch of money and you got to get started in some way, shape, form, or fashion or form, figure out a distribution network that you can access that’s easy to do and all you gotta get out there and buy low and sell high.
Sonia Gomez: I’m like rendered speechless. I love this interview so freaking much. And in this segment, in every interview, we do something called the words of wisdom, like quite literally, this entire episode is the word of wisdom. So I’m feeling really positive about this right now. But I want to just like sum this whole thing up.
I want to ask you knowing what you know, being a part of this industry watching the deal flow run through here like, it’s the Russian River right now. What would be some key pieces of advice 1, 2, 3 pieces of advice that you could offer an entrepreneur getting into this industry right now or is on the hustle and on the grind, trying to get the traction that he needs?
What would be some key pieces of advice? You’ve said stay power. You’ve talked about building the team and making sure that the resumes are on point. You’ve also said why are you different and what is your brand and do you have a distribution network? Are there any other gold nuggets in your vault that you can share with our entrepreneurs so that they might feel more prepared to enter into this space?
Words of Wisdom
Robert Fletcher: You said it earlier I actually Sonia and go get a job, go work, go do something. If you don’t have a year or two or even three in some segment of the business you’re just not going to get there you can’t come from the outside into this industry and one of the other pieces of this industry is the bullshit meter is very, very, very high that people in the cannabis industry will smell a rat in a heartbeat.
So if you’re not coming from your heart, you don’t enjoy it and you don’t believe in the medicine and you’re not after it at all. You’re not going to get there if you just think you can make fast buck don’t do it. Period into the story. Don’t do it. If you’re the kind of person that wants to be in a farm, if you’re the person at that it’ll sit and watch an extraction if you get off on helping people’s health, then find a piece of the industry in the industry that I just for grins.
If you don't believe in the medicine and you're not after it at all. You're not going to get there - Robert Fletcher Click To Tweet
I keep my job alerts for canvas jobs rolling inside of LinkedIn. And one day I there were three 200 jobs one day there was 30. I mean, it’s just the number of jobs and they’re there. They’re mainly entry-level to be honest with you now we’re starting to see some senior VPS. But get on the job boards and start looking for jobs in cannabis because you got some well-funded companies.
They’ve got money, they need people, they’re an expansion and let’s face it if you put four or five years into, let’s just say the Floridian dispensary market right now, there’s what 42 other states that you can go work in after you’ve got your chops. So get a job right now if you’re not going to make a play as an entrepreneur and take something over.
The other piece of valuable information is we land where we were at the end of 2019 2018 was a banner year God money flowed into cannabis. 2019 they turn the [inaudible] off. In terms of big deals, yes, but the small to medium deals. The investors went cold. We’ve got it personally know of two or three or four investors that pulled out of everything cannabis and hemp and it’s, unfortunately, it’s a watch and see the market is immature no way do I want to say it’s not going to reach what we think is going to reach but right now this it’s just an immature market that the smart money’s gonna watch the guys that already made a bunch of money they’re gonna do real well and but I think everyone is watching it unfold a little bit and my one advice would be, get a piece of it somehow get a job.
Try to build a little business get started. And as this other states turn on, you hopefully have a model that you can replicate state to state go to the conferences, more than anything go to the conferences, I went to the CBD conference in Miami, the hemp show in Nashville. MjBizCon [inaudible] and New York’s Pitch Fest, get out and shake hands and network and talk to people because this call it brailing the market. If you don’t brail the market, you’re going to lose your ass.
Sonia Gomez: Just over here taken taking notes, and just don’t mind me just scratch it all your gold down on my paper here–
Robert Fletcher: And find people like Sonia that could actually expand your horizons.
Sonia Gomez: Thank you. That’s very, very sweet. I’m going to piggyback off of what you’re saying. Because I think that it’s just super, super powerful to hear somebody like yourself who has a professional certification is coming into a new emerging market is found their foothold and is now a part of helping other businesses grow and expand inside of this space.
I’m really grateful for the work that you’re doing because I don’t believe that there are enough trustworthy people who are filling that role right now who can give real honest and constructive feedback on what it takes to get ready, to get ready. And if there are several stages of preparation that come into this space– But I’m going to I’m going to just piggyback and throw a couple of things on the back here in this segment of words of wisdom.
One of my mentors once told me, if you want to be known, you have to be seen. And I didn’t get it for at first I was like, if you want [inaudible] Okay, so what that actually means is that you can’t necessarily I know that you think I just sit here behind my computer all day long. But the fact is, I have spent a tremendous amount of time building relationships.
And if you look at the core of this industry, you had to know what guy to get your herbs, right? And that guy had to know another guy like you weren’t getting your shit from Pablo Escobar. Okay? Like you had to know a guy who knew a guy who would give you your shit and deal with your penis.
So get up and go figure out who’s the guy you got enough. You know what I mean and build a relationship, this industry as big and as exciting as it is, is actually a really small, tight knit network of people who treat each other like family. And the sharks are coming in, and there’s blood in the water and all of the things and at the same time, where a shark will feast, there is plenty of food for the rest of y’all.
So make sure that you understand where the source of the blood in the water is. And look at your circle of friends. If your friends aren’t down to go–, another mentor of mine said, show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. If you have the mindset of an entrepreneur and you have dreams and you have ambitions, and you’re sitting here tinkering away on a plan, and you go and hang out with your buddies at the bar who are like, no, no, that sounds pretty dumb or that’s already happening.
Fuck those guys and move on excuse my language and that while you speak like a lady, but I’m just keeping it totally 100% real with you guys.
Nobody wants to hear your sob story about how you don’t have support, you have to put yourself in a room where you’re no longer the smartest person with the best ideas.
Otherwise, you’re going to be a product of your own best thinking and something tells me you’re pretty much fed up and bored with that, okay? Put yourself in a room full of people who know more, do more and have more than you have. And chances are within a couple of months of replicating what you see, what you hear and who you know, your relationships are going to start to build, you will start to evolve as a person and your ideals will start to innovate what is already in existence.
The final thing I’ll say, which has been harped on a couple of times in my episode, but I cannot emphasize it enough. Building your community is building your commodity. If you serve the masses you will eat with the classes. Nobody gives two shits about the product that you sell. They care about the people who are behind the products and knowing and trusting that the passion you have will be a long term game and those are the companies that are consumers are enrolling their financial trust with a company that cannot reward you enough.
You cannot be rewarded more as a company by seeing the law of reciprocation. Okay, this law of reciprocity that will naturally happen when you are able to bring the most amount of value into the marketplace with the most amount of leverage, okay, think about that building a community or your own internal traffic system will cut your costs, increase your revenue and the value of your company, every one of your followers, every one of your subscribers, we are working in a digital age where few people from around the world want to be connected in one nucleolus circle.
That’s what we’ve created here and I implore you to duplicate that create education opportunities for people to connect and collaborate because, at the end of the day, people are lonely and looking for other people who are just like themselves, who liked the same things who want to do the same things who want to have the same things so they don’t feel like they’re the only loser in the world. Okay?
At the end of the day, we’re all human guys, whether you’re an entrepreneur or consumer, we need one another and having that community to connect in is the way to do it. And it all starts by leaving your fucking house and going to a local event and getting involved with what’s happening in your community. Those are my words of wisdom for today. Thank you so much for listening. Robert, what are some final words that you can share with our audience before we end today’s–
Robert Fletcher: You nailed it, the communities are there and the seminars are there and the trade shows. It’s one of the happiest and funniest and best industries I’ve ever touched. And I love it and I can’t wait to go further in it and meet more people like you.
Sonia Gomez: Yay! Thank you so much. Well, I’m super excited and really grateful for your time today. It’s very much an honor to have these higher-level conversations and get a picture of what it actually takes to these types of financial support and in flexes, but also just get the respect that you deserve as a company and from somebody who’s in a state where it hasn’t always been accepted.
We thought that this was– I thought it was going to take a decade for recreational this industry is moving three times 10 times faster than I could have ever imagined. So very excited to have you on the show and to hear your perspective on how things are growing. Where can folks find you if they’re interested and working with you?
Where to Find Them
Robert Fletcher: This is thecannaunicorns.com and that’s an S because if you if you have $1 billion company that’s a fluke if you have two you thought about it, so it’s thecannaunicorns.com. Drop me an email or phone call. I’m happy to give you free advice and to tell you if I think it’ll work or not, and love to be of assistance.
Sonia Gomez: Okay, amazing! After those of you guys who are tuning in, thank you so much for being a part of this community. All of the links and will be posted around this video inside of the blog. We distribute on multiple channels, make sure that you welcome some of your friends and family who could benefit from hearing information just like this, share this interview around.
It’s because of the people just like you taking action and sharing content like this, that we’ve been able to impact hundreds of millions of people’s lives around the world, quite literally moving the needle for legalization and cannabis and hemp reform around the world. And I want to continue to implore you to stay active. Even if it’s as simple as sharing and liking content like this. It shows your support for this new and emerging industry.
I also want to share with you guys that it is our mission to empower you with the truth about cannabis and hemp so that you can make educated informed decisions about how you want to care for yourself, the people that you love and the conditions that you may be suffering from or otherwise care for this beautiful gift of life that you have, while showing you that the opportunities that this new industry is opening for you are attainable for any of you no matter what your skill sets or level of experience are, you only need to have the courage.
So, thank you so much for being a part of this incredible community and trusting me to be your fearless leader as we grow and expand our network and following and also the impact that this incredible plant is able to have.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur, check us out at theemeraldcircle.com for the resources, relationships, tips and tricks that you need to grow and succeed in this space. And if you’re a person looking for products you can depend on to deliver the results you’re looking for, check us out on medicalsecrets.com we are happy to help. I’m your hostess with the mostess, Sonia Gomez, and this is The Hemp Revolution podcast.
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