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5 Pieces of Advice for People Trying to Get Into the Cannabis Industry

“You have to be passionate about it, because this industry is ever-changing.”

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Kyle Sherman first experimented with cannabis through a personal journey. Living in Los Angeles at the time, his doctor recommended medical marijuana as a natural sleep aid and for anxiety relief. He was fascinated by the healing power of cannabis and headed to Colorado when it was announced they would be legalizing adult-use cannabis.

 

Through a variety of cannabis jobs, Kyle ended up working as a compliance officer and got really interested in the state’s track and trace system, Metrc, which was largely a manual tracking process at the time and posed a lot of challenges to such a fast-growing and promising industry. It was at this time that Kyle realized there was no way to report to the seed-to-sale tracking software Metrc through an API. His tech company, Flowhub was born.

 

With Flowhub, cannabis executives and store managers have visibility into store performance across multiple locations and granular control over employee permissions, products, suppliers, specials, reporting, tax calculations and more. Budtenders and sales associates benefit from reliable, user-friendly point of sale software with built-in compliance features such as a cannabis meter that automatically prevents sales from exceeding state transaction limits. The Flowhub platform is custom-built to give cannabis retailers the most intuitive, compliant and extensible solution to meet their unique business needs. With first-to-market mobile check-in and inventory management applications, Flowhub is empowering over 500 cannabis retailers to grow revenue, stay compliant and manage inventory to create a seamless experience for their customers.

 

As a legalization advocate and entrepreneur, Kyle’s goal is to grow a robust, scalable industry that is approachable for all adults and medical patients. He views medical cannabis as a human rights issue and wants to create an inclusive industry through hiring a diverse staff and working towards decriminalization. With news surrounding cannabis business at an ultimate high, we wanted to know what advice Kyle has for getting your foot in the door and succeeding in a rapidly changing market.

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Flowhub

Identify and understand the real problems that are occurring and come up with new ideas to fix them.

Ideas that don’t have merit will not succeed in this business. Now that the cannabis industry is receiving tons of attention, everyone is trying to get something on the market. There’s a lot of repetition in ideas and the best ideas are ones that aren’t duplicated and can change the industry itself. The plus side of this industry being so new is that there’s a lot of room to advance it.

Flowhub
Flowhub

Find the funds.

Solve a problem for a few people first to show investors why your idea is worth investing in. Securing funding in this industry is not easy, which is why I suggest finding an idea that not only sets you aside from competitors but can advance the industry altogether.

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Don’t just go to any VC.

I highly recommend going to a cannabis-specific VC. Spend time with VC’s that have already invested in the space or understand the industry’s problems. Otherwise, you risk wasting time pitching to groups who have restrictive LP agreements or who generally will be unable to invest in the space until post federal legalization. You may still want to pitch non-cannabis specific VC’s but it is important to qualify them first and make sure they would be able to write a check at the end of the day.

Don’t get involved unless you’re passionate.

One obstacle about the space is that it’s ever-changing. Cannabis is very different than any other industry you’ll ever work in because of all the rules and regulations constantly changing. The market is very divided, federal legality is restricting, and it’s extremely difficult to secure banking and fundraising. Each state has different laws in place regarding cannabis, making it hard to expand your market and hurdles are constantly thrown at you. Passion is the key to success in this game.

Don’t look at it as a capital opportunity.

Having a product or a company that does not have a moral goal in the works will make it hard to succeed. My goal with Flowhub is to build great software that will end societal issues from the effects of the war on drugs and also help sick people have access to cannabis. As someone working in this field, it’s important that I do my part in helping those on the other side of cannabis.

Extra Background:

Not only is Kyle leading one of the top software companies in cannabis, but he’s also a husband and father of three, associate producer of Weed The People documentary, a Business Insider ‘30 Under 30’, and a founding board director at Cannabis Trade Federation. He’s also listed as a Top 100 Cannabis Leader by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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