There is a lot of progress in the cannabis industry, and more and more people are starting to respect and change the image of a typical cannabis patient and business owner. In this episode, Anthony Frischknecht talks about this change. The future of the cannabis industry is bright, and now is the best time to get into the business. Listen to this podcast episode to discover Tony’s insights into the present and future state of the cannabis industry.
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Cannabis Business Owner And Stereotypes
I appreciate everybody taking the time out of their day, whether they’re taking a walk down the street with their dog or sipping on their coffee. I appreciate all my audience out there and checking out what’s new in the cannabis industry. I was kicking around some different ideas on what I should talk about and something that came to me was what the cannabis owner was a few short years ago. The stereotypes behind that, I know for many years especially when we started even on the medical side when medical started getting big in 2009, everybody thought we were a bunch of potheads smoking and watching our plants grow. For those of us that have been around for over a decade working on this, there were some times when there was more smoking happening than working. That has steadily changed because in order to become a better business owner and create a thriving business, people have had to adapt. If they didn’t adapt, they were kicked out the door and that was it.
We’ve got a lot of people out there that are meeting with senators, city council members. They’re well dressed and they don’t have long hair and beards. They’re like anybody else that you would see on the street. They’re either advocates or have a business in the cannabis industry. It’s amazing to see and it was a short time ago when that wasn’t happening and the message is starting to get out. People are starting to understand. The fact California is going through their second year of full legalization since they have such a large economy and a big part of the United States, people are starting to give a better image of what the cannabis owner is and that we’re serious business people. There are some guys that are outside our industry that are sharks and people that can take over companies and those guys are starting to come into our industry. It’s our job as advocates for this plant to show them, “They can’t push us around. We’re not stupid. We’ve been through a lot to get to this point and there’s nobody that’s going to take advantage of us as we move forward.”
There are some unique things happening in the hemp world that are going to translate over to the THC world soon. These guys are farmers. I’ve been launching these guys risking a lot going out and planting 10, 20, 30 acres. Some of them are in the hundreds of acres that have been doing this for a while. They’re real people like you and me. Back in the day, there were a lot of outlaws and there were a lot of underground farmers. Everybody has looked at that as that’s the stereotype and breaking that is exciting. We’ve got people showing up to Washington, DC in suits. The attorneys and the change that’s happening in DC, I’m thinking of all the women that are in Congress now, which is incredible.
Somebody pointed that out to me. Whether you’re a fan of Trump or not, you definitely can tell that there’s a switch happening on the Capitol and there are a lot more women that are in power. I know we’ve got a lot that is advocating for the cannabis industry too. That’s great. This shows the progression of what’s happening and how close we’re getting to legalization. People are starting to become comfortable with the fact that the sky is not falling and the earth is not ending. Canada’s a perfect example. They’ve had their challenges like everybody else has, but they still did it and they’re pushing forward and pursuing their second year in legalization up there. I feel fortunate to be a part of this time. The opportunities that are coming down the pipe are incredible.People are starting to have a better image of what the cannabis business owner is and realize that they’re serious business people. Click To Tweet
If anybody out there is digging into this industry, I couldn’t think of a better time. You’ve got huge momentum going in your case. People understand the plan. Hemp has been legalized and that’s going to produce a bunch of opportunities. There are dozens of opportunities in that and in the medical side. People are focusing more on medical and we’re seeing that there are scientists and universities getting involved. All the old days of the pothead are starting to be forgotten. I can truly say that and believe it because I’ve seen it firsthand. I’ve got friends that are hemp farmers going through their challenges and trying to figure it out. They’re planning how it’s going to work for them.
These guys are risk-takers and entrepreneurs trying to make it in the world of cannabis. It’s fantastic to see. I think that you guys that are paying attention to the opportunities out there, if they take advantage of what’s coming down the pipe and take advantage of some unreal opportunities, they’re going to set themselves up for their future. Whether it be owning a big business or cashing out in the next 5 to 10 years and being a multimillionaire, it’s an incredible place to be. There’s definitely still a lot of illegal grow operations happening and that’s okay. This is a part of legalizing the product. The more busts we see and the more enforcement that happens, the more we see that prohibition is failing. Regulations are being enforced.
That’s what this whole thing is about. If you have people in your family or friends that are out there that are saying, “This is terrible. What’s going on? I told you they’re still doing it illegally,” if you didn’t hear about any people getting indicted or busted or in trouble, then the system wouldn’t be working, but it is. Take that and tell them that. If we didn’t hear about all of these, we know they wouldn’t be working. This is how regulations and enforcement work. I’ve had conversations with people arguing with me about it and I’m like, “It’s because it’s working and we’re getting safer products and we understand the plant more.”
This all tie back into the stereotype and what people thought, what it used to be and what it is now . You’ve got guys that have come out of the underground and they’ve created something legitimate and they are positive members of society paying taxes. There are still illegal things happening. It’s only a matter of time before we will be eliminating 90% of the black market. People will see this in their everyday lives. If you haven’t been to any legalized states and you’re curious, go take a look at states like California. Go take a look at states like Colorado. I’m a little biased to Colorado, but if you haven’t been, go take a look at places like Nevada.
I was out in Las Vegas. They’ve got this store done up. I’m not going to say the name. They have it set up like an Apple Store and they’re changing the stereotype to what people think because those days are gone. Those days are over. We’re trying for the next generation of people that are utilizing the plant for medical purposes, pain and also relaxation. It’s amazing to be here and see it all happen in front of my face and I want to try to get the word out there. You take a look at that and go to some of these different dispensaries. Every state’s a little bit different, but check out some of the different dispensaries and see how business-oriented these people are because they have to be. Nevada is a good example. They’ve had gaming and legalized gambling there for so long. They know how to run, know how to stay in compliance and be regulated because that’s everything. They know that if they step out of line, they’re done.
You don’t see that in a lot of industries. For safety and health-wise, we still have a lot to learn but we’re headed on the right track. I hope you feel the same and please share with me if you want me to find some more information out or talk about another subject. I’d be happy to fill that in. Go to my website at tonyfrischknecht.com and you can request in there. I’ve got an area where you can request and I believe you can ask questions there. I will also have my podcast tied to them. We’ll be setting up something soon where Q&A can happen through there as well. I hope you are doing great and thanks for reading wherever you’re at. You have a great day and bye for now.
About Tony Frischknecht
Born and raised in Colorado, Anthony always enjoyed the challenge of starting and building a business. That is why it became a natural progression at the age of 25, he became an entrepreneur, with two small construction companies. In 2005, he got his start in the medical marijuana industry in Fort Collins, Colorado, building a small MJ caregiving business, Highway to Healing.
By the time he was 35, he had two dispensaries with sales of $6.5MM annual revenue, including two indoor grow facilities, with a combined 20,000 square feet of production in Denver, Colorado. All four locations consisted of 19 city and state licenses. Anthony then joined a group of five industry leaders and started a successful cannabis brand O.penvape in late 2012. The maker of vaping products and edibles posted a top-line sales of $100 million in 2016 and sells a product every nine seconds. Its busy lab creates over 1 million grams of concentrated cannabis oil a year and it buys 10 tons of marijuana a year. Organa Brands is the only cannabis company with products on the market in 10 states, including at 1,200 dispensaries. Subsequently, Anthony has moved on to other ancillary businesses involving small scale extraction and commercial grow technologies.
If you ask Anthony about his favorite part of this industry? His response, “watching how fast it is evolving. It’s becoming a real industry and getting accepted by many, many of those who used to be skeptics. “ Due to this, we are seeing great leaps in innovation and technology. And this is exactly why Anthony says he is in admiration of this industry.
Anthony has been successful in the Cannabis industry for over 14 years and has been featured on the cover of Newsweek: October 29, 2012; The New Pot Barons and Cannabis Business Times: September/October 2016; Ten Questions