May 24, 2021 – Marijuana has gained widespread acceptance in recent years. The legalization of the plant in many countries has led to a boom in the cannabis industry. Consumer spending on cannabis has now topped $10 billion in the U.S. alone, and worldwide sales are expected to top $100 billion before the end of the decade. The United Nations estimates that 150 million people worldwide use marijuana, which is over 3.8 percent of the global population. That makes this an exciting time to be a leader in the cannabis industry. Businesses focused on the sector have been buoyed by the many positive changes in legalization laws across the U.S. Meanwhile, cannabis legality is about to be addressed at the federal level. According to a newly released report by Y Scouts, interest in cannabis is attracting all sorts of new leaders.
“With such momentum, it’s a great time for cannabis executives to plant the seeds of success at their companies,” said the Y Scouts report. “One overarching objective is to bring enduring leadership to their employees as well as to the industry as a whole. The good news is that’s certainly feasible with the right kind of planning and forethought. And, it starts with realizing that the industry itself isn’t like many others, despite the fact that by its very nature it encourages a wide range of different skill-sets that do match up favorably with other industries.”
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The Y Scouts report points to research by Green Entrepreneur that addresses approaches that can help cannabis business leadership in terms of longevity. Margot Micallef, the CEO of the Entrepreneur Leadership Network, says this is divvied up into a few categories, all of which should be a part of any cannabis executive’s task list.
Study the Details
Y Scouts notes that the interest in cannabis has brought with it many leaders who come from diverse backgrounds, which is only a plus for the industry. That means, though, that there is a steep learning curve to make sure all of the nuances of the cannabis industry are understood.
Ms. Micallef suggests that cannabis executives study every aspect of the industry that they can, from the plant and how it is cultivated and processed into the many ways it can be sold and marketed to consumers. “There are nuances in the cannabis industry that often trip up even the most experienced executive new to this industry,” Ms. Micallef said. “The power of knowledge remains essential in the inner workings of cannabis companies obtaining longevity.”
Hire a Diverse Workforce
Going beyond the realm of cannabis expertise will be in an important step in success. Seeking out team members who know the latest about medicine, food, and science, is a must, according to Y Scouts.
Ms. Micallef believes this will be key to furthering the cannabis industry, especially as it continues to evolve. “Branching out and seeking these specialties can have a profound impact on gaining a broader perspective on your brand’s potential, and ultimately, your market share,” she said.
Diversify the Supply Chain
This critical area requires a real knowledge of how to strategically plan in business. Micallef admits that she was daunted by owning cultivation infrastructure at first because of its expense and the many hurdles related to supply chain.
She calls it “multi-vertical integration,” and she realized that it’s actually an obtainable goal. There’s also a great advantage to being as self-sufficient as possible and relying less on third parties, as you continue to navigate the industry.
“Owning multi-verticals – such as manufacturing, distribution, and retail infrastructure, all under one umbrella – creates greater control over a brand’s destiny,” Ms. Micallef said.
Align with CPG pros
The acronym CPG (consumer packaged goods) is an entire niche of its own, according to Y Scouts. “At the same time, it may be difficult for most CPG experts to understand the industry, as they tend to me more conservative when it comes to the reasons behind cannabis legality,” the firm said.
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Ms. Micallef says that cannabis executives need to face this head on and work to balance the approaches between these two parties. “By attaining synergy between the cannabis professionals and the CPG players, your brand will ensure a blended culture, and ultimately, a healthy growth plan,” she said.
The Power of Hiring on Purpose
All of this pre-planning is meant to encourage enduring leadership and overcome challenges to the business, according to the Y Scouts report. “Although it has many moving parts, finding the path to success in the cannabis industry is obtainable by anyone, as long as they keep these key points in mind,” the firm said.
One of our key goals at Y Scouts is to help clients find the type of leaders who can be successful at purpose-driven companies. “We want you to hire the human behind the resume, which leads to greater fulfillment and more positive results for everyone,” the firm said.
“Hiring with empathy in mind and building enduring leadership is important to us,” Y Scouts said. “Instead of applicants being treated as data points, we encourage hiring leaders to look beyond work experience to truly find the right person for the right role, so they can add value to your organization and the industry as a whole.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media