Community-Centered Cannabis

Community-Centered Cannabis

Revolution Enterprises founder Tim McGraw built his business by building relationships with communities.

December 9, 2016

This article originally appeared in the November/December print edition of Cannabis Business Times. To subscribe, click here.

When states implement new marijuana programs, and license applications begin to be filled out, there is usually a scramble for real estate in densely populated metropolitan areas. Hopeful cultivators may even try to outbid one another to get the largest warehouses in the best neighborhoods.

But not Tim McGraw, founder of Illinois medical cannabis producer Revolution Enterprises.

Instead of trying to join the bidding wars in larger cities when Illinois legalized medical cannabis in January 2013, McGraw started making cold calls to rural towns in need of an economic stimulus.

“A lot of cannabis companies,” McGraw says, “find a location, and then try to convince, so to speak, the community to accept them and get the support. We did the opposite: We worked backwards into the location, by finding communities that wanted us.”

That seemingly counter-intuitive approach paid off for Revolution Enterprises. It was awarded two of the state’s 19 cultivation licenses: one for a facility in Barry, and another dedicated to the company’s flagship facility in Delavan.

“[Being in smaller communities], was, I think, a huge differentiator between us and the other applicants,” McGraw says.

Now, at the tail end of 2016, those licenses have turned into two 75,000-square-foot facilities and Revolution Enterprises is eyeing new markets in which to expand. McGraw, however, is still focused on making sure the small towns aren’t left in the dust of his big plans.

To read the full article in Cannabis Business Times' November/December edition, click here.