Running a cultivation operation is not inexpensive. Energy costs alone can run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to a million or more per year. Also, in some states (Washington, for example) competition is driving down prices, increasing the need for cultivators to lower costs. As the industry continues to grow, the need for lower costs and greater efficiency will only increase.
As Kenneth Morrow writes in his column (page 76), “As with any business, your efficiency determines your profit margin, which in turn dictates your business’s success or failure.” These efficiencies can include facility layout, maximizing staff productivity and energy- and water-saving strategies.
As Nic Easley and Adam Koh stress in their column (page 82), “As production volume increases around the country, prices will eventually fall well below current market rates, necessitating that producers keep costs down if they are to survive the industry’s future landscape.”
The bottom line is that cultivators must address production efficiency now, even if it means making significant changes to (and investment into) their processes, equipment and facility design. The alternative is no longer an option to remain competitive as the industry continues to expand.
Another important trend that surfaces in this issue is cultivators expanding into the consulting world. In the cover story, Meg Sanders, CEO of cultivator and retailer Mindful, explains that Mindful has launched Marimind, which will consult in other states to help medical marijuana legislation pass, as well as consult with other cultivators using its experiences, SOPs and data. In the past week, I spoke with three other growers who told me they have launched consulting businesses (as an extension of their cultivation businesses).
So, if you’re considering venturing out into the consulting world, you will be in good company … and competition. But with the number of entrepreneurs and small-scale growers looking to enter the large-scale cultivation world and in need of advice, opportunity may exist here for you as well.
On an unrelated note, I’m excited to introduce a new feature in this issue: Elite Cannabis’ David Bonvillain leaves his mark as CBT’s first-ever Guest Interviewer (see page 42), interviewing the team behind Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions in Connecticut’s unique medical market. (If you’re a grower who would like to be a Guest Interviewer, feel free to send me an email.)
Thanks to David, our Guest Columnists, and our regular columnists and contributors who are helping CBT shake up the world of cannabis growing, and helping new and veteran businesses learn to improve their growing practices, and better manage their businesses and their bottom lines.
Noelle Skodzinski, Editor