Envisioning a Sustainable Cannabis Retail Operation

15:30 - 15:55, City Hall Room
Tim Cullen

(Workshop Presentation) Just as Canada can teach the United States about access to healthcare, Colorado can help Canadians understand the best ways to access cannabis through independent retail stores. Prime Minister Trudeau promised to legalize, regulate and restrict access, yet Canada has not yet decided on how its citizens will obtain legal cannabis.

Colorado was the first state to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Tim Cullen, CEO of Colorado Harvest Company, an industry pioneer, opened a vertically integrated medical cannabis cultivation and retail enterprise in 2009. Per Colorado law, retail shops could only sell the cannabis they grew. Colorado Harvest Company held 24 state licenses and was prepared to fully engage in a vertically integrated medical and recreational cannabis enterprise when Colorado retail medical cannabis centers opened to recreational customers on Jan. 1, 2014. Three shops, 65,000 sq. ft. of indoor cultivation space, 84 employees and 100,000 transactions per year, comprise Colorado Harvest Company, which draws tourists from around the globe as well as thousands of loyal customers who shop with confidence.

Tim Cullen will offer the following considerations to help potential cannabis entrepreneurs.

  • Sustaining a profitable indoor grow for a vertically integrated cannabis business
  • Using technology, security, and meeting customer expectations.
  • Training your employees to be the face of your company.
  • Establishing a brand for your cannabis and your retail center.
  • Complying and communicating with regulators.
  • Managing proper and profitable vendor relationships.
  • Supporting advocacy organizations.
  • Competing with the black market as a message and a motive.
  • Good neighbor policies