The Newcomers vs. the OGs of Cannabis
Why it's time to dispel the toxic narrative surrounding artificial divisions within the industry
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I’m of the opinion that every problem in the cannabis industry will be solved in time by one factor.
That factor is talent.
With much of the media focusing on companies that are having to let staff go, many have missed the fact that cannabis is one of the fastest-growing employers in nations where it is legal for adult-use purposes.
As the cannabis industry expands globally, we will need more and better talent than ever before to ensure that the industry can continue to grow at its current rate.
As this happens in real-time, a specific narrative is emerging.
The Suits vs. the OGs
This narrative centers on the idea that there is a division between the Suits (industry newcomers from corporate backgrounds) and the OGs (those who have worked in the legacy cannabis industry).
Personally, I deeply dislike this narrative, mainly because it creates an us-and-them environment that leads to further division within the cannabis industry.
This is unnecessary.
Sure, many industry newcomers are just looking for a quick buck and some are quite willing to walk over others to get what they want.
But having worked in the industry for over three years now, I can say that I’ve met many more who genuinely want to see cannabis succeed.
Legacy growers who have been in the industry for decades have very valuable skill sets, but given the complexity of cannabis in many states, they may want to partner with a company that can help them navigate the legal and compliance issues.
Shelter is the perfect example of this.
In Canada, Shelter has helped craft cannabis producers like North40 cannabis, Organnicraft, and Gnomestar get their products to market more efficiently.
If we look down South of the Canadian border into California you have Nabis, which is responsible for distributing an extensive list of brands across the region.
Like the dankest hybrids, sometimes a partnership between Suits and OGs can produce the best of both worlds.
Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize
There are still endless growth opportunities in the cannabis industry, with only some 2% of the world currently permitting adult-use sales.
As opposed to creating divisions within the industry, why not combine expertise to grow the size of the pie such that there are more opportunities available to all?
Case In Point — Cookies
One of my favorite brands, Cookies is a great example of this.
Cookies was founded by OGs, who in turn built an incredibly strong team around them with many newcomers to cannabis. But these additions had the right skill sets to enable Cookies to scale and, as a result, have made it likely the most valuable cannabis brand in the world today.
If building the most valuable cannabis brand in the world isn't confirmation enough that collaborations between the OGs of the cannabis industry and the suits is a viable strategy with benefit for both parties, then let me know what is!
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Great article Matt! We can all live together and a who doesn't love a perfect mix!!
What a wonderful and uplifting message! This is very encouraging for me, as I am an accounting major at Chico State with some-but not extensive-experience in the Cannabis industry. My goal is to put my accounting and business knowledge to work in the industry, but I sometimes struggle with limiting beliefs that I would not be accepted. I appreciate this article for the encouragement that it gave me to reach for my goals of making an impact in the Cannabis Industry, thanks Matthew!!