Using Data To Build A Better Cannabis Industry

"cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries with explosive growth as it transcends into mainstream acceptance."


The cannabis industry has no shortage of talented entrepreneurs. 

Many of the most successful cannabis businesses in recent times have been built by experienced entrepreneurs seeking to apply solutions that will allow the industry to continue to grow. 

In my eyes, this is something that we as an industry need to get better at celebrating: the fact that some of the most talented entrepreneurs are choosing cannabis over every other industry speaks volumes to the impact that this budding industry is already having on the world. 

For today's very special edition of Four PM, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jeff, who, prior to joining the cannabis industry, co-founded Buddy Media, a company that sold to Salesforce for well over $1B CAD in 2012. 

At the beginning of this year, Jeff joined cannabis data startup Fyllo, a fast-growing Chicago company that provides data, media, and compliance solutions to cannabis companies across North America. 

Jeff Ragovin is the former Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer at Buddy Media and is currently the Chief Commercial Officer for Fyllo.

What motivated you to join the cannabis industry?

I’ve always been a firm believer that you must always adapt, learn, and get uncomfortable to grow as a person. As cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries with explosive growth as it transcends into mainstream acceptance, it was really a no brainer for me to join Fyllo.

As more and more states unanimously vote for legalization, this is the next wave that I wouldn't want to miss out on. For years I have seen the early rise of this industry but it wasn't until I met Chad Bronstein, founder of Fyllo, on a panel in Dallas about a year ago that really piqued my interest to make the move.

Fast forward to 2020,  it was an excellent time to make the move, and now coupled with the world combatting COVID-19, the cannabis industry has shown to be recession-proof and has progressed so much this year alone.  

(📸 / Fyllo)

What's surprised you the most about the cannabis industry since joining Fyllo?

I can say as a broad statement that the folks across the cannabis industry are amazing to work with.

There’s been a sharp increase of marketing experts coming in from traditional CPG companies like Unilever, Kimberly Clark, Johnson and Johnson, and entrepreneurs from the digital media world jumping into cannabis.

Athletes and Celebrities rule the roost exploring both CBD and THC businesses and are bringing this industry into more and more homes across the country.

I’m most surprised at how much of the population actually consumes cannabis whether it be THC or CBD products. The stigma is almost non-existent but there is still work to do. One of my favorite things about being in this industry is to be vocal and transcend more acceptance across the board. 

Cannabis Content For Cannabis Professionals

What are some of the most important lessons you've learned from interviewing guests on the Alchemy podcast?

Every episode on Alchemy is a learning experience for me. There have been so many amazing guests and I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time. Here are a few great takeaways from a few episodes:

Sammy Dorf, Co-founder of Verano Holdings, talked about the continual movement towards states going medical and then states going from medical to recreational:

“There's no doubt that the tax revenue that's generated and the jobs that are generated from cultivation and dispensaries are creating positive impacts on the communities that they operate in.”

Al Harrington, founder of Viola who played 26 seasons in the NBA talked about how his grandmother was able to read her own bible for the first time in 3 years after using cannabis to treat her glaucoma. Also, the fact that 70-80% of NBA players use cannabis is extraordinary. Cannabis is really a healing plant on so many levels. 


Andrew DeAngelo, Founder of Harborside dove in on the legalization efforts:

"Legalization doesn't get handed to us. We have to fight for it and we have to go get it and grab it and call it our own and you have to do that everywhere.”

Daniel Carcillo, Founder of Made Plant Health and 2x Stanley Cup champion discusses his approach to CBD plus dives deep into psychedelic treatments that really change people’s lives. I was blown away by some of the findings from this new category and how it’s saving lives. 

Having Co-founded a billion-dollar business, what advice would you offer to any entrepreneurs seeking to join the cannabis industry?

As more and more businesses enter the space, there’s a ton of areas where they can succeed. As the market begins to mature, more opportunities will emerge.

It’s important to any new entrepreneurs entering the space to do their homework and due diligence on what exists.

As it’s still federally illegal for THC, states have their own sets of rules and regs which create complicated ways to market, deliver, and grow. It’s important to understand compliance first and foremost and it changes every day. 

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