Your Green Energy Makes all the Difference with the Cannabis Revolution
Someone once told me, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!” Well, as it relates to the almost-daily-changing cannabis industry here and across the U.S., those words couldn’t hold more weight or truth.
I’ll admit – I’m a rather wonky engineer, guilty of hiding his head in the sand and books on a regular basis. I manufacture state-of-the-art greenhouses with what some might call “all the bells and whistles” and technologies. I’ve spent more than two decades working to perfect agricultural housing structures that are superior to others in the marketplace, and I’m quite proud of what we’ve developed for growers, retailers, and consumers.
But, along with that success, I’ll also admit some stumbles, missteps, and outright disasters. And, looking back, every one of those were deeply rooted in my ignorance or abject unwillingness to “tune in” to what I needed to know in the industry.
To those of you embarking or already journeying down the Cannabis Highway, I caution you to not make similar mistakes. Too much is happening too fast – and if you’re not both informed and engaged, it could cost you big time. I thought I’d draw from my own experiences with some simple but important steps to help you navigate the path so it’s not so treacherous:
- Know What You Need to Know – In California alone, more than seventy bills were introduced last year and already about fifteen this year affecting the cannabis industry. Last November, the state promulgated and released new regulations affecting this industry – from licensing, to marketing, to safety and health requirements. Fortunately, the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, the agency responsible for promulgating and enforcing these regulations, has been ahead of the curve with vital information on their website, convening regional workshops and making staff available to address and inform about these ever-changing and comprehensive yet complex rules. Get smart and visit its website.
- Be a Player: Get Involved – Indeed, these are exciting times to be on the ‘ground floor’ of the cannabis industry. You have a golden opportunity to help shape the way things evolve in the coming months and years if you participate now. Don’t be absent but, instead, find a seat at the table. One of the best ways to make that happen is by becoming a member of an industry organization that impacts your day-to-day activities and efforts. The California Cannabis Industry Association is a meaningful way to become an active participant. They have more than 900 members to speak with, network and learn from. They offer more than seven committees – from agriculture, to public policy and more –to share expertise and shape issues and guidelines. And they provide a number of wonderful networking and informative activities, including their upcoming Policy Conference in Sacramento on March 20th. You can find out more about CCIA here, but whatever the organization you gravitate to and vet, make a point to engage. We just became members and are already reaping so many great benefits and relationships.
- Be Heard – If you have a special expertise, passion, or concern within the cannabis industry, the last thing you want to do is let it sit on the shelf. You can do your part to benefit others by sharing your know-how or, at the very least, open a door for questioning on a topic you hold dear. Consider writing a column for your local or trade publication, or speaking on a talk radio program about your craft or things that would benefit the greater good in our communities. Make sure your elected officials are not just hearing from you, but that you are helping to educate them about what you do in their backyard. Invite them and their staff to visit your business, join a roundtable meeting or coffee, or visit them at their district local office to get to know them better. Explain why what you do matters, the benefits to the community, and people involved in your business or interest. Let them know how public policy or legislation would help to ensure a thriving industry and safe, protected and successful communities. Knowledge is power, and bringing more of that to your councilmember, state legislator, or congress member will prove a win-win for the long haul.
Be Informed, Be Involved, Be Heard. The Cannabis Era can and should grow at an exponential level in the Golden State and elsewhere – and you’ll be doing yourself and the industry a favor by sharing your “green energy” every step of the way.
By John Taylor, CEO
As seen in Fox&Hounds where John is a contributor.