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Fluence Unfiltered Episode 2: Hyper-growth in the cannabis industry

Fluence Unfiltered Episode 2: Hyper-growth in the cannabis industry

In the latest episode of “Fluence Unfiltered,” Lorrie Schultz, Fluence’s senior vice president of marketing, sat down with CEO David Cohen to discuss hyper-growth in the burgeoning cannabis industry.

As cannabis and its related products become more mainstream, the exponential demand puts considerable strain on the growers and businesses who provide it. Cohen explains that “the pace at which [the industry is] growing and the amount of capital that’s flowing into the business creates a scenario where you’re going to get a lot of quick successes but also a lot of quick failures.”

“When you’re in hyper growth,” he continues, “things can literally change every month—every week—and you have to be ready to pivot. I don’t believe there’s a ready-made guide, but I do believe there are some very basic principles of growing a business: strategy, people, and being able to pivot.”

Not only must businesses scale swiftly to meet demand, but the industry’s talent pool—cultivated on college campuses and innovative farms—must evolve to supply such scaling businesses. Cohen explains that the expectations for growth in the cannabis industry are not supported by the current talent pool of expert growers. “You need a very good grower . . . the challenge is how to get the best people, how to afford them, and how to look ahead,” he said.

In Cohen’s words, growers will ultimately help other growers because they understand that a rising tide lifts all ships—a philosophy Fluence echoes. “Growers around the world are… in it for the same reason with the same passion. And they all want to see success. Fluence wants to bring answers. Not a company full of experts that have answers to everything but a connecting network of organizations and an ecosystem that can all help each other get better.”

Schultz then addresses the elephant in the grow room—licensing and regulation. A critical topic that affects every single grower, licensing is a significant part of a cultivator’s earliest days and an obstacle Fluence has adapted to support. Cohen adds, “It’s not just the license to cultivate, to process, for a dispensary . . . it goes down to the local township to convince the electrician to issue a permit. A lot of things can go horribly wrong.”

According to Cohen and Schultz, the ecosystem of cannabis industry professionals will survive, grow, and thrive by leaning on each other.

“Success comes fastest when I have people around me who are far better than I am, and it comes the slowest when I’m pulling people into roles they shouldn’t be in,” Cohen explains.

Watch the full video here to learn more from Cohen and Schultz as they explore how planning for change, building effective teams and strengthening your industry network will yield resilient, high-growth cannabis businesses. To view the first and future episodes of “Fluence Unfiltered,” subscribe to Fluence’s YouTube channel here.