Splashy corporate mergers and big stock deals make for great headlines, but for those with a lot of experience in the cannabis industry, we know that the so-called “Green Rush” has been much more hype than substance when it comes to long-term success. Quality products and solid business practices that build strong relationships with top-notch companies and local communities go much further than a shaky foundation built upon public relations and marketing. Politico’s expose of Med Men illustrates the benefit of supporting craft cannabis boutiques like Pendleton’s Kind Leaf instead of multinational corporations that are only about the bottom dollar.
In October of 2018, MedMen announced a deal to purchase PharmaCann, an Illinois-based retailer with operations in several states, for nearly $700 million in stock. It was to be the largest-ever cannabis acquisition in the U.S., and the move played well with investors.
But by the end of the year, the spending and the bravado began to catch up with Bierman. In the second half 2018 alone, MedMen lost more than $130 million according to its disclosures.
In November, two MedMen subsidiaries were hit with a class-action lawsuit in a Los Angeles court alleging labor law violations. At the time, a MedMen spokesman told Marijuana Business Daily, “We offer competitive compensation and strive to cultivate a thriving work environment.” The case remains ongoing.
In April, cannabis sales in Florida set a record. Yet in the first week of May, in the latest sign of corporate distress, MedMen shuttered five of its eight retail locations in the state, a move it is describing as temporary. In contrast to the company’s ballyhooed store openings, the closures came abruptly and without explanation.
While companies like Kind Leaf don’t make international headlines, they chug along, doing what they do best: providing top-shelf cannabis and products while helping build up their local community and burgeoning industry. By supplying the biggest selection of strains and instituting programs that uplift local families and the city of Pendleton, Kind Leaf has become an example for others to follow. Sustained success over time and doing good deeds are simply good business practices that can help any company weather any storm. As members of the cannabis community, let’s seek out and support craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf over the Apple-of-Cannabis wannabees looking to cash in big for their executives and shareholders.