To Be Blunt: The Podcast for Cannabis Marketers

060 Navigating Cannabis Technology, Integrations, and METRC with Justin Lipchitz of Realistic Consulting

July 26, 2021 Shayda Torabi Episode 60
To Be Blunt: The Podcast for Cannabis Marketers
060 Navigating Cannabis Technology, Integrations, and METRC with Justin Lipchitz of Realistic Consulting
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi chats with Justin Lipchitz about the nuances of the cannabis regulations, especially its interpretation, the predatory nature of cannabis consultants, THC and CBD technology, and so much more!

 

[00:01 – 14:29] Justin’s Background and Consulting is a 4-Letter Word in the Industry

[14:30 – 26:09] Regulation in Oregon Today and the Value METRC Serves in the Industry

[26:10 – 34:34] Problems That New Tech is Trying to Solve

[34:35 – 52:34] What’s Happening With Technology for THC & CBD

[52:35 – 1:05:08]  Regulation Ambiguity and Be Guided by Industry Experts

[1:05:09 – 1:08:04] Food For Thought

 

Justin Lipchitz has been leading teams in different facets of the Service Industry for over 15 years. During the beginning of his career, Justin led teams in fast-paced, upscale restaurants on the East Coast. Justin then switched gears, entering into retail as the General Manager at Wonderland Glass Galleries.

He came to Portland with dreams of cannabis, looking to join a dynamic team, and established himself at Oregon’s Finest. As Store Manager then General Manager, he helped opened their second retail location and a distribution company, Movement Cannabis. His reputation and experience earned him a coveted position on the Oregon METRC User Focus Group, helping implement system changes and improving overall usage for all licensees. Moving through the challenging regulations of the recreational market, he was able to adapt quickly and advance the ever-changing landscape of the market.

Now with Realistic, Justin brings his multifaceted abilities and expertise to help the entire industry.

Connect with Justin on Instagram @justineatsweed and visit his website https://realistic.biz/

 

Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi

 

Key Quotes:

“I try not to use the word consultant because it's a four-letter word in our industry. Everybody wants to get in, they try to take whatever skill set they have from whatever industry they come from, and they're trying to apply it to cannabis.” - Justin Lipchitz

“Having a realistic view of what's going on is always the most important thing.” - Justin Lipchitz

 

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Justin Lipchitz  0:00  
The biggest things I use, you know, metric is obviously our biggest challenge. One of the great things that's we're seeing now is that technology platforms like point of sales, like green bits and leaf logics, have integrations with metrics. So you're not actually even really touching metric anymore. With most of the point of sale systems from a retail side, everything's happening on the point of sale, and the point of sales, communicating two metrics. So it's cutting out the poor technology by creating a better technology that lays over it, we're seeing the same thing, you know, on the growth side with companies like trim, you know, the harvest process when you're harvesting flour, and metric is a very tedious process, it's very slow. You have to weigh it, write it down and transfer it to the computer. You know, trim now has their process in California where you essentially have a camera phone on your iPad, you know, and you scan the tag, you weigh the plant with their scale, and it just does it all for you. And you don't have to touch it anymore. You know, and it'll save hours and hours and hours of work every week during the harvest process.

Announcer  1:10  
You're listening to To be blunt, be podcast for cannabis marketers. Were your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing, educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and listen up. Here's your host Shayda Torabi.

Shayda Torabi  1:32  
Hello and welcome back to a nother episode of The To be blunt podcast. I'm your host Shayda Torabi and today's episode features Justin lipchitz. He is a consultant with realistic consultants. And it's his company he's based in the Portland Oregon area. And we just had a real conversation I mean, to be punny, to not be punny, I think realistic expectations and cannabis are critical. I want to kind of proceed this episode with highlighting there are going to be so many people out there I'm sure some are listening, who are trying to flip a quick buck by promoting themselves as a cannabis consultant. And I think you know, if you're looking to hire anybody, an agency, someone to guide you through the cannabis process, whether it comes to technology and integrations like Justin's background and expertise is in or marketing and communications. Like Yes, there is some extent where maybe you don't need direct cannabis experience to apply to, let's say, be really good at social media. However, if that person doesn't have a good understanding of the nuances of the law, regulations compliance, the industry to some extent, like if they can't fathom or comprehend those nuances, then to me, it seems like they are Miss guiding and Miss selling you on their capabilities. Because if you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you know just how specific it can be. Not even just as, you know, traditional industry to cannabis industry, but state to state city to city I talk about that all the time. And so I think Justin highlights, you know, in the interview, he's really weary of using the word consultant. And I only bring this up because I feel like it comes up pretty frequently. in conversations. You know, I've referred to myself as a consultant as well, I'm certainly available to consult. But I think that it's more just like a PSA, for those of you who are working in hiring consultants, like make sure that you're working with people who know their shit, they can speak to the plant, they have some sort of background and understanding. And Justin, in fact, makes a really good point, you know, if they haven't been a part of the industry, kind of I think the hierarchy is like everybody should be a bud tender at some point in their life, just to get that understanding of the industry is, you know, maybe not explicitly true, but I think there's some merit in that right. And so, it gives you this food for thought for always, I think it's really important to understand, you know, yeah, you can hire the best agency or consultant out there for all other aspects of success. But if they again, don't have that application, for cannabis, it can just be a little bit more of a challenge navigating and dealing because you're gonna have to teach them to how to play in this world. So with that said, Justin has quite a background of how he got into cannabis. He is really well respected in the cannabis industry, especially in the Oregon cannabis community. He really approaches his consultancy and his expertise around technology and integrations which you'll know is a huge topic of mine and a pain point that I feel like we don't discuss nearly enough now because he comes from the Legal market side, he is going to reflect a lot on metric, which is kind of a necessity of a tool that if you're operating in a legal state you need to leverage and Justin, we'll get into more and why in the episode. But yeah, just wanted to kind of lay the foundation and give you guys a little bit of my two cents. Again, the podcast is to be blunt, I would be remiss if I didn't share my authentic opinion. And I just unfortunately see too many people including myself, getting screwed over by people who say they can help and they understand and maybe it's in good spirit, maybe it's in good faith. I can't speak for everyone and everything. But I also have seen unfortunately people who you know, say, Hey, I can help you do this, that and the other when in reality, they're learning on your dime. So, buyer beware. We're going to dive right into the episode quick plug. This podcast is available on iTunes, I don't know if you're listening to it on iTunes. But I would love if you would go leave a review. You can just rate it five stars, please. Or you can also take some time and leave a comment. I do read all of those. And I really appreciate getting to hear feedback from you guys. I think it's really important as I continue to grow and craft this show that it is speaking you know the language that you want to hear and things that are resonating with you are leaving you with some sort of impact. That's always my intention and hope with these episodes. So please, if you have some time go Leave me a review for the to be blog podcast on iTunes, I would really appreciate it. Now without further ado, let's welcome Justin to the show.

Justin Lipchitz  6:34  
My name is Justin lipchitz. I am the owner of realistic consulting. We are a full service consulting firm based out of Portland, Oregon, focused on the cannabis industry. My journey through cannabis has been kind of a long one. So I grew up on the east coast where obviously cannabis has been illegal for ever until now where we're seeing it start to open which is great. New York and New Jersey is where I call home and to see both states going legal is amazing because I had friends get arrested for roaches and seeds and a hair in a bag and all the crazy things you can imagine living on the east coast. I came to Oregon in 2015 with the hopes of getting in the cannabis industry. Prior to that my entire life I was a chef worked my way up and kitchen started reading kitchens when I was 19 did most of my life and kind of got burnt out on that industry and was looking for a change of pace. And at the time I was also living in Florida which had just failed to pass another medical marijuana bill at 59.58%. Because the people who were against it mainly the pharmaceutical companies and the government made it a super filibuster. So the will of the people tried to go through and it didn't and then luckily the next year it did but I was I was fed up and ready to go. So I moved out to Oregon 2015 right as legalization was happening that summer, I got my first job in a dispensary at Oregon's finest, which here in Portland is a premier dispensary. They were Kraft before Kraft was a term they really cared about their patients who really cared about the quality of the product and really cared about representing the people who were making the medicine. They put the farmers on the label before that was the thing, you know, they put everything forward. And I really learned a lot there. I got really lucky. I came into the industry as it was kind of exploding. I came into a place I was opening a second location they hired me on they were only doing bud tenders when they hired me when they told me that I would have the opportunity to move up. So you know, for myself being an East coaster especially I have a really kind of ridiculous work ethic and coming from restaurants where I worked 90 hours a week and things like that. So I was able to move up really quickly. Three weeks in they made me a floor manager three months and a store manager about a month after that the GM of the whole company and I ran the company for the next five years. Yeah, and from there, you know, was working through the industry trying to see what's next for myself. Oregon's finest is actually the longest shop I ever had most of my time was like, Hey, I'm there for two years, I kind of get bored, I learned everything I moved my way up. And then I moved my way out. But you know, the industry here is so challenging everywhere, so challenging. So it was really interesting to be in a place where it was ever changing. And the first five years of legalization in the state is crazy rule changes pretty much every other week being that we really you know, the second round of legalization also, Oregon took a very different approach and other states. So we had very different rules in Colorado and Washington. Some for the better, some for the worse. So I was able to learn a lot. I was there for the start of metric, which was our seed to sale tracking system, which is pretty much used in most legal states these days. So I got to as I always tell all my clients, I got to make all the mistakes first. A few years ago, I have a friend who is in the technology side of cannabis and he said hey, I have a client who's just not really you know, they're not really getting it. They really need a lot of help. They need someone to come on site, we can only do so much but they really need help and metric and operations and inventory control. And you know, we're there to provide the point of sale. We really need them. need someone else. So we actually went on site together to a local store here in Oregon. And I fell in love with the idea of consulting, coming in helping people. And then being able to back away from it, you know, being locked in a the same business over and over again. For me, like I said, I used to get bored very easily. So it's really nice to go in as a consultant and change pace a lot. You know, I work with people all over the country. So there's all different rules, there's new challenges every day. That's a really exciting thing. So I've been doing that for the past two years. And I absolutely love this industry. And I can't wait to see what happens next.

Shayda Torabi  10:35  
I love that you highlighted specifically that you've got your first kind of role in cannabis as a budtender. Because I think that there's kind of this excitement, obviously around wanting to get into the cannabis industry, and kind of not to, you know, call you out, because you do have a great track record. And I'm really excited to dive into everything that you're going to, you know, speak on specifically about technology in regards to how it, you know, benefits, building and scaling these cannabis businesses. But from my perspective, I observed a lot of people who get really excited about wanting to work in cannabis, and they want to be consultants, and they have no background in the industry. They have no experience actually working in cannabis, whether it's hemp, or full on THC, whether it's medicinal or recreation. And so I just want to kind of highlight that as we kick off this episode. For those listening, you know, obviously, there's a lot of excitement of wanting to get into the cannabis industry, but really trying to figure out you know, where you can provide the most value. And I think that because of your experience, running that dispensary going through those pain points yourself, working your way up from these different positions has now led you into an opportunity to kind of advise other people and help consult them and guide them through some of these challenges that you observed. Because you were on the front lines, versus kind of reflecting here in Texas, we have a lot of people who are like, I want to consult in cannabis and like they've never worked in cannabis. And so, again, not to call anybody out, but just you know, kind of check yourself, right? Like you said, you you want to help the client, you want to help the customer, we ultimately want to help this industry. And I think if you are, you know, helping someone in an area that you're not necessarily versed in, or an expert in can be ultimately detrimental to that business because it's guiding them in the wrong direction.

Justin Lipchitz  12:11  
Absolutely. I think the biggest I actually don't like using the word consulting, my business card says I'm an industry expert, I try not to use the word consulting, because it's a four letter word in our industry, because you know, everybody wants to get in. So they try to take whatever skill set they have from whatever industry they come from, and they're trying to apply it to cannabis. So you'll get these guys who work for Fortune 500 companies work for Apple work for Google, you know, and they say, now I'm going into cannabis, I'm going to be the best because I worked for X, Y, and Z. And a lot of it doesn't translate over. cannabis is a nuance we are completely different than any other industry that exists right now. And we have regulations that not only don't make sense, but there's zero flexibility on them. So having someone like myself who's been there, and from the ground up, you know, like I started as a budtender. So I understand how the store runs, I understand what customers want. I was a store manager. So I understand what inventory controls are needed in place what it takes to deal with metric. And I've run companies so I understand from the high level what it takes to plan and execute and then you know, do everything you need to succeed. So it's much much different than the average consultant. I also, you know, spent six years working in the industry and I continue to work in the industry, even as a consultant as I work with local farms here in Oregon, to keep myself up to speed on what's happening, you know, this industry is ever changing. I have a friend who he left for a year because he got a job in a different technology sector. And he came back and he's like, everything's different. He's like, it feels like I'm starting over. So it's really interesting to see that there are a lot of people like you say people in Texas, you know, there's obviously no THC business in cannabis. But people are still from Texas wanting to be consultants in the THC side of things. So it's really interesting to see as our industry progresses, how more people are jumping on board and what that leaves for licensees or business owners. It's kind of a wade through the bullshit is okay, if I curse on here, I apologize. If not,

Shayda Torabi  14:01  
you can curse on here. This is to be blindsided, because

Justin Lipchitz  14:05  
I love the name of the show, by the way, but I grew up in New York. So, you know, that's kind of part of my vernacular. Yeah, it's really interesting to see what's happening in the industry now with consultants. And hopefully I can kind of put a better shine on that word than it currently has.

Shayda Torabi  14:19  
Yeah, no, I appreciate you just kind of like highlighting that. Because I do think that it's a relevant piece of the puzzle when you are trying to understand the industry. And so to kick off of that kind of introduction, you said another thing that's really key that I want to dive into understanding regulations. You know, I think, from my perspective, being in Texas, my listeners also know My show is very national, I talk to people from all different states. I spend a considerable amount of my own personal time and money exploring different states, both from a consumer perspective, as well as just trying to understand the regulations understand, you know, what Florida is doing versus what California is doing what's happening when these new states flip over, in hopes of trying to understand the industry at a federal level as well as what is the I'm going to distill down into my local community. Because Texas isn't fully legal. It's like what is that going to translate into in Texas does want to legalize? You know, I'm sure they're looking at what did Oklahoma do? What is Florida doing? What are these states doing as these laws are shifting? And so with your experience kind of coming from one of the first states to flip, being in the front lines from a dispensary, you know, perspective as a retailer who's having to be in the middle of receiving products, you mentioned metric. I want to dive into that a little bit too, but specifically focusing on regulation kind of give us a pulse. What is regulation in Oregon today? What are the laws kind of saying I understand some states require vertical integration, some states don't? Are there any specific things that you've observed about Oregon that are really, you know, standouts to you that you kind of, you know, reference or have heartaches, because you've had to go through and deal with that for

Justin Lipchitz  15:53  
sure. Yeah, so Oregon was kind of unique compared to Colorado and Washington where, you know, Washington went to the whole distributor route, Colorado was more of a free market with some integration. And you know, they wanted you to be so much integrated, but they would allow you to buy products from other people as well, if you were a dispensary, Oregon went completely free market. So anyone could get a license as long as you met the requirements and you could pay the fees. Anyone could sell to anyone, there was no vertical integration needed, you could be a store just by itself met Oregon's finest we did have to have the owners were farmers. So we did obviously work with them closely. But we weren't obligated to sell their product by any means. So Oregon kind of had this really great niche where it's like you can come in and be the best at what you do. And you don't have to do at all, which I think is a really nice model, because there's people who are great at retail, but they have no growing experience whatsoever. There's people who are great growers, but have no processing experience. So to be able to build a company here, where you're the best processor, or you're the best grower, or you're the best retailer, it really sets the stage for people to come with a higher quality. You know, in a lot of states you're seeing with vertical integration, the store has to sell what their farm grows, regardless of the quality. So if you're trying to be a high quality store, you still have to put mid grade low grade product in your store because your company creates it. Because the grower isn't as good as the guy who does the retail, you know, so it's one of those things that's a challenge. In other states, we're here in Oregon a little bit more of a free market. Oregon was the first state that had no cap on licenses, which did cause some issues, mainly an oversupply, you know, we had lots of farms come online, everybody with a piece of land in Southern Oregon opened an outdoor grow and had 40,000 square feet of canopy space, and was producing 10,000 pounds, you know, and a lot of people didn't know what they were doing. So the material moulded or just wasn't of quality to be sold. Even the processes were, you know, stacked up with too much material. One of the things that I think Oregon did poorly was it was like a slow rollout. You know, not everybody could get licensed quick enough this, the farms were supposed to get licensed in January, so that we could open the stores in October. But that didn't really ever happen. So we had some stores at Oregon science, we have two locations, one of them we flipped into rack and the other one we kept into medical so that we could keep our products on the shelf for our medical patients as well as our consumers because a lot of our processes and producers had not made the switch yet. And then our rec store was low on products because we only had what people could provide with, you know, if a farm can only produce so much flour, especially with our limited canopy sizes. So we really ran into like a shortage on the rec market and oversupply on the medical market. And then slowly that transitioned out but that was a definitely a big challenge here in Oregon.

Shayda Torabi  18:44  
What would you say was some of the I guess, transitioning from like regulation, then to regulation now and getting into more of the technology pieces? I mean, just understanding your background kind of prior to us recording your consultant approach is more on the technology. You mentioned metric was metric founded in Oregon it's a federal program or technology platform I'm gonna probably butcher kind of what metric is but from my understanding it's a program that every legal THC, both Rec and medical operating is it dispensaries and other aspects like processors manufacturers have to leverage it you have to report into it daily. What is coming into the store, what is leaving the store what you sold this that and the other. I mean, what is metric to you and kind of where did it come from? And what value does it serve in the industry?

Justin Lipchitz  19:36  
Yeah, so metric is created by a company called friend. Well, they're based out of Florida. I believe they're in Tallahassee, if I could remember that correctly. Yeah, they're a technology company that created it. I think it was originally created for harvesting and transporting bananas, because there's a huge amount of growth in Florida and I would imagine citrus was in there too. So it's essentially a very, very basic tracking system. So now it's been converted for cannabis, it's in almost every legal state that exists with the exception of Washington, which is another program metric works off tags or package tags or plant tags. So you'll probably hear a lot of people in the industry complaining about metric tags, because usually they have to buy them. And then they charge an exorbitant amount, and you use 1000s, and 1000s, and 1000s of them every year, especially people like distributors in California who have millions of products going to millions of different places, they have to be going through hundreds of 1000s of tags every month. So metric is a seed to sale tracking system. So from when the breeder creates the seeds, they have to track that metric. When the grower grows, those seeds, they have to track that metric all the way through the plant cycle. And there's literally step by step you have to transfer where they're located, how many there are, what growth phase, they're in all the way until they go to harvest, then they're harvested their package, and you know, this, we harvest 50 pounds 25 goes to a store, that gets packaged on a new tag transferred to the store, that store keeps that tag for the lifecycle that product until they sell through all that material. And then after that, they close it out in their system, every sale ever made from that product is tracked in metric as well. And essentially, you know, it's used similar to the way the FDA uses their tracking system. So if someone smoked the joint, you know, in Colorado and got sick from it, they would be able to track that joint all the way back to the harvest, maybe not the exact plant, but at least the general area of where that plant was grown. And then they can go in and test for pesticides or lead or whatever it might be that made that person sick. So it's made for two reasons. One, recalls, you know, things or make someone sick, they got to go back and find out why. And then also to combat diversions. So they don't want legal product leaving the state without it being tracked and purchased without being taxed. So there's kind of two sides on why they want to make sure they know where every single drop is going.

Shayda Torabi  22:11  
That's interesting, because it's from my again, observation not living in a legal state, I haven't had to adopt metric. It's not a requirement. That is interesting that, you know, Washington is the only state really, it seems it's not participating in this platform. It's also interesting to learn that it's from another industry, essentially, that's been converted over to be applied into cannabis. Because I feel like if you're in legal THC, it's kind of like the evil you know, you have to deal with. Because if you don't what like is it part of the regulation Oh, you don't use like you're gonna

Justin Lipchitz  22:45  
so your governing body. So here in Oregon, we have the olcc, who's the liquor board, who also controls cannabis. And they actually will send you like notices, if you do something incorrectly, they have access to your metric account, and they can look at it at any time. And they can say, hey, you just removed this much or your harvest didn't happen in this amount of time, like it should have. And all these things and red flags go up on their side, and you get a notice saying, Hey, we noticed you didn't do this. And most of the time here, you get one saying like, it looks like you did something you shouldn't Why do you do that? Like, you know, and you can go back and convert it and make sure you did it the right way and everything or you can explain to them why you did something. But yeah, I mean, it is compliance when you talk about, like compliance metric. And the state tracking systems are number one. So Washington does use a tracking system, they just use a different one. They've been through, I believe, three, now they're on their third. They refuse to adopt metric, because I believe they don't like the metric tags. But I don't know that any of the other systems that they've ever adopted have been up to par with metric metrics, not perfect. I'll be the first to say that I think it's pretty easy system to use. There's a lot of redundancies, there's a lot of, for lack of a better word, just things that don't make sense. There's ways that we run our business. And there's ways that metric works. And we have to figure out how to run our business around metric metric has not really figured out how to run your business around us. So you know, it being something that was adapted to us, it was adapted by people who didn't know anything about our industry. And granted our industry wasn't really even a thing when it was created. The one respect that I will give to metric that they've created user groups in multiple states. So Colorado and Oregon both have user groups, I was lucky enough to be selected for the first User Group here in Oregon. And we actually give real time feedback and like, hey, this sucks. We need this fix. You know, why does it work this way? One of the things that I tackled that I'm super proud of and everyone who uses metric will give me a standing round of applause for this. But when used to create a transfer manifest so when you're transferring product, there was no little anything that you could say oh, you just create this. Do you want to print it like everything else in the world, right. Like everything in technology now gives a little pop up that says, Oh, you just created this new document, do you want to print it, nothing along those lines, you would have to click seven times. And metrics sometimes run slow, there's a lot of, you know, slow down, there's a spinning wheel of death that everybody knows who works with metric, where it just like times out, and essentially, it's like a loading circle. But you can sit there for 10 minutes and watch a circle sometimes, you know, there's a lot of slowdown in the process. So I literally stood up and said, Hey, listen, this is an issue, we got to fix it. We did it there as a group, there was like 40, licensees plus a team for metric plus our governing body, we went through it, you know, one of the distributors was there, he stood up and said, You know, I create 150 transfers a day. And I have to do those seven clicks, 150 times a day, you know, and we timed it, it was 45 seconds, which doesn't seem like a lot, but multiply it and then make it part of your workflow when you're already super busy, super behind super understaffed, you know, it makes life a lot more challenging. So I was really proud to like, put some inputs in there that made things better for licensees across all the states. But you know, that is the one respect that will give the metric they're trying to do better, which is unique, I think, in our industry to see.

Shayda Torabi  26:10  
Yeah, just from my own personal experience. I mean, I come from technology and platforms, I used to work in WordPress, I had a chunk of my career in e commerce. And you think getting into technology is going to be difficult just in general, because like there's learning curve for technology, and like you highlighted, you know, the first generation versus the next generation of these applications and platforms, there are gaps in how the process and the platforms work sometimes, but I have not experienced so much headache, and heartache as I have navigating technology in relationship to cannabis. Because these platforms, it sounds very similar are not necessarily built for cannabis outright. And so you're having to adapt or find integrations, sometimes these companies will go out. So like using a same same but different technology example, you know, coming from platforms, looking at companies like Shopify or square, where they've now come out and they've said, Hey, we support CBD, maybe not full THC, but we support CBD. And then you start to dig in. And it's like, wait, your integrations suck, this doesn't actually connect to my site, and who can I talk to about, like, Who's the expert on this subject, and they don't have that person for me to talk to. And it gets very overwhelming that like, me, as someone who comes from technology, I'm getting frustrated, I can't even imagine the regular user business owner who like you kind of highlighted, maybe they're a farmer, or they're really good at processing. Or maybe they're really good at retail. They're not supposed to also be a technologist who's like managing a website or managing all these different functions, like a website is optional, to some extent, right? Like you could be in business and not have a website, I understand that that's like a luxury or a marketing function. But like metric, it sounds like you have to have it to be operating. And so just trying to paint kind of a picture for the listeners of there's definitely gaps when it comes to technology. And so trying to navigate them, no matter where you sit in the industry is just kind of like par for the course. But I'm curious, from your perspective, you know, what are some of those other technologies that you're leaning into? And what are some of those bottlenecks that you're trying to alleviate? With these different technology platforms?

Justin Lipchitz  28:21  
Yeah, there's so much and there's so much new technology coming out in cannabis all the time. And there's a lot of new exciting things. And a lot of the companies that have been around a while now taking leaps and bounds because they're starting to, you know, just see what the industry is like, a lot more. You know, you being a technology person, you know, coming into cannabis that a lot of technology, people had no idea what cannabis was or how it was grown, or how it was sold. Or, you know, even for CBD, right? The CBD is so brand new. You know, you almost like want to expect Shopify to have a plan in place. But they don't because they never even thought about this, you know, this wasn't when they created Shopify, it wasn't the sale this weird, quasi legal, illegal substance. You know, so how do they adapt, right? And they're just trying to figure it out. So I give technology kinda like, Alright, let's not push them too hard. I know, as a technology society now, we just expect technology, like snap into place and fit perfectly. And it's just not going to happen. Because our industry especially is like less than 10 years old, really. I mean, legalization is less than 10 years old. So for you to expect that it's going to be in the same place is like, you know, I always hear the same thing about rules in our industry. It's like, well, alcohol doesn't have to do this. It's alcohol has been here for 100 years, and they've had time to change the rules and talk about it and fight about it, and lobby against it and do all the things you know, like we've had five years so like, just, like, Cool out, it's gonna come technology is gonna catch up. The biggest things I use, you know, metric is obviously our biggest challenge. One of the great things that's we're seeing now is that technology platforms like point of sales, like green bits and leaf logics, have integrations with metrics, so you're not actually even really touching metric anymore. To the point of sale systems from a retail side, everything's happening on the point of sale, and the point of sales, communicating two metrics. So it's cutting out the poor technology by creating a better technology that lays over it, we're seeing the same thing, you know, on the growth side with companies like trim, you know, the harvest process, when you're harvesting flower, and metric is a very tedious process, it's very slow, you have to weigh it, write it down and transfer it to the computer, you know, trim now has their process in California, where you essentially have a camera phone, on your iPad, you know, and you scan the tag, the way the plant with their scale, and it just does it all for you. And you don't have to touch it anymore. You know, and it'll save hours and hours and hours of work every week during the harvest process. So, you know, what I've done is try to identify the key players, the people who are in this for the long run, you know, green bits is somebody that I worked with, from when I was in the dispensary, they were very open to feedback, they really want to make their product better. You know, and I went in, went to them when I was doing consulting and said, Hey, like, what are your customers need that you can provide? And how do I help them? So you know, I worked with them very closely. Same thing with trim, you know, I have partnerships with dutchy was a great company and industry. And they've actually just purchased green bits and leaf logics with the huge acquisition, which is awesome to see because so they're not I don't want to say that they're this or that or anything like that. But the closest equivalent is there a Shopify, they allow you to create your own e commerce page, they link in with your point of sale. So it feeds everything right to them, which is really great. And then you can sell online, but obviously you can't sell you know, across the line, there's still a lot of rules that apply, which duchy hasn't been able to adapt and know that, hey, you're in Oregon, oh, you can only sell in your city so we can limit who can actually purchase from you by this. It sets up pickup in store pickups now are possible where you know, a lot of that technology evaded us, as dispensary owners, we have so many things to worry about, I don't have the time to find someone to build the technology so that I can do in store pickup. So you know, I really need these technology companies to understand what my needs are. And the best ones are doing it by listening to their customers, as well as bringing on longtime cannabis people into their companies. I have a friend, he was my inventory manager. And now he's one of the top implementation guys for green bits. You know, and he's written down in the industry because he knows both sides of it, right? He can tell the inventory manager why somebody needs to be done in a certain way in their language, as well as go back to a technology company and say, Hey, listen, our customers really need X, Y, and Z to be successful. And I think we're seeing like a good bridge starting to happen between cannabis and technology where they're actually talking to each other. And then they also recognize people like myself, who are in this industry trying to help people and they're trying to help people. providing good service is what being a business is all about. Regardless of what you sell or what you do, you're providing service. So if I can provide a recommendation to a great technology company, or a technology company can give me a reference for Hey, they really need help cleaning up their inventory so that our technology works better with their system, or Hey, they need brand new systems to be built because everything they do is like crazy and it doesn't match up with what we need for our systems to work. We can kind of help each other move into different sectors, different customers and really help the industry grow and move forward.

Shayda Torabi  33:40  
Hello, just want to take a quick moment to thank my sponsor and full disclosure, my company restart CBD, restart CBD is a brand that I built with my sister. So we are family owned and a women owned. We do operate a brick and mortar in Austin. So if you ever find yourself in Central Texas, we'd love for you to come say hi. But we also ship nationwide and we carry a wide range of CBD products. We really care about this plant we really care about educating our customers, this show would not be possible without their support. So please go check us out at restart CBD calm and use code to be blunt for $5 off your next purchase. Thanks. And let's go back to the show. Yeah, I love that you brought up dutchy actually had one of the co founders Zack on the podcast last year. So plug to go listen to that episode, if you're curious about duchy and what they're up to. But that is a cool company to highlight just for a reflection point because I think that's another kind of picture that I want to paint for the listeners too is at least from my experience navigating from a CBD perspective. The technology that exists for a CBD business is very different than for THC business because we're not required kind of at a federal level, even at a state level to be using systems like metric. I don't have to have as robust of an integration point. I mean, you mentioned some of these POS systems. For my understanding, again, these POS systems, like you were highlighting, they'll integrate into metric, it'll be a little bit more seamless. It's also a lot more costly. I mean, some of these solutions are 1000s and 1000s of dollars a month to be in compliance, which is kind of when you're operating in that legal THC market. It's again, it's kind of par for the course. It's like, Okay, I need the best systems. Obviously, I need them to work and speak to each other. But like, this is what I'm wanting to do because I want to be in legal cannabis. This is how I play the game versus I think CBD because it's so nebulous. Right now, you have these brands that are saying, Oh, we support CBD. But even though it's federally legal, there's different laws depending on what state you're in. And obviously that same with THC, too, but we have less standardization and less support. I think from a technology perspective that I found such a hard point for us because my background being ecommerce when I launched my brand restart, I was like, oh, we're gonna be an e commerce brand. I'm just gonna be straight direct to consumer, I'm gonna be online, it's gonna be super easy. I'm gonna find a payment merchant, I'm gonna find an e commerce platform. And my background being WordPress, I come from open source. So I already kind of knew, okay, at least open source will be better than if I'm on a closed platform like Shopify. But needless to say, that was you know, one chunk of the pie then the other half is when you add on ecommerce to retail and with obviously THC as well, you can't be selling direct to consumer online. Now some of these platforms have started incorporating delivery functionality, or find a dispensary, you know, order ahead, things like that. But from a CBD perspective, I can ship my products across state lines. So it behooves me and benefits me to have a website. But when you again, start digging into some of these technology platforms, they're only for e commerce or they're only for POS, retail, nothing actually speaks e commerce to retail, and it's become this fun. I'm laughing uncomfortably because it's not very fun. But this challenge that I have to face on daily, and then you highlighted, you know, inventory management. Jesus Christ, inventory management is a nightmare. And because the platforms that exist from a CBD perspective, it's funny, I think we have very similar kind of, not positions, but like stances in the sense of, I have all these friends who work in like proper technology, and they're like, Oh, yeah, Shayda, like, just use stripe, like just yeah, on where like, just connected all that I'm like, it doesn't work that way, it really doesn't work that way. And despite having these connections, they're still this lack of understanding from these companies. And again, I appreciate you highlighting, you know, the industry is so new. So it's a good reminder to calm down, everybody take a deep breath, because we're all in that position together. But it still just kind of leaves me very frustrated knowing that despite how advanced technology is, there's obviously these challenges from a THC perspective. But from a CBD perspective, where it's a federally legal product, there really aren't a lot of good technology, solutions that exist for this industry to take advantage of. And so I'm just curious if you have any kind of thoughts around what you're observing kind of from the legal to the legal from THC to CBD when it comes to technology?

Justin Lipchitz  38:16  
Yeah, I mean, I have so much to say, but I'll try to piece it together. Technology is trying, like we keep talking about, you know, they have it. It's so hard for someone to even wrap their brain around cannabis or even CBD, if they're not in the industry or having to go through these struggles themselves. They don't really understand your friends tell you why don't you she's straight. Because they won't let us use it. And they're like, why won't they let you use it? You know, you have to, like, explain to them that like people still think that we are drug dealers, even the CBD people like you know, in some states, even Texas for a long time, you would have been a drug dealer, you would have went to jail same as anyone else for selling any other drug. So it's really interesting to see that there are more things coming along. People are just slow to them. I mean, with CBD, Shopify, a year ago or two years ago, wouldn't let you use their site. They wouldn't process David for you. Now they have some weird work around way to do it. And that's just because, unfortunately, the federal government has not pulled their head out of the sand and said, yes, you can and put legislation to it. You know, even for CBD. That farm bill was great. You know, they legalize hemp, but there was no details, right? Credit Card processors didn't know they could take you. They still don't. Right. I would imagine you still get shut down from credit card processors. All Yeah, I know that people shipping into certain states have gotten in trouble, you know, the North and South Dakota. Some of the really red states who are very against any of this happening Idaho, can't even ship hemp into these states a lot of times because she'll get like a, you know, a thing from the DEA saying like we took this package, you know, for suspicious purposes. So it's really I don't know if there's a good side to this except To say that it's coming, right, like everyone's working as hard as they can. Because I think now more than ever, everyone's eyes are open, Shopify, even trying to do workarounds, where they really don't have to, right because they're a huge company. And they do e commerce for everything else that exists. They don't really need CBD right now. You know, Amazon, the other day made a statement that they're for cannabis, it's changing little bits at a time, we really need federal legalization to just come on the ballot, more decriminalization, you know, D scheduling whatever they want to call it. At this point, I don't care what we call it. As long as we can start banking, we can start using all the services that every other business uses so that we can be successful. Because just like technology, we're locked out of everything. We're locked out of the banking system, you know, I don't know if you can bank with your CBD business. But I know in cannabis, you know, we're up against it, we have to either pay crazy high fees, the bank, or process, debit cards. It's so crazy how much we have to pay for all that stuff, and how much we have to like, figure it out. Yeah, it's just time for change to happen. And hopefully we're seeing that happen. But you know, for anyone who's in this industry, it feels like it's never gonna happen. It feels like we've been talking about it happening for so long that it just almost seems like it's not going to. For me, I always try to take a very realistic approach at especially with my clients who are very frustrated by these things. Being a business owner in cannabis, or hemp is just the worst. It's a lot of work for very little reward, and very little thanks. You know, people still look at you like you're doing something wrong, you get bank accounts, close people call you and say they caught you caught you trying to open a bank account or run a business like a normal person. So they're going to shut down your account and send you a check. You can't cash because it has your business name on it. You can't open a bank. So you know all the things that happened. So yeah, I feel like I've rambled on without giving you a solid answer to your question.

Shayda Torabi  41:54  
Sometimes misery just loves company. And I don't ever, like want to come off as like the debbie downer. But I certainly like to be realistic. And I think that you kind of highlighted that as well. And so it's really just getting the best understanding of Okay, this is the current landscape. This is it, this is for better or worse, this is it, this is what I can and can't do and trying to get a smart to navigate around it based on your unique business. Before I get to my next question, just to kind of like frame it up a little bit to, you know, from my experience navigating from a CBD side. Again, even despite having this background in technology and having all the lingo down and understanding how integrations work. There's so many nuances. And it goes from the regulation to the law, to even the type of product you're selling obviously to like you highlighted what states you're selling into. So if you are in CBD, and you can sell across state lines, what type of products right now there's a lot of, you know, fuss around certain cannabinoids like Delta eight. And so it's very interesting, really, for anybody in the industry operating both if you're in THC or in CBD, just to understand kind of this is the landscape. And so I think what I've observed is, depending on what product you're selling, depending on where you're selling it to, those can make you qualify or not qualify for a certain technology platform or for a bank or for a merchant service account. So it's much easier, let's say if you're selling topicals, compared to if you're selling a concentrate product, it's much easier if you're selling something with its isolate base versus full spectrum THC included. And so I think those are just variables that most people don't understand when they're trying to like embark in the industry. It's like, Oh, yeah, okay, I know, it's going to be difficult. I know, it's going to be hard for me to get a merchant account or to go online. But that is what I've found when I'm having these conversations with these technology platforms, trying to understand like Shopify being an example. One, Shopify is not a fit for most businesses operating in CBD, they are very restrictive. Again, they will support you if you're like selling a topical with like little to no THC. But if you want to sell like a full breadth of products like I do at my retail, and my e commerce, I'm not a fit for them. And it was so frustrating because I was going through the channels to have the conversation. They have the whole CBD landing page. They're doing advertisement saying we support CBD. But it's very shallow. And so you start poking at it, you start trying to ask these questions, which is kind of a call to action for anybody listening, understand what you're trying to do. So when you're having these conversations, you can get to the point I get so many emails from people saying we can bank you or we can be your ecommerce or we can be your next POS. And I know what my business is that I start asking, you know, can I handle this? Can you handle that? Can we do subscriptions? Can we do Delta eight? Can you do full spectrum? Can you do all these things? And then it starts to you know, Chip at the conversation much faster, where they're like, Oh, actually, we can't support you. And I'm like, thank you for your time. We're done. Now. I can't use you. I'm on to the next thing. And so it just is Yeah, it's not like x Shopify so much as Yeah, it's not a fit for me and you have to under Stan, what you're ultimately trying to do and knock on as many doors as you can. Because eventually a door will open. And we've found some success with our, you know, technology stack and platform. But it certainly hasn't come without some headaches. So my follow up question to you is a little bit, you know, on what, and maybe it's from a THC perspective, but what is the technology stack for like, an average client of yours? Like, what are the different technologies that they're having to look at, manage, integrate, understand, have experience or education with?

Justin Lipchitz  45:33  
Yeah, so you know, it's becoming more and more vast as technology starts expanding for a while, nobody was really using anything, retail was using a point of sale. Now, a retailer has a point of sale to us, which manages their inventory, they have usually a time clock of some sort and scheduling service. So like we use when I work, which is pretty well known, then you have to have an online menu that also, you know, has the capability for pickup and delivery orders. Because most businesses these days are doing pickup and delivery, especially during COVID times become even more important. People are, you know, checking in when they come so they can get rewards and things of that nature. So right there just for one story, you're talking about four different technologies, and that doesn't also count their website. And the in store technology they use, like they have in store signage, which every you know, most people have digital menus. So there's that whole system that exists. You know, there's kiosk setups, you know, if you're in California, and you're in some of the nicer dispensaries, they have, you know, so much technology in there to make it, you know, easier for the end user, there's less interaction with people. So I mean, there's, you know, five, just for one business, and they're still not even really like shipping and selling online, you know, they're only doing local delivery, if California was able to ship across the state using USPS or something along those lines, that would add two more technologies. If you're doing delivery to you're probably using like an on fleet or something to track your drivers as well. So that's now six technologies that one dispensary is using to optimize their business. Is it for the best? Yeah, I think so. I think that cannabis now has to kind of take that realm, take that road and go down, like, Hey, we need to really like push into technology where a lot of cannabis people for a long time were off grid, you know, the the only technology they had was plugging lights in, you know, now you see companies like I was saying trim, where you can harvest, you can manage all your plants, you can track each sector to know how much moisture is in that sector of your room. So you know, there's a wealth of technology out there. And I think that cannabis as a whole needs to lean into that a lot harder. And that's where I'm trying to be five years ago, there were no integrated point of sales. You had taken from one from your point of sale and record yourself into metric, you know, that first year in Colorado, they had to do all that manually, you know, they had to do it by spreadsheets, which they were doing 1000s you know, if you're in Denver for college, you were doing 1000s of 1000s of transactions every day. And there was no like, Hey, we see this as an issue. Maybe we should do something about it was like No, this is the way it is. This is the way we wrote the rules very arbitrarily. And now you have to adapt them. And that's the other part of it too, right, is that the rules don't even make sense. And then when you ask for clarification, you don't get answers, you get more riddles. So you know, I think it's funny, I always laugh because when I go on site, especially in new states, and we're dealing with metric, people are scared to even like push the button to complete a transaction. Because they don't know what's gonna happen. What if I did it wrong, you know, so a lot of times, I'm just patting people on the back saying, no, it's okay, go ahead, push the button, we're gonna be fine. We're gonna make this happen. You're gonna feel comfortable doing this soon. And then I think that's my experience brings a lot of people in my consulting business is just the comfort of knowing what you should pay attention to what you shouldn't pay attention to, you know, he talks about like, what what it's like for regulation. You know, it's really confusing, you get very little clarity on what a rule actually means. A rule is one sentence sometimes with zero clarification and overhaul your entire business. And then depending on who you are, and how you read rules, right? If you're someone who is more timid, when it comes to rules, if you're new to the industry, you're going to read that rule, and you're going to follow it to a tee no matter what it says. And if you've been in the industry a while you may say, Well, that's not how I interpret that rule. I interrupt that rule by them saying they wants to do X, Y, and Z. And for me, that's how I roll through this industry a lot in new markets is, hey, they don't know your inspector is going to come and ask you why you did that. Have an answer, have an SRP in place that says, This is what we do every time and you're not doing anything wrong, right? You're interpreting the rule and let them tell you you're doing wrong. That's I have a client in Montana, you know, they had an inspection. The inspector said, Well, I want it done this way. And they just said, Okay, we'll do it that way. From now on. It's like, Okay, great. So you know, they can hold you to a much higher of a standard What they understand, right, and the regulators are more clueless about cannabis, and even the rules around cannabis, because someone high up in legislation wrote the rules. And now all these frontline inspectors have to interpret those rules themselves as well. And, you know, then essentially guides you to interpret those rules the correct way. So it's a real team effort, I always tell people become friends with your Inspector, you know, be nice to them. A lot of people are agitated by inspection and rules and regulations, especially that legacy group that we talked about, you know, they were outlaws, you know, they got into cannabis. So they didn't have to follow rules. And I completely love and respect that. They just need someone who's willing to follow the rules and can help them understand, you know, what rules are important. And, you know, a lot of times the things I ran into here in Oregon, where a lot of these legacy people were like, well, they're just trying to control me. And this rule says, I can't do this. And I'm like, well, that's not how I understand that rule, you know, I understand that rule in a much lesser factor, then you're taking it to an extreme by being upset about it, where if we just like, you know, take that realistic approach to it, we can just, you know, breathe into it and make it work for us. And most of the time, I haven't ever seen inspector in any state, I've worked in, like, repin and find people and, you know, strip licenses for you trying to do right, you know, if you're maliciously doing wrong, I've seen that happen, you know, if products leaving your facility, if, you know, you're selling to underage people, like yeah, they're gonna rip into your real hard. But if you're like, hey, this rule says this, and this is what I thought it meant. Even if they disagree with you, they're still not going to ding you for it, they're gonna say, hey, okay, from now on, you need to do it this way. Because this is the way we understand it, or this is the way the rules are supposed to be written or supposed to be worded. So it's really interesting, challenging, frustrating, rewarding. It's kind of every emotion to work in this industry.

Shayda Torabi  51:51  
That was so well articulated, though, because I do think that we need to give some credit to the regulatory process. It isn't established, it isn't. I think, despite being explicit, the interpretation of the explicit nature of sometimes, like you said, just like a single line, has some room for error on both sides. And I want to believe that because the industry is so new, we are learning together, both the industry who is operating it, as well as the industry who is regulating it, and it is just about us trying to operate out of the best, you know, ethics. Yes, you can do, right, like it's Yeah, the best you can do. And you just trying to understand, it's like, I think people for sure, should do their homework, do their research. It's really like my main thing that I preach on this podcast is like, the information is out there, it might not be explicitly clear, but the information is out there. And you should be talking to people you should be networking, you should be asking questions. But ultimately, it does come down to what you and your business are doing. What you sell to someone, those products, how you market it, how you message it, how you're tracking it, what's happening on the back end, what's happening through the back door, you know, there's certainly a lot of people who are doing things the wrong way, because they don't know any better. And there's certainly people doing things the wrong way, because they're trying to get around the rules. And I think it's a very fine line of just trying to navigate the industry as best as possible. And I think that you outlined, you know, a good framework for just like how to address navigating, especially when it comes to the inevitable is that our technology that, you know, I shared some of my heart eggs of what it's like dealing with the CBD side of things, just because it's a federally legal product doesn't mean that we have access to everything that exists in the marketplace. And especially if you're in the THC side, there are technologies that you're going to need to take advantage of, because it's going to be you know, the night and day difference of you being able to operate, and do your due diligence to provide that information to the regulatory governing bodies. So it's an industry like no other that I've ever seen or experienced. You mentioned, you know, the comparison to kind of alcohol and it is interesting, I sort of do observe too that most states not every state that's legal. has their cannabis being regulated by their alcohol department. I don't know if it's good or bad. Obviously, they're kind of lumping the two into the same. But it's at least giving some sort of framework for I think those in the industry to understand hey, yeah, this is the history of alcohol. And this is kind of like where alcohol is ended up like okay, we're starting with hemp and cannabis like this is where we're embarking and where we're hopefully trying to end up and just yeah, growing industry from there. I think another thing you said to, to kind of call out is these state to states. I mean, these technologies sometimes vary depending on what state you're in and what you can take advantage of and certainly what aspect of the industry you're in. So kind of in the vein of doing your homework, you know, realizing what technology you need to do to operate your business, and then finding the people or learning yourself how to use those technologies to the best of your ability so that you can grow Your business, I think everybody wants to grow their business, nobody wants to be stagnant. And nobody wants to have their license revoked or to be, you know, kicked off a platform. And so it's just trying to navigate it the best we can.

Justin Lipchitz  55:09  
Yeah, it's new, you know, if you're in a new state that's coming online, or you think that it'll be legalization will be setting in soon, like, go to these other states. You know, I know, you said, You've been in Colorado a bunch, you know, like when I moved to Oregon, and I decided to work in cannabis. After a few months of working here, I said, well, what's it like other places, you know, like, are we doing the same thing everyone else is doing. And, you know, obviously, Washington was an easy one. For me being that I'm based out of Portland, Oregon, I just drove across the border, which is 15 minutes into Vancouver. And you know, saw the way that their stories run and the way their products sell. In Oregon here, we still have the deli style of selling where you could, I mean, probably not since COVID. But you can open up the jar, you can smell the weed, you can look at it, we can get you out of Graham, we can get you out of neath, you go over to Washington side, and everything's pre package, and you can't look or smell at anything, they don't even have the smell jars and a lot of stores, it's just pick it off a menu and hope it's good, you know, and then everything's packaged, everything's already kind of, you know, it's just a very different process. So learn from where other states are, you know, even go to dispensaries and talk to people. I love talking to people in dispensaries. I've been to dispensaries in almost every state that has legalization. And if you'll learn a lot, just from talking to bud tenders for 10 minutes, they'll tell you about what's happening in their industry, where they've come from, and where it's gone. And you know, all those kinds of things. So a lot of people think because hey, you know, Oklahoma's opening up and they have different rules than everybody else, it's going to be different than everywhere else. And it's just really not, you know, what we've seen over and over again, even Oregon, which we have, I think 4 million people in our entire state, when you translate to the California market, it's so close, it looks almost exactly the same. Even though you guys have you know, in California, they have like 44 million people, you know, the game is still the same. It's just different scales. But the processes are there, their technology is almost the same, you know, all those things. So it's a great learning lesson to kind of, even though we don't have like, a ton of history, there's still study the history of what's happened. People always joke with me, because people are like, Oh, you're a veteran in the industry, because I've been in the six years. And we always laugh and say that it's like dog ears, you know, so I've been in like, 35 years, because this industry moves so fast. And there's so much change happening at all times, that you literally have to continuously adapt and overcome. And if you're not that person, this is gonna be a really, really tough industry for you. But if you are, you can thrive because there is so much opportunity and so much growth happening. It's endless, you know, and that was my transition into cannabis was seeing it as the new.com or the new, you know, whatever it might be computers in general, you know that there's going to be this huge boom, and for people are in it early, you're going to have the opportunity to you know, be in front be the ones leading the pack. And that's what I hope to be. I hope to be the person who helps these new states coming online, do it right, not go through all those pains. Man. Hopefully I can do that through process and technology, which has been my main focus.

Shayda Torabi  58:12  
Wow, thank you so much, Justin, I appreciated your time and energy helping educate all of us today on a another episode of The To be blunt podcast. I think a little takeaway from me to you, for those of you who have made it this far and are listening all the way to the end, is always to leave you with a little bit of food for thought. And so I just want you to you know, whether you are a dispensary owner, or you work for a brand, or you are a grower, sometimes technology comes into play, certainly, as a dispensary owner myself, I have to navigate things like POS integrations into my e commerce, but really want to give you guys some actionable advice. And that is to try to build the best foundation you can. Now understanding that as the industry matures and shifts like yes, different components of that will evolve. But you really want to make sure that you are doing your due diligence to ask all the right questions, whether that's of your consulting agency, whether that's of the technology that you're going to be integrating, whether that's of the bank, or the POS that you're going to be signing up with. Like nothing is perfect. But I can tell you from my own personal experience, just understanding what questions to ask like, Do you support all cannabinoid products? Or do you have any issues with me selling certain types of products on the web versus in retail? You know, who supports these integrations? Is this on me? Am I going to have to have a web team, a digital team to help me manage or does this have some sort of support from the platform or integration that I'm signing up with? Again, those questions might vary Depending on what you do exactly in the industry, but to give you just some of that food for thought to understand like, hey, these are the questions that I need to know to ask up front every time will really help you weed out who can really help you move forward and progress to the next step or level. So, thanks for tuning in to another episode. I'll be back next Monday with a brand new one. But if you are loving these episodes, feel free to go back. My episodes are not really time sensitive. The information is super evergreen and encourage you to just go dive into some of the other episodes. Thanks a bunch. I appreciate y'all so much and talk to y'all next week. Bye y'all.

Announcer  1:00:40  
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai