Looking to Enter the Cannabis Industry?
We sent reporter Jazmin Pena to this year’s International Cannabis Business Conference to get some advice for anyone interested in entering the burgeoning cannabis industry. There she found Canada’s Marc Lustig the head-honcho behind investment firm CannaRoyalty backing multiple cool cannabis companies close to the plant—including Natural Ventures PR, LLC Puerto Rico’s largest licensed cultivation facility. We’re talking 100,000 square feet, man! Now that’s stuff stoners like.
By Jazmin Pena—This year San Francisco held the International Cannabis Business Conference, where some of the most forward thinking and dopest minds in the business gathered for a crucial one day event, to discuss the new laws and regulations, branding and even cannabis stocks—everything you must know to be successful in the industry. Suffice to say that San Francisco’s International Cannabis Business Conference was THE must-go-to conference for any entrepreneur looking to step up their weed-business game. Of course SSL was there along with other thriving businesses as well as entrepreneurs looking to break new ground, established cannabis farmers top investors and everyone in between.
Marc Lustig of CannaRoyalty Offers Advice
It was at the conference that I ran into Marc Lustig. Lustig, the CEO of CannaRoyalty an investment company with investments in some of the best and most innovative companies in the cannabis industry, was one of the events featured guest speakers focusing on financing and cannabis stocks. I sat down with Lustig during the long day and had a chance to ask him a few questions about the future of the industry:
Jazmin Pena: Mr. Lustig, thank you for your time today and for talking to us here at Stuff Stoners Like….Q. What made you dive into the Cannabis Industry?
Marc Lustig: After many years in financial services and raising money for companies, I was not impressed with Big Pharma in general. There were many addiction issues and I was ethically underwhelmed.
In 2013, I began to learn about Cannabis and how it was a great alternative to pharmaceuticals, and much safer. I also learned that if used properly it was more effective. All of this without much research done.
I can also tell you that there is not a person in this room who doesn’t have a story on how cannabis was better for them or someone they know compared to pharmaceuticals. Cannabis can be one of the best therapies for treating many conditions, and that’s when I saw the true potential of cannabis.
Q: CannaRoyalty believes that Great Business starts with Great People, what attributes make for a “Great Person” in business?
Lustig: Patience, sustainability and a stick-to-it attitude. It is especially important to show commitment to partners and treating everyone in the industry with respect. When I left my previous position to be a cannabis entrepreneur, people thought I was crazy, and were quick to judge, but now my family and friends are seating front row at my speaking events and are very supportive.
Be confident…and don’t let the negative perspective get in the way.—Marc Lustig
Q: CannaRoyalty takes pride in identifying “first movers.” With so many new businesses in the industry is there one particular idea or business model that you see missing?
Lustig: I would like to see a company that customizes strains and formulations to treat specific health conditions such as diabetes with the use of meter dosing and vape technology.
Q: Do you have any advice to young entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the cannabis space or for those who have started a company but are looking for investors?
Lustig: If a person is looking to do something with cannabis, or for example might be in-between a cannabis business and school and is not sure which way to go be confident to go straight into the business and don’t let the negative perspective get in the way.
Q: Proposition 64 here in California, the measure that legalized recreational marijuana was somewhat controversial—even among pro-pot advocates. Do you have any thoughts on its impact on the industry at large?
Lustig: Anything that presents clarity and unites the law is a positive!
Q: Last question. We can do an interview at a marijuana event without knowing your favorite strain?
Lustig: I’m going with Sour Diesel. I know—such a Canadian answer.