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One Cannabis brings national legitimacy via franchising


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All it takes is one stroll through downtown Denver or Las Vegas these days to smell the possibility of the marijuana industry, both for medical purposes and recreational use. As Las Vegas city officials clear the way for recreational lounges that will lead the country in open use, marijuana is gaining both acceptance and legitimacy for this entirely new industry.

Getting the hot question out of the way, One Cannabis COO Mike Weinberger said he didn’t have samples for the audience, but offered to lead a weed crawl through several dispensaries near the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

“We are the only franchisor in cannabis,” he said, noting several brands have lingo mentioning franchise efforts but his one-on-one conversations with such brands showed many didn’t even know what a franchise disclosure document was. This, he said, strongly suggests One Cannabis will remain the only professionally franchised operation in the space—at least for the next few months in a budding national industry that’s changing fast.

Time-tested standard operating procedures, marketing muscle, site selection, access to funding and a robust legal team are a few of the brand’s major bullet points, which are being touted to the smaller dispensaries the Denver-based team is rolling up under its smoky umbrella.

While One Cannabis doesn’t have any operating franchise locations yet, its headquarters staff has swelled to nearly 90 employees as it prepares to expand its presence in the cultivation, production and retail sale of cannabis—whether that’s the “flower” or the many products such as gummy treats and vape pens that are taking the category by storm.

Weinberger, along with President John Darwin and VP of Franchise Development Justin Livingston, shared their own focal areas at the company and stressed that their deep backgrounds in franchising should give comfort to financing partners, prospective franchisees and the independent dispensaries that the company has been acquiring to prepare One Cannabis for national expansion when law changes open up new territories.

‘We don’t need a thousand units, we want the right 100, which means we need the right people, the right fit, true multi-unit teams already developed who understand the world of franchising,” Livingston said. “There is no brand in cannabis—the biggest ones in the world have about 30 locations open, that’s it.”

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