Big Bear Cannabis Interview with Barry

What I find the awesome about entrepreneurs is their resilience and ability take risks. Here we have some one who has worked with cannabis before it was legal, a person who also knows the difficulties of running a  legal business in the biggest economic grey area of this generation. I'd like to introduce you to Barry the owner of Big Bear Cannabis, he offers strain reviews, dispensary reviews, product reviews. He's got it all. I sat down with Barry to pick his brain about the cannabis industry.

Q: Based on your About Big Bear section, which was one of the best about me sections I've read in a while, you said you started working in legal weed in 2013. Did you already know people in the legal side of weed?  If yes what exactly were they doing in 2013?

A: **In 2013 there technically wasn't anyone that was doing it LEGAL, except for a handful of people in Colorado that had been licensed for medical. Washington state was still operating under a "grey" area medical law and I only knew a couple of those people. This was a really long way of saying, not really. I knew some people involved in the industry but I was not deeply in the trenches at that point.

“ I would start a grow operation that would feature only the best craft cannabis that grows organically and extracts cleanly.”

Q: Do you have any cannabis entrepreneurs you look up to? If yes please describe this person. (I have yet to get an answer to this question from other people. I'm guessing because the industry is still young). 

A: **It's hard not to appreciate what Tripp Kiebler is doing with Dixie Elixirs and Andy Williams from Medicine Man. These were two of the absolute pioneers of what is the growing billion dollar industry. It's my prediction that Dixie Elixirs will be the first billion dollar cannabis company. They were both on Pot Barons of Colorado and rightfully so. Dixie's brand has spread faster and wider than anything by far and away!

Q: You mention that you started NW Cannabis Nursery. How much capital did you need to start? what materials and inventory did you need? 

** So I invested the initial $15,000 dollars and that was basically used to acquire the license. This was lawyer fees, some studies we had to do on the land, some basic equipment and so on. We had another investor that put in over $100,000 dollars to get the operation up and running.

Q: Can you describe what your typical day was like working at NW Cannabis Nursery? 

A: ** I was the sales and marketing director when I was with NW Cannabis so my days consisted mostly of calling dispensaries and trying to sell our product. A lot of time was spent on marketing and branding efforts. The Rocket Man is one of the most recognizable brands in the state of Washington. However, because we were still a startup company I was involved in everything really. From trimming and harvesting, to packing joints and making deliveries. This was truly an amazing experience that I could not be happier to have had.
Q: From the description of the company it seems that you played many roles, how did you structure the company? was there a president, director of operations, assistants, 
A: ***We were a really small operation and in the beginning there were really three people that ran the show including myself. So of course everyone was responsible for doing everything. As the company grew we hired a dedicated sales team and more labor to package up marijuana and pack more joints.

Q: If some one was just starting a Cannabis Nursery what first 3 things should they do (assuming they have the money to do it)?   

A: ***Make sure you have the right team in place! Have people that know what they're doing and if you don't hire a LEGITIMATE consulting company to help you. The second thing would be to ensure that you have the right space. Make sure that you aren't in any areas that might inhibit your ability to produce or process. Make sure all your ducks are in a row and make sure that you're following the rules. The last thing I would say is: take your time! We are still in the infancy of legal cannabis (it's not even legal yet), and I would rather see someone take an extra 6 months to one year to really get established and know your mission and how you're going to move forward in a competitive market.
“Without a doubt I would start a massive grow operation with dispensaries where this would be allowed. ”

Q: It's awesome that you invest. I invest myself, currently holding Cannabis Growth Corp (Tweed). What sectors of the cannabis industry do you predict will have the fastest growth? Right now my money is on cultivation companies. 

A: ***So, the first thing I want to say is that penny stocks (where all MJ companies are listed), is incredibly risky! I have to agree with you that the fastest growing sector will be cannabis touching businesses. MIPs (marijuana infused processors), grow operations, and dispensaries are going to grow in leaps and bounds, especially those that have the ability to spread their brand. I currently have money in TRTC (Terra Tech) as I see them as having a great brand and a savvy team leading them. I also have money in MSRT (Massroots) which I feel could do big things on the ancillary side.

Q: I agree that MassRoots is filling a badly needed social media gap that facebook and IG don't cater to. How will MassRoots compete once cannabis is socially acceptable like alcohol and Facebook and Instagram start accepting the lifestyle? 

A: ***Market saturation will be key! If Massroots has a user base of 2.5 million or more within the next couple years, I think they will have reached "terminal velocity" and will have carved out their own niche. This will establish them as THE marijuana app (they're already heading down that path) and will carry them into the future. I think that even with federal legalization you're going to see Facebook and IG continue to be incredibly stingy with what they allow in regard to cannabis advertising. They have strict rules around alcohol advertising and I don't believe they allow advertising for cigarettes at all.

Q: I see that you completed a course at the Trichome institute. What were some of the lessons they gave you on how to sample cannabis? Was it technical or more theory type lessons? 

A: ***Their class was really interesting and worth attending. A little too expensive for what you get, but this is the first major company pushing what will probably be the cannabis "sommelier" distinction. The class was both theory and technical teaching. After sitting down and really sampling as much cannabis as possible and getting your nose in the bag, you need to just work at it and pay attention. I believe you can start to "work-out" your nose and after a while you will become more adept at picking up subtle smells and so on.

Q: If an investor gave you 10 million dollars today to start a cannabis company what type of cannabis company would you do? Would you be selling a product or service? 

***Without a doubt I would start a massive grow operation with dispensaries where this would be allowed. I would start a grow operation that would feature only the best craft cannabis that grows organically and extracts cleanly.

Q: If you wrote a book about your self what would your favorite chapter be called? explain why.

A: ***Finding balance: This would be about doing my best to find balance within my life. Trying to find ways to accomplish all that I want to accomplish while balancing a family life at the same time.

Q: What advice would you give some one who wants to get a job in the cannabis industry, whats the best way they can get their foot in the door? 

A: ***This is the most common question that I get. "How do I get a job in the cannabis industry." Well I would give you much of the same advice. GO OUT THERE! Knock on doors, be passionate, listen to podcasts, read blogs (like mine, take any schooling that you can afford, and most importantly, attend any networking events that you find. Women Grow is a great example and I met a few different contacts at the last one that I attended.
Q: Did you do yourself? or do you have people who work on the site as well?

A: ***I have been working with someone who programs my websites for me for a long time. He's a really accomplished guy and I have always enjoyed working with him. He does the website and all maintenance.

Q: If you had to start all over again can you tell me what you would do differently?

A: ***Make sure it's on paper and cover your ass! There's a lot of unscrupulous people out there that will take your money and run with your research and make sure that you know the person you're doing business with!

DISCLAIMER: The professionals and companies described are not associated or affiliated with Cash Cow Cannabis, and they may not endorse Cash Cow Cannabis or the information provided. The names of other companies, products and services are the property of their respective owners.

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