Big dreams, small budget

It all started last April, I was tending our indoor marijuana plants. Now I’ve been growing marijuana for 20+ years outdoors and decided to get more active in the indoor growing aspect. I use a technique called low stress training on our plants and got sick of tying my plants with string, only to have to cut them off when its time to harvest. I decided to piece together a reusable kit to make my life easier. After a few days, I got to thinking if it works for me, then it will work well for others. My partner and I decided to manufacture our products and sell them to the public. Well, we launched our company at a local Convention with big expectations. A few months later, we’re running social media and print advertising.

I recently had my first opportunity to attend a business convention on the west coast, with the intention of finding distributors for our line of products. I met a lot of great people and made some good contacts in our industry, who I was able to speak to at great lengths about distribution. I was told that in order to be picked up by a big distributor, we would need to increase the amount of inventory available. Being a small start-up, we invested everything we had, built up from nothing. Now we face the possibility of being picked up by a distributor with good connections. Sounds good right? Yes, if their orders are within our budget to manufacture and capabilities for our current manufacturing model. The few distributors I spoke with have asked us about possible large orders and our capability to meet their needs. As of now, we’re trying to take on smaller orders because the only way to scale up production, when taking into account the large markups expected by both distributers and retailers, is going overseas. It’s one thing to complain that jobs are being shipped overseas. WHY are they? Because to do business at the corporate level, it’s the only way to maintain some profit for the manufacturer. Otherwise we would be making very little while distributors and retailers made big profits selling our product.

Until we can get the funding to go big, we’re relying on a sales model of contacting individual grow shops around the country to stock our product. As we continue to grow, we must remember to be cautious of our decisions as well as maintaining good relationships with the people of our industry. Going out west with our company opened my eyes to what is going on in the cannabis industry. There is a lot of cash being thrown around with little industry knowledge, setting up small businesses up to fall prey to the sharks whose money controls the entire industry.

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