Learning About Cannabis Marketing & More With The Best

Brandon Quan | Founder

Published: April 4, 2022

This is an awesome episode that I’m sure everyone will enjoy!

I’m joined by Jordan Kuyvenhoven the Founder of Flower Power Consulting. They’re a Vancouver-based consulting firm that specializes in the opening and ongoing management of retail cannabis stores in Ontario.

In addition, we also have Britney Anne Guerra. The general manager of Brant Cannabis Co. and a well-known voice on the Canadian cannabis scene for more than a decade. From her early activist days on Canada’s west coast to her bravery in opening one of the first legacy dispensaries in Hamilton, Ontario, to the time she spent in jail cells and prisoner boxes for her public advocacy and civil disobedience for the cause, Guerra has been outspoken.

We cover a multitude of topics that you definitely don’t want to miss!


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Welcome to the dispensary marketing podcast. I’m your host, Brandon Quan the founder of the number one digital market marketing agency in the world for cannabis dispensaries. And I’m joined here by Brit the general manager of a lot of different dispensaries. We have brand cannabis, co Woodstock, cannabis, Burlington cannabis cloud, nine cannabis cloud, nine London, many, many more coming.

And I’m also here with Jordan from flower power consulting and welcome to the show. Thank you. Thanks Brandon. Awesome. Awesome. So let’s hop right into it. So if you wanna tell me a bit about yourself, you know, don’t fight about whoever wants to go first and let’s start with that. Jordan. You can start off.

Okay. Um, I’m Jordan of, uh, flower power consulting. Um, I’m based out of, uh, BC, but primarily work with retailers in Ontario, uh, and do some work with LPs here in BC. Um, I started flower power in 2020 and uh, yeah, I’m, I’m glad to be here, Brandon. Thanks for having us. No worries. No worries. So I’m Britney Guerra, um, dispensary manager, not owner, ah, and apologies.

It’s OK. No, no worries. It happens. Fit that in there. Uh, yeah, I have, uh, 11 years, almost 12 years in the cannabis industry started my work in Vancouver, BC you with cannabis culture, um, have open opened a series of unregulated dispensaries that contributed to legalization. And I op was opening a bunch of stores and I was overwhelmed and needed help.

And Ms. Jordan over here came up with the brilliant idea of power, flower, power consulting, and like aided my family in opening all of their stores. And like basically secretly does my role of the general manager from the digital aspect. Nobody knows my secrets. Don’t tell anyone um, but she has been responsible for all the SOPs of the stores basically helped me build all management aspects of it, all of the LP relations she does.

Uh, she’s one of, you know, other than me being the general manager, she’s one of the most important, important employees on our team. So, uh, a crazy wonderful ride it’s been, and Jordan has like literally held my hand and walked me through the entire way. So it’s been fun. Wow. Look, look at that intro.

And I like the small smirk, you know, when you’re getting a compliment, you can’t really say anything, but you have the smirk on the top of your mouth and you’re like, yeah, yeah, that’s me, you know, . Yeah. Um, so that’s now, so, um, I’ve, I’ve heard, um, a few things about how you guys got started and I’m super, super excited to, I guess, listen to your story.

So let’s bring it all the way back all the way back to when the industry was not legal. Um, so tell me about how you guys got started together and how that journey kind of formed into now. So Jordan and I are both from Ontario and moved out to Vancouver at similar times. Um, we were like kind of friends, more of like a weird friend of me thing.

where, like we knew each other. And like, I think we both just have such vibrant personalities that we were kind of afraid to like come together and form this superpower Uhhuh. Um, but we were with guys that dated and like, we just became friends organically over that after time. Um, I was a waitress, she was a waitress and I’ve always been a huge cannabis fan.

I’ve smoked more than all admit on camera. Yeah. um, and one day I was walking down the street and mark and Jodi Emery were speaking. He was just about to be extradited to the us for selling seeds. And he was having like a farewell tour at a square in Vancouver. And I just smelled like marijuana and I was like, I wanna be there.

So I went over there and I smoked some weed and like met them and they told me about cannabis culture and where it is. So then I just started going there every day and I basically like harassed them. And then one day they’re like, we want you to be our advertising manager because you sold us. I was like, wow. And that’s kind of how I felt like fell into the cannabis industry.

Like, uh, it was on my 21st birthday a day. I started my job officially. So I’m 34 now. So it’s been a really long time and it’s strange to be called a veteran and yeah, I guess, and Jordan’s been there with me. We had a awesome show, like called pot Oxi. So it was like celebrity cannabis gloss up. And we had, we had like a game show called guess that strain.

And like, she’s always had her hands in the pot with me, like figuratively, not as much of a smoker, unfortunately, because I always would love that. Um, but yeah, we had early history. We opened a dispensary in Beneby together. Uh, she was, again my left hand lady because I no nothing without her. And unfortunately that resulted in some charges because we were in Bern, not in Vancouver.

Mm. And the RCMP are much stricter than the VP because they just have so many problems to deal with other than cannabis. So we lasted about three months. Um, we had some times couldn’t really speak with each other and stuff. So we like kind of had to respect our conditions. And then I moved back to Ontario and, uh, Jordan lived her life out there and tra did some traveling.

And I was here like raising a family. And then in 2015, decided to open a vapor lounge in Hamilton and kind of like dipped my toe in the water. Cause there weren’t any dispense here. I didn’t know what the repercussions would be. Okay. And uh, yeah, since then, like Jordan and I have been talking and having, you know, the best work relationships and then legalization came.

So I got in a lot of trouble in the, in that window of time and like that I think that that could be left to a whole other show, just the drama and the theatrics of that. So I’ll just leave. Anyways, opened dispensaries in Ontario, got charged with conspiracy, like got my passport ceased, had some crazy problems and, uh, was kind of forced out of the industry.

And then, uh, Dougie Ford came in and said that we’re gonna open the retail market to the public. So I talked to like my brother-in-law and my family. And I just said, like, I think that this is a very good opportunity for you guys. Uh, like obviously we’re, I’m very knowledgeable in the industry. We can help and contribute and stuff.

And so, you know, the idea of grant cannabis was born and my brother-in-law like went through it all and left his career of 23 years to come and like be the operator of these stores. And here we are. And Jordan again has helped me do everything, helped all of us. I think she works with like my brother-in-law more than she works with me almost well, it’s, it sounds like you’re really good at convincing people to do, to do things all the way back from the starts, you know? Um, it sounds like you’re, you’re really, really good at that.

So I, I, I do have a bunch of questions on that, but Jordan, does that fit on your side of the story cuz is there always two sides of the story? Is, does that align kind of what your perspective was? Yeah, definitely. I, I think I fell into the industry by proxy Britney mm-hmm. Um, and yeah, starting with the dispensary here in Beneby and you know, the, the end result of that, um, scared me off of the industry, um, until legalization.

And then, and then when Britney were brought me on board with brand it’s when I first saw how little support was available for owners, like you’re really going into this industry, um, like even with all the like legacy work, like there’s a lot of, of new type of new regulations and, and that you’re trying to work around.

There was not a ton of education available to owners mm-hmm um, and you’re just kind of figuring it out as you go. Um, which allowed me to start flower power because surely a lot of people felt that way starting, starting their stores. Yeah. Um, so yeah, that was, uh, that was how we started and who knows where we’ll go, Hey, look, there there’s, there’s a, there’s a lot of different pathways and you know, it’s never really what you actually think it is.

Or even if you plant it, there’s, you know, kind of goes like this. Right. Um, I wanna take it back to the Berny stuff. So, you know, you started up the dispensing burny. How long did that last, you know what go got you in trouble. Did somebody snitch on you? How did that kind of all unravel, uh, you know, in terms of the drama? Uh, I think we were a bit too loud.

We got on the news a couple times. Um, there, there wasn’t much fear at that time. Um, which was a mistake and what year, what year was this? This was 10 years ago. 10 years. So thousand 11. Okay. Um, and then we were being investigated by the RCMP. I remember getting their, their file and they had been following us like all individually, like around our homes, like, oh, like a PI, like a private investigator, like, like Jordan walked to the store from the store to her car, drove home, like, and I was like, oh my God.

It was, it was quite alarming actually that someone had been following me for so long and I didn’t notice. Um, and, uh, yeah, so I think it was three months, three months. And, um, it was, um, April 15th of July 9th. Oh, you have the dates too. Wow. I’m I’m an encyclopedia of dates. Okay. Well fantastic. Now we can piece piece the story together, you know, better, better for the audience and what like made you guys wanna start it together.

Brittany needed a manager so you’re placing the, the blame on Brit then you’re like, Hey, this is all Brit’s fault. It was a hundred percent me. Um, it’s, it’s hard because it’s not hard. The reason why I did it is because I spent my cannabis career around trailblazers, like the Dana Larson’s, uh, you know, mark Emory and his seeds.

And it was just like, there were two types of people that worked at cannabis culture. The people that worked at cannabis culture that were happy with their jobs. They went to work every day. They contributed, they did a great job, but when they went home, their job turned off and then there’s the type of people, more like me and Dana and people that our minds don’t turn off when we get home, like, we’re like, okay, how can we make this better? What can we do to make this better? I wanna do this for the rest of my life.

How can we make this happen? Yeah. Right. Yeah. Um, so like, I’ve always kind of like call it a criminal mind or whatever. I’ve always kind of had a mind of like, we need to do it. We need to just push. We need to see what happens. Um, you know, my parents, I was like, uh, I can’t imagine. And I’m a mom now, so I couldn’t imagine my daughter coming home.

Obviously, if it was something like pH Sabin or something, plant-based medicine, I’d be like, cool, sweetheart, you go for it. You know? But like, you know, my parents are older. So for them, I, when I told them I was gonna start opening these dispensaries, they’re like, Brittany, like, are you stupid? And I’m, I’m like, well, you know, like, no, but yes, but no, you know, all day in 20 fall, no less.

Right. And I’m like, okay. Maybe like, maybe I am, but we’ll see what happens. Right. But I, again, I’m just surrounded by these just powerhouses of activists that are just pushing the, pushing the barriers. And like, you know, when I got my job at cannabis culture and it already been there for 15, 20 years, so yeah.

It’s like, I was already a part of something so old and something so crazy that I knew that it, there was more to it. Mm-hmm , mm-hmm so Jordan, was it more so Brittany, that convinced you to do it? Or were you also kind of passionate about this particular space? Maybe not the consumption part of it, but just more so just being in the industry itself.

Um, yeah, so Brit, Britney was definitely the segue, but growing up, my father was a, a cannabis user. I remember finding out I was, I was probably 10 years old and I was like, my guy’s a drug addict I was devastated to find that he was a cannabis user. And, and as I grew older, I was like, okay, I, I, I get it now.

Mm-hmm . Um, and so my father was really, you know, an, an activist for the, a plant mm-hmm like, that was his medicine a hundred percent. And it was until the end of his life. Like I remember after I’d left the industry, uh, my father got cancer and Brittany, um, connected me with someone locally here in BC.

Cause my father was in Ontario, um, to access because I think it was easier to access at that time. Certain types of can cannabis derived products. Yeah. Um, snake oil, which was a super powerful like oil, um, that my father used for the whole duration of his cancer treatment. Um, and he didn’t need any type of pain management from to clean until the, the last week of his life.

So I’m definitely a believer in what this plant can do the benefits of this plant. Hmm. Um, so yeah, Brit definitely got me involved in working in the industry, but my father, you know, was also, you know, there cheering me along yeah. In the, like he was supportive of those days. Yeah. My, he was an old hippie.

He was, yeah. So he, he was all down for that. So then how, you know, obviously the Berny stuff didn’t, didn’t end up towards the way you guys wanted it. Right. Uh, for better or for worse, you guys are in a fantastic position now. Right. You know, who knows, you know, uh, if that experience made an impact on that, but why didn’t you guys just be like, Hey, I don’t wanna do this anymore.

This is the scary experience. And just completely just, I know Jordan, you said you, you briefly left, but Brittany, it seems like you were always kind of in and out. So I did take a brief hiatus off when I moved home to Ontario from, I moved home in the end of 2012, closer to 2013. And, uh, there was, was no cannabis industry in Hamilton.

Like the area that I’m from. And, you know, I kind of just sat back for a couple years and like leveled my life out here. I just moved home after six years, you know, it was like gay to getting used to laying my roots down or whatever. And then one day I was just driving down Barton street with my husband and I saw like a release place.

And I’m like, Brandon, like I really wanna open a vapor lounge. Like we, I just need to do something I’m falling apart here. Yeah. Like at the, at the time he was working at the Ford plant. So like he was gone, you know, two, two weeks on two weeks off days and nights and stuff. And I was just like hanging out with my friends and poured outta my mind.

And I was like, I should start with a vapor lounge. It’s a good, like, dipping your toe in the water to see what bite, you know, and I just like shared on Instagram and shared it on my Facebook and opened a little vapor lounge. And it was just like the it’s called cloud nine. There’s a couple stores that are named after it now.

But, uh, it was just the cutest little vapor lounge ever. And it created this, this awesome little community. Um, I had also like, I, the it’s a building, right. And there’s a store on one side and a store on the other side stairs upstairs that go upstairs to apartments. So like the ground floor, there’s two units.

And when I rented it, the like, it was so cheap down there because it’s like, Barton, isn’t the best area in the city. Sure. The landlord’s like, okay, they’re $900 each. Or you can have them both for 1500. And I’m like, wow. I’m like, that sounds interesting. So I was like, okay, I’ll take both of them. Yes.

So the other side just sat empty from, I opened cloud on December 1st and it sat empty until March when I decided to partner with weeds, glass and gifts. So to Vancouver, which is a dispensary. So I, I decided to partner with them because there was less financial risk if you like go under an umbrella, like, and they had multiple, multiple stores in Vancouver, a pretty successful company, um, decided to partner with them.

And it was great. We had like big, bright neon pot leaf sign in the window. It would light up all of Barton’s. No problem. Um, the, the trick of the trade is to choose in, choose a neighborhood. That’s not, you know, cotton, candy and sunshine. Exactly. And there’s way more problems to be dealt with and stuff.

So you have to pick a neighborhood that that’s a little rougher around the edges, right? Yeah. Um, so we did, and then around summertime weeds was really booming dispensaries in Toronto, started opening. They had like seven stores in Toronto and they would just like text me and be like, I’m sorry, Hamilton, isn’t our priority.

We can’t send you product. Ah, and I’m just like sitting here and I’m like, oh my God. Like, my connections are out of this world. I’ve been in the weed industry forever. I could get whatever whenever. However, so I just like, we had contracts and everything worked out. So I just said, like, I think that it’s best if we part ways, because like I can do this myself better.

And like, I obviously understand the way that brokering works. You’re making money on both ends of it. Exactly. Yeah. Like I get the incentive from their part. Yeah. So, uh, then the medicine cabinet was born and that was like, it was the first store in Hamilton and it just switched names. And that little setup that I had with the medicine cabinet and the vapor lounge on the other side was so cool.

It was just the best. So does that not so the medicine cabinet dispensary side, the vapor lounge, vapor lounge. So yeah. Does that not exist anymore? No. Ah, okay. It’s, it’s all gone. Oh, well, you know, again, fun experience. I’m sure. Sore. And did you help out with any of that stuff or no? Uh, no, I didn’t.

I, those were my, my years, uh, out of the industry your years away. Yeah. Yeah. I was watching Brittany from afar. I was just too much of a rebel sometimes, you know, and it’s like after the medicine cabinet had a few successful months and sure. Then I repartnered with cannabis culture before I was an employee this time.

I’m like, all right, like the medicine cabinet’s doing amazing. Yeah. It started with one dispensary. Then there was 15. So when there was 15, I was like, you know what, let’s let’s go wreck. So I found a crazy building downtown Hamilton, um, right beside a huge parking lot because any dispensary owner in the legal or legacy market knows parking is their number one.

Oh yeah. Most important thing. Um, and we went fully rec and just destroyed the market. Like we, we had sure. I’m sure when I, when I opened cannabis culture, there was 15 and on the, on the highest peak, there were 94 stores in Hamilton and it started with the, and it started with the medicine cabinet. So, um, and that was just legacy market stores.

That’s not legal stores. Yeah. Um, so you truly are a pioneer in the space then Y I don’t like to call myself that, but I will say O okay. I, I think both experience wise consumption wise and business wise, you you’re absolutely crushing it right now. If no one else has told you that, you know, I wanna let you know well, thank you.

I appreciate it. So when, you know, things became, I guess, you know, or I guess before things became legalized in sourcing products and all those things, how, how did you go about sourcing products? How, how did the whole backend logistics operation work if you’re kind of like trying to fly under the radar are and doing all these different things.

So the best part about being guilty is I have full admission of everything , um, which is gonna make a great book, right. Because I can actually be like, yeah, I did this and this and this and this, and they already know that and that’s okay. We’re here. Um, so it, anything, any cannabis, any dispensaries, anything like that? All initially started with the medical market.

Okay. So health Canada was licensing people for, you know, 150, 200 plants that people didn’t need. Obviously, there was huge overflow from growers that just from having my job and my resources at cannabis culture, like I had to like push people away from me just cause like, I, you know, before, once I opened the dispensary in Berner, that’s when the connections really started coming and they would come with suitcases to the store and be like, Hey, here’s my, yeah.

Do you want it? You know, so it was like, the doors kind of opened themselves. Um, and Canada post does a great job at mailing marijuana and whether they know it or not. So , I mean, look, you know, uh, they, they are, uh, complicit and, you know, but ignorant at the same time. So, you know, they’ll mail your stuff, you know, they just don’t have to look into it.

And they’ll just say, Hey, you know, I’m mailing everything going on. The overnight shipping process is fantastic money back guarantee. I’m sure it’s, I’m sure it’s um, so Jordan, we’ll hop into kind of how you got back into this space. So this was 2020, you said. So 2020, uh, what kind of brought you back in what, you know? So, um, um, Brittany called me and she was just like, Hey, I got these stores opening.

I need some support. I like, there was just a lot of unknown at that time, you know, it, and I, I was kind of, I just moved back to the country and I, I was kind of figuring out what I wanted to do again, and I wanted to work for myself and mm-hmm, I, um, yeah, Brit invited me in to start working with the stores and, and, and supporting from the, the back end of things.

So virtually, um, and, and that’s kind of where, where things got going and then started moving really fast. We had stores opening, like back to back to back to back, and then I started gaining more clients. And so it was like so many openings in that first year. Um, and it’s, it’s just continued on since then.

Um, you know, as, as I’ve was working with Brit, I was able to really identify specific services that, that were helpful for Britney stores and would be helpful for other stores. So, um, it was through experience with her that I was really able to build, build on my business and, and, uh, figure out, you know, the beauty of this space and the, the beauty of working in its infancy is, is that there’s still a lot, there’s still so much to grow.

Mm-hmm , um, we still don’t know exactly, you know, what the ceiling is in this space. Um, it’s, it’s changed so much even in the two years. Um, so that’s where things got started and, um, you know, and, and continue to sit. Um, we’re just, I, I, I know I am, and I’m sure Brittany can speak to the same and probably Brandon, you too, working in the space is like, we’re learning new, new something new every day.

Yeah. And it’s changed. It just changes so quickly. And I think that’s part of like, where owners also need support is, is the compliance is changing quickly too. Yeah. You know, the AGCO two weeks ago sent out an email and if you didn’t read the entire long email, you might, you may have missed that. You need your RSA displayed on your website in the Ontario seal displayed on the website and that’s, that’s your compliance.

And, and if stores like, you know, every store I sent out a notice too, to let them, none of them actually knew and all of them received the email yeah, yeah. Nope. Nobody reads these really, really long paragraphs and stuff. I mean, yeah. Have a client out in Edmonton and the same thing, they actually wanted like a big banner.

I forgot exactly what the banner was, but it was like, you know, uh, like no children smoking sort of banner. They had to put that on how to put the licenses of all the store on. And then I think they even need an age gate on their, their menu ordering thing. So depending on where you are, like, I’m sure you have clients everywhere.

Like Ontario’s one beast, Edmonton’s a different beast. And then if you go down to the states and you have clients in the states, each state is completely different. Um, so you know, whether you, you, you need to do it or not. You have to learn right. Or else you’re, you’re gonna get wiped out. Right. So when Brit made the call, I was like, Jordan, I need your help.

You know, open up these stores, I need all hands on deck. You know, we need to bring the team back together. What was like the first, like, what was the thing that Britney needed help with. And did you come in with prior experience with what she was asking or did you learn on the spot? Um, so during my time, um, away from the industry, I worked, um, I worked in nightlife and hospitality.

I was, um, a general manager of a nightclub in Vancouver. Um, I also moved outta the country. I was running, um, like a largest state in The Bahamas and we kind of operated that as a hotel. So I had a, of previous management experience. I, I was also a sales rep for a beer company. Mm. Um, which, um, that, that experience as actually has come in use, um, a tenfold in this space because it it’s, it mirrors a lot of the alcohol industry.

Yes. Yeah. Um, which I was familiar with. So, um, I was able to bring those experiences into this space, into my business, um, into the work I do with Brittany. Um, and yeah, I think that, um, when she called me, it was, it was a weird, because there’s no fear anymore. Yeah. Um, you know, I, after, after getting arrested and charged, like, I wasn’t interested in doing that again.

Yeah. , I’m sure, you know, I was like, okay. I, yes. Learn my lesson and I was fun. And now there’s, there’s no fear involved yeah. In, in what we’re doing. So it was, I was like, okay, yeah, I can do this. I’m it , it was a nice, nice way to come back. Yeah. Yeah. And, and Brittany, what did you ask Jordan? What was like her first? I don’t wanna about, why were you like, Hey, I need, I really need your help on this.

Um, so I, my kid was, I think she was like a year and a half old at the time. So I was like bouncing, being a mom and, uh, all of this stuff happening and the operator of the store, like jar my brother-in-law, he’s incredible with the compliance and the filling out a forms. And like he held, handled all of that kind of stuff.

I think that when I came to Jordan, it was any of my email communications, because it was just overwhelming. I was getting emails from so many LPs from so many just unbelievable stuff. Like, are we gonna use Dutchy? Are we gonna use bud buddy? Like what, there’s so many different platforms, which is the best POS, which isn’t the best POS product knowledge, product information.

Um, it was just stuff that you don’t see that goes into opening these stores. Right. And her support for the operator has been unbelievable in this whole process. She, she started started by answering emails and building LP relations and doing like rep work mm-hmm and turned it into like, she has full communication with everybody.

She does, she helps with payroll. She does everything like really, she turned helping me into a lifelong career, just seeing the gaps and seeing the support I need as like a legacy industry person who knows, like my cannabis knowledge is extensive, but that didn’t matter. It matters now on, on the ground, in the store that matters.

But back end stuff back in the day, like I knew nothing. It was like learning an industry all over again. And I was just overwhelmed. And like, you know, Jeremy, the operator was handling all the paperwork and stuff and my husband was handling all the construction and stuff and it’s like, we all had our departments mm-hmm but my department was just so overwhelming just because there was so much communication coming in.

And like, I had a kid and it just worked so well, the support that I was given, I got support from Jordan. I didn’t even know I needed that’s how, you know, you have a good person. That’s how you know that you’re she saw a gap in a market that didn’t exist. Yeah. And she built it into now, there’s a market for it.

Now there are other consultants out there. Now there are people trying to mirror what flower power has done and, uh, charge exponential fees, which is another area where Jordan excels, because for her, it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality. It’s not quantity of money. It’s quality of service.

And with quality of service, that brings a quantity of people yeah. That want her to work for them. So, um, very interesting stuff. Like I tell her at least sometimes, maybe not once a week, but at least twice a week. So like, I’m so proud of her, like just of everything that she’s done and yeah. It’s amazing.

No, it sounds, sounds like you guys have, like I said, the, the, the, the power team is together. You got the Avengers back together and you’re, you’re absolutely crush crushing it right now. So Jordan did you form, so I’m assuming Britney called you for help. And then you formed flower power, and then you formed your services around of what you help Brittany with.

How did that kind of process work to build it from, you’re just kind of helping a friend to a full business that you are now, you know, crushing it with. Yeah. I mean, it all, it, it really started, um, I, I would, uh, at the time I was still working a full-time job here. So it started, I was waking up at like four or five in the morning, working on my laptop, on my couch, you know, for, for Brittany getting everything going with those stores.

And then I was like, okay, this can be a business mm-hmm . And I was able to, yes, for my services around what I was doing for her areas, I was seeing that, you know, even with Jeremy, with Brandon, like what areas of, of support have I offered them? And, and what do I believe would be useful for, for owners of other stores as well? Um, so I was able to really define, um, my services through the work that I did with them in that group, especially because they were growing at such a rapid rate.

Yeah. You know, we really had to get it right. Um, or else it would get really messy, um, on the back end of things, and on the financials and all of that. So we really had to develop systems really quickly, um, to make sure things stayed organized, and, and that we stayed on the right track. And so that they could continue doing what they’re the best at, um, you know, menu cur curation mm-hmm and, you know, managing the store and managing staff and that kind of thing.

And I, I could just stay in the back and, and make sure everything was, you know, continue to run smoothly. Um, so that’s where that’s, you know, where I, where I continue to stay. And then, you know, I, I could, like Brittany was saying, you know, she was getting a lot of communication from different companies.

Sure. And I think in the beginning for a lot of owners, like that’s happening, it’s everyone is coming at you, you’re new you store and people are coming at you. Like, you need, you need us. Yes. Yes. And you need to pay for us. Yes. . So for me to say like, no, AC don’t, you don’t need to pay for that. You don’t need to pay for that.

Yeah. But do this and do that and, and keep it fairly simple. Yeah. Um, because there’s so many tech companies now that are, you know, some are, are really useful and some you might not need and they are expensive and you are paying monthly fee operating costs of a cannabis store are high. Yeah. It’s, it’s challenging business this to be in, you know, I think a lot of owners come in and they’re, you know, they wanna sell drugs.

, they’re like, yeah, I’m gonna make so much money. Yeah. It’s a lot to manage. It’s a lot, it’s a lot financially to every month to commit to. So I think it, it it’s been helpful for, for my, my clients, for me to say like, okay, you don’t, maybe we, we don’t need that, but yeah. You know, let’s do this instead.

Yeah. Jordan will, Jordan will sit through like demos for us. And like, if the demo she’s like, she’s like our filter, which is so nice because like companies will come at, you know, come at them and come at us and be like, Hey, you need this and you need that. And you need this. And Jordan will be like, okay, well, tell me what it’s about.

And then they’ll start the opening. And she’s like, no, no, no, no, thanks. We don’t need this. You know, it’s, uh, very overwhelming. I know that Jeremy was mentioning that he has just an unbelievable amount of reps emailing him all the time about stuff and could imagine it’s. Yeah. And her, her payroll help.

And like I said, just everything that she does. It’s, it’s so hard to define what Jordan does, because in reality, she’s the backbone of the organization. Yeah. Like she does so much, so much more that I can E than I can even name. So I like, see the smirk is back the, the little smirk she, Brittany, like your Brit’s your ultimate hype girl.

Like she no, that that’s awesome. Look, you can cut up these clips, Jordan, once you have the video, send it out, cut up the clips, be like, Hey, look at all these testimonials I have from all my clients. And then, you know, you can push, push that out to everyone, you know, standard marketing stuff.

Yeah. Um, use still doing what you do. so I do have a question on like your, your, I guess, your evaluation process on how you, I guess, choose to work with vendors, software and LPs and stuff like that. Like, I’m sure it’s different for every kind of client and dispensary you work with, but what is your, I guess your framework as evaluating whether or whether or not that a company is going to provide a positive ROI for the dispensaries that you’re working with.

Like, obviously it’s ROI based, but let’s just make it simple. And let’s just talk about LPs LP comes out there, like, Hey, we have this fantastic blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then, you know, what is the next step to evaluate, to, to see if that’s something you wanna bring into the source? So for, um, for products in the store, you mean? Sure.

Yeah. Let’s start with that. So I don’t do, I don’t, I don’t do the menu curation. So I think the, uh, relationships with reps are important to me. So I will, if they do tell me something cool, I’ll send it off in Brittany’s case, I send it off to, um, to Brandon cuz he does a lot of the menu, um, curation for that group.

But I think with reps, the relationship goes deeper than just buying what they’re selling. Sure. Um, and I see some clients miss the mark there because those relationships are really important. They’re good support for retailers. Um, so I, I really like to, um, like have positive relationships with these reps and, and get to know them.

Um, but for menu and I think Brittany can speak to this. Like I think that’s one thing that will set stores apart. You know, we do hundred percent. Some, some stores have, you know, factor or deals with LPs, um, where there’s, you know, an exchange of, you know, I’m not sure what they’re doing, cuz I don’t work with any stores that are participating in that, but they’re bound by certain skews in the store.

They’re bound by certain brands in their stores. Like, and, and then there’s customers that come into a store like brand and they’re like, oh my God, you have so much stuff. Yeah. Like, you know, they’re they, I don’t know how many skews do you think you have in brand right now? Like 500. Yeah. Maybe not that high, but I could guess I would say like 350 skews around there, which may maybe less it’s not, but then you go into stores like value buds or you know, these big blockchains that are me or may not be getting these backdoor deals from L P and like their menu has 18 products on it, you know? Yeah.

Um, so the curation is definitely very important and uh, Brandon is just so good with every aspect of that. Like he was responsible for a lot of the buying and the legacy stores back in the day, uh, learned so much doesn’t consume really. He smokes CBD occasionally, but mm-hmm, it’s, it’s the menu is your operation, you know? Yeah.

If you, if all of us are selling the same things, yeah. We all have access to the same menus, but somebody who owned say a convenience store in the, in the, in the past and came from the convenience store and decided to turn and do a weed shop, they’re not gonna go through the menu and like look at terpene levels and look at all this different stuff that’s available in the OCS.

So, um, I think that that’s a large, probably 90% of the reason of brand success is just because of menu curation. So I’m very, you know, I know you said Brandon handles a lot of the, the menu stuff, but I’m super curious cuz like I’m obviously on the marketing side super, super far away from this stuff, like on the product side, how often do you rotate products or do you just wait till they sell and then how do you figure out what new products you’re gonna bring in? Cause I know on a fundamental level it’s like, okay, which one are your most popular products? Obviously put them there, but you wanna try and hit those trends before the other stores get them so that you have the products that, you know, consumers would like.

So like, are you famili? Like how does that process, I’m just very curious about that. So like for example, a product that you’re talking about, let’s say ghost drops. Sure. Right. Ghost drops. I don’t know if you know about them or not, but they have, uh, they basically pick two strains and grow it and then it’s gone.

So it’s like limited drops. Ah, and people, this is becoming the trend with growers that I’m finding is the most successful. Um, so they’ll, you know, sell 500 cases to the OCS and you get an email from the rep saying, Hey guys, just let you know, we have a drop coming this week of like 27% or whatever. And it’s limited time only it’s gonna be gone.

They even like give sticker cards with it so that you can collect the stickers collectable. Right. So I remember right. I remember back in the day, people would buy a Fido and then collect the packet. Right? Like they’d have their collection of phyto rappers just to say, like I smoked all this. So, um, the reps will email, the bud tenderers will get word.

It will go on Reddit and then everybody’s waiting for it. Right. So for example, we, the OCS limits how much you can buy. So they’ll be like, okay, Brent can’t I can designate three boxes of ghost drops to you. Mm-hmm and you might get one, you might get none. You might get three. It doesn’t, they can’t, it doesn’t, I, it has no sense the way that they distribute, but it just sells out.

Right. So it’s like, for example, the best hash we, we don’t get enough to cover the wheat. We’ll you know, say the order comes on Tuesday, we’re sold out by Saturday. Yeah. So then you have Sunday, Monday with nothing. Um, and if there are products sitting around, put them on sale and get them outta there because nobody that’s, that’s another area where Brandon’s just an expert and maybe a podcast with him would be, be really cool because it’s all about menu curation.

That’d be awesome. Maybe he doesn’t wanna give away his secrets. I don’t know that too. You know, who knows? that’s the best secrets, but yeah. But like if we see if he sees mainly a product sitting around that we’ve had in stock for two weeks, he’ll 30% off, get it out the door, like bring that money back in to put something else by on the menu.

That’s gonna bring people back. Right? Yeah. Wow. It just a lot, a lot of different levels to this. Like you said, it’s not just someone who’s, Hey, I wanna sell a bunch of, you know, drugs and then, you know, make a lot of money. Right? There’s a lot of slight nuances in, in, in what you need to do to, to, to have a successful business.

So that really takes me into, you know, I wanna try and provide, add value to, I guess, those who are either just starting up their store or thinking about starting a store and stuff like that. So on the marketing sense, I have a framework on how I think marketing should be done on, on a foundational level.

There’s obviously more advanced tactics that you can use, but if you don’t have these three things in place, then you know, you’re at a loss. So my, uh, marketing a customer acquisition framework is first one’s awareness. Right? You need people to know who you are, you know, for them to purchase from you in the first place.

The second one is conversion. You need to then convert the people who are, who know, who you are into paying customers, cuz even if they, you are and don’t purchase, then it doesn’t matter. And then the third one is loyalty, right? You’re a dispensary you’re set in a physical location. So you have to keep people coming back over and over and over again.

Um, you know, for you to have a proper business, right? And then the loyalty section breaks down into four parts, which is uh, good price, good product, uh, good customer experience and then good buying experience. So that’s like my foundation for what I tell all my dispensary clients. So what would be the framework and apologize if I’m putting you guys on the spot, if you haven’t thought about something like this before to, I guess start up like a store, right aside from all the permits and all this stuff that you need, what is literal phase? One of starting up a store, Have the product knowledge, really product knowledge first.

Yeah. And I think, um, location is really important. I was gonna say location. Um, but elaborate a bit. What, what are your thoughts? You know, why is, why did products come top of your head at the start? Because people like me will come in and take your customers when you give them the wrong thing.

So if you, if you wanna compete within the industry, know what you’re doing. Yeah. If you don’t know anything about cannabis and you wanna sell cannabis on a retail level, mm-hmm don’t yeah. And like, if you’re gonna do it, I mean it’s in the nicest way possible like go poach people who know what they’re doing.

Sure. If you’re that dedicated to doing it, you need staff that know what they’re doing so that they can teach you. Mm-hmm because even again, I’ve mentioned people like me, who I’ve been in this industry for 12 years, 13 years now. And I don’t know what I’m doing sometimes. Yes. In what, what aspects let’s let’s start on that.

So when you’re like, oh, I don’t know what’s going on. What, how does that typically fall under? Is it product knowledge? Is it customer relationships? Is it loyalty? Like again, I don’t know what it is, but when you say, I don’t know, what is the thing that you’re like, oh, I’m not sure. And I need, you know, Jordan’s help for, so for me it’s not product knowledge.

It’s not customer service. I’m amazing with customers. I have the product knowledge. Um, I know like more than most in the product knowledge, except for, I could say Brandon probably knows more than me just because he cur he’s been curating menus for so long now. Uh, since you know, he was a part of the dispensary in Berny too.

So since 2012, like we’ve been working on this cannabis knowledge. Um, I think, think that I’m sorry. I completely forgot the question. no, no it’s OK. It was just more so like, I, I really wanted to touch on like, you know, when you mentioned not knowing what you need to do, right. Oh yeah.

Right. You know, what are those things compliance? That’s a big compliance is a really big one. Again, Jeremy is the operator. So he does most of that kind of stuff. But even in just day to day operations, like if something, if there’s an incident in the store, it needs to be reported. Um, I’ve never been one to all the rules ever.

You can tell that by my criminal record um, I’ve, I’ve never been one to listen to, uh, higher authority that I don’t agree with. And unfortunately I’m bound by compliance when it comes to this industry. Now there is a lot of push for change and I have every intention of heading that, for example, children being allowed to be in retail stores.

I think that it’s absurd that I’m outside babysitting people’s kids in their car while they’re inside shopping for cannabis. Yeah. And that ha that happens regularly. Unfortunately. Um, I don’t know that that’s interesting. Yeah. There’s, there’s many things that I need help with and you know, I’ve done things that aren’t compliant sometimes accidentally.

And I have to be like, oh, I, I will not do that again. You know, not, not as far as serving to minors or whatever, but if a sale goes through at 1101 and I’m like 12 seconds short of closing down the till at 11 o’clock, you know, um, definitely compliance, definitely anything like anything backend wise, like I had a POS system at our old stores, but it wasn’t this extensive, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of stuff that I need help with and I consider myself a retail expert.

So I’m, I’m good now, but over the last, you know, Jordan and I have been working on this since 2020, uh, I’ve needed a lot of help because I’m, it’s all new to me. And if I had bar experience and have worked with the AGCO directly, I wouldn’t have needed as much help. I don’t think. But because the AGCO and regulation, I I’ve been in the cannabis industry since I was 21 years old.

Right. Yeah. So it’s like, I was a waitress for three years, a 18 to 21. And then I haven’t, I’ve lived in unregulated life basically since then up until 2020. So, and here we are. Yeah. And I had to fight really hard for my manager’s license too. I had to have like three O P interviews and to ensure that I’m not a gangster and , again, that’s another, that’s another podcast us when we talk about everything that happens.

But um, well it shows your dedication. I mean, look, whoever’s listening to this, you know, the few people that are at least for now, we’re gonna be famous soon. Don’t worry. um, but you know, it, it just shows your dedication to kind of like actually wanting to, to be a part of the industry itself.

Right. Like if, you know, somebody’s willing to jump through these hoops multiple times over and over. And again, um, I, I think that that shows a long way in terms of like, you know, you as a person and kind of like the impact you wanna make. So again, for what it’s worth, that’s what I’m saying. and people, uh, like I don’t, I’m just Britney to me, you know what I mean? Like I just have tripped and stumbled my way through the industry and it’s worked out kind of, you know, like I thought that Berny was a huge mistake.

It wasn’t, it was just a lesson that we had to learn and, um, I’ve just like stumbled through and I have people tell me, like, Brittany, I don’t know, like, how did this happen? Like how, you know, like, I, I have people to tell me, like, it’s, it’s an incredible thing, but I just wanna keep pushing and keep making change and improve the industry to the point that we don’t have any complaints.

Yeah. Well, it sounds like even though you may think you stumbled, you, you stumbled forward and you know, you’re, you’re doing some really, really awesome work right now. So, you know, thank you. Congrats on that. Thanks. Um, so Jordan, you said location, you said was the first one that popped in your head.

Uh, you know, why did you think location was, uh, you know, I feel like it’s quite obvious, but would love to hear your perspective on, you know, the location aspect. Yeah. I mean, I think, for myself, some of the research I like to do is map out where everyone’s stores are and the province and, and try and find where the gaps are that, you know, might be suitable for a location.

I also try and look for, uh, lo locations that are, are near an L CBO or beer store, because I think, uh, those two companies put a lot of money into, um, researching demographics. So I think those are always kind of good goodish locations, depending, you know, how many stores might be nearby. Um, parking is really important.

We touched on that earlier. Yeah. Um, so it, it, it, I see the frustration of, of, um, owners who open a store and then six months down the road opens up across the street, you know, it’s tough for people. Um, and, and I wish they had put a little bit of like restrictions on, on proximity, um, early on in the industry, but that’s not the case.

So we gotta work with what we got. And I do think location is really important. I mean, like you see Toronto, right? There’s just like so many places opening up and almost at the same rate. So many places closing, right. Even the noble ones, it’s like, wow, you know, all these places are closing. It’s like I do somebody ask me this question.

And they’re like, Hey, what do you think is gonna go on in the market? I’m like, look, everyone’s gonna think it’s a gold rush. You know, everyone’s gonna build this, my entries or whatever it is, and then not everyone can compete for whatever reason. And then everyone’s gonna go down, then it’s gonna have some sort of leveling off period.

So you’re right. You know, if maybe if they thought about that proximity thing a little bit better. I know in Toronto there’s I forgot the names. There’s two dispensaries, right. Beside each other, you know, had a buddy of mine that just like lived, you know, right by it. And I was like, this is the dumbest thing.

Why are there too? And then, you know, three months later, one of them shot down. I was like, well, you know, that’s obvious, right? Like what do you expect? So, um, that’s, that’s, that’s kind of the market right now. So I guess on that level, what would you guys say, um, would make, you know, aside from product selection and curation, um, a dispensary stand out from the rest? Like what, what, what would be, you know, if it’s one thing, if it’s a couple things, what are you seeing in the marketplace right now that you’re like, damn, those guys are doing it really, really good.

Um, or, you know, these guys are not doing so well. I think one thing, one area where I see a difference is when the owners are also the operators. I think when the owners are more involved in day to day operations, I, I see better results. Mm-hmm you think that’s just because of the, like, they care about the business maybe a little bit more, perhaps make this more control within maybe I’m, I’m not too sure myself.

Um, but I, when I see owners more involved, I, I see better results. Mm-hmm , you know, they have more to lose than a manager. Oh, you’re right. You’re right. Yeah. And with like, you know, of the stores that I’m at my brother-in-law, we all work three to four days a week and there’s three of us, right? Yes.

So we’re covering like all of that day shift. Um, I’m also finding stores that curate to their customers more in the sense of, You know, from nine o’clock from open until two or three in the afternoon, 90% of our customers are, are an older generation they’re, you know, in their fifties and sixties and stuff.

So like, I don’t have, uh, like gangster wrap on from nine till two o’clock, you know, like we, we have like K FM or the, the classic rock channel or whatever. And we really try, we try to cater to our audience in the way that like, you know, Suzanne might not like Drake at 10:00 AM, you know? So , and that’s a good example.

There’s been worse. Like, you know, back in, back in the black market days, like they would be offering like a trap house, you know, just black windows, you know? No, no, just like loud music. Yeah. Thursday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights. Like after 7:00 PM, I don’t care. You can listen to what you want to, as long as it’s censored, like, I don’t want any racial slurs or anything in music going on in the stores.

Yeah. But I really do find if you’re catering to the environment. Yeah. It makes, it makes a big difference. Like if, if your, you know, store has a crazy theme in some way that doesn’t make somebody like a grandma comfortable to come and buy her CBD, she’s gonna go somewhere else, you know? Yeah. Yeah. No, you’re, you’re completely right.

Like I did a, like a webinar earlier and it was breaking down how different buyer demo graphics buy. Like if it’s a baby boomer, gen X, gen Z, you know, that sort of thing. And you know, there’s different kind of studies on how those specific types of people purchase. And again, males and females, they also purchase differently the different types of products that they purchase.

Right. So it’s about you’re, you’re exactly right. Like curating the specific value to who, whoever wants to buy the thing. Right. Yeah. Um, and I think that that falls under the, the loyalty aspect, right. That buyer experience. Right. You know, when somebody comes into your store, it’s not just about receiving the product, it’s about them having a truly good experience and not in the sense, Hey, the store’s really, really nice come in, in, get your product and leave.

It’s like, are they comfortable in this space? Right? You know, do the bud tenderers know your name, that, that sort of thing. And I think that really, really goes a long way in terms of how do dispensaries again, set themselves away from each other. So I’m, I’m happy to hear that you, you know, you mentioned that, that there are different demographics, not just a bunch of you, young people looking to purchase some weed.

Right. um, so I think, you know, I think we covered a lot, um, you know, I don’t really have too much else in terms of talking about, you know, kind of your guys experience in this space. I think we, you know, cover that quite extensively. Um, but some of the things I guess, you know, to touch back on the flower power consulting stuff, what I always like to do is just kind of ask like, you know, what else is down the pipeline for you? And I guess for both of you, right? You know, opening up more stores, are you planning on coming a, a massive agency hiring a bunch of people? Like, what does the next, the next five years to 10 years look like for both of you? Cuz we know what the prior, you know, 10 ish years look like, so, you know, move moving forward.

What, what are you, what are you trying to achieve? Um, yeah. Flower power has some plans that I’m not, um, oh, it’s a secret the Liberty for dealing at this moment. OK. I apologize. I apologize. Didn’t mean to step on any toes no, no, not you’re not at all. Yeah. I’m, I’m definitely in, um, development age behind the scenes for a few new projects, so nice, nice I’ll podcast episode too.

Or follow up frankly. And Brittany, what about you? Uh, so hard to say it’s uh, the one thing I will say about the cannabis industry is it’s completely unpredictable. It’s a little bit more predictable now in the legal days. I’m I’m so, I mean like I don’t have as much PTSD about what tomorrow’s gonna bring kind of thing.

Yes, yes. the security and stability. Yeah. I don’t have like cops kicking in my doors and stuff, so, uh it’s. I I’m, I’m hoping to still be here, you know, like I eventually, I I’m, we’re expanding still. I know when enough enough is because I’m tired already. Yeah. From just being all over the place all the time.

But alls I hope is that, you know, my future and the store’s futures and my family’s futures are all taken care of. I, I would love for my nieces and nephews to be able to run the store one day and my daughter to be able to run the store family run business. Right. It’s what we fought for, you know? Yeah. So like I wanted, I wanted to create an industry for my daughter for life.

So if that’s, if I’m still here and I know I’m gonna be doing lots of other cool stuff that I also can’t disclose, but it’s definitely gonna be in a podcast a couple years down the road. I think. So when you, uh, when you have that set up and, you know, have your book launch and you’re speaking on stage again, just remember this and just be like, Hey, you know, let’s hop on a podcast and we can share the together.

I would love to. I’m love, I love to talk, engage and share. So anytime this is awesome in speaking of, um, speaking on stage, Brittany will be speaking at Tempest. Oh yeah. Okay. Yeah. All right. You know, tell us about that. When is it, where are you gonna be? What are you talking about? Uh, I believe the dates are may nine to 11.

Don’t quote me I’m I’m still like working out my, the details and stuff to speak, but, uh, may nine may nine to 11. I’m gonna be doing from legacy to legal kind of conversations where I see the market at, where I see it, where it’s going, what I would like to change, like how I’m gonna still remain in my activism route and fight for kids to be allowed in stores and limit limits to be lifted because why can I buy 15 is a vodka, but only an ounce of marijuana.

Right. You know, there’s, there’s lots of room for improvement. So it’s basically about like what, what I did, what I’m doing and what I’m going to do. Awesome. Awesome. And second to last question. Any additional nuggets of wisdom for, uh, any dispensary owners out there? Just anything of value that you can provide to them? Yeah.

If you need, you can call me. keep going. Keep going. Flower, power consulting.ca nice. Well, that was the next question. Where can people find you flower power consulting.ca and, uh, Brittany, what about you? Uh, I wish you the best of luck and if you need help, call me me up Brent cannabis, but I am available through flower power consulting, uh, to help you unload product, if you need help with the curating Brandon disorders for people, if they need it.

So, um, product knowledge, people, product knowledge, please, please, please, please Leafly your friend mm-hmm study, study study. If you don’t know, you need to know and I wish you luck. Awesome. Awesome. Well, look, this was really, really awesome. Appreciated this chat, you know, thanks for being so transparent as well.

I mean, I know a lot of, a lot of people wouldn’t be like that. So, you know, thanks for sharing both of your stories and you know, I think that’s about it for us. Thanks friends. It’s been fun. All right. Thanks guys.

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Brandon Quan

About The Author: A digital marketer with over 7 years of experience, Brandon Quan is wildly known as the top marketing expert within the Cannabis Industry.

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In this episode, Tony Birch, Founder of Broadway Cannabis, joins us and provides insight on his personal experiences while facing the challenges of the cannabis industry. By diving into the origin story of his dispensary, we were able to go over multiple strategies and methods that aided Tony in his success as a dispensary owner.

I hope you enjoyed this interview and can take something valuable from it!

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