Innovation + Cannabis

Published on
May 4, 2018

I am very pleased to introduce you to my independent consulting practice.

I believe that technological innovation can make the world a better place by making food, shelter, health, safety, education, connection, creativity, and intellectual pursuits more available.

But thought leadership and vision are just the beginning of technological innovation. How we work directly impacts the success of innovations. Whether in a startup or an established company, true innovations need a runway to experiment and learn how to translate vision into reality and have to show progress against milestones within that runway.

Teams that do not experiment and learn fast enough will only have one chance to build the right product before they run out of initial runway. If they are lucky, they might secure enough budget to continue trying to get it right; but unless they accelerate their experimentation cycle time, they will spend 2x or more to get to market and may lose the timing advantage that their initial thought leadership might have provided.

I specialize in helping innovative technology companies accelerate growth and become impactful businesses. I follow an integrative approach to optimize the flow of business vision to market value, from product strategy to design, engineering, and operations; and I've structured my services to scale from unfunded startups to established corporations.

So what does cannabis have to do with innovation or consulting?

According to a 2018 report by Arcview Market Research,  by 2021, the legal cannabis industry will "generate $39.6 billion in overall economic impact, 414.000 jobs, and more than $4 billion in tax receipts." In fact, legal cannabis for medical and adult recreational use will be one of the fastest growing industries of our lifetime, growing at almost 30% per year, and providing an incredible environment for technological innovation and social benefit.

For instance, cannabis can provide a practical means to treat health conditions like PTSD, seizures, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and addiction; to relieve chemotherapy-induced symptoms; and to fight the opioid epidemic. Many of these benefits come from CBD, which has no psychoactive affects. But don't take my word for it; here is an open letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions from Dr. Sanjay Gupta that makes a strong case for the decriminalization of cannabis for medical use.

As a recreational product, cannabis is 114 times less deadly than alcohol, according to this 2015 study by the NIH, and legalization has been shown to reduce violent crimes like drug related homicides by 41%.

Legalization of cannabis will also combat decades of social injustice from racially biased enforcement of drug laws, which Human Rights Watch declared racial discrimination under international law. In the United States, black adults are arrested for cannabis possession at nearly four times the rate as white adults, despite equal use across races.

Finally, all of this economic growth, in an industry where stigma and legal murkiness are still keeping many large corporations and traditional startup investors from participating fully, is providing a window of opportunity to level the playing field for women and minorities to be founders and investors.

With tremendous economic growth comes the opportunity for technological innovation. Ancillary cannabis companies develop technology, life sciences, financial, and media solutions for operators and consumers in the industry but do not directly "touch the plant." Due to the rapidly changing legal and competitive landscape, these innovators need to experiment and learn even faster than typical startups.

I am very excited to be working with some amazing cannabis, health, finance, advertising, robotics, agriculture, and media companies, helping them innovate by optimizing how they experiment and learn!

I provide advisory and consulting services that accelerate your growth by streamlining strategy, marketing, sales, design, engineering, and operations.