Breaking into the Bud Biz: Q&A with Adam Knapp, president and founder at Superior Cannabis Consultants
June 5, 2017
Rocky Mountain Marijuana Magazine: How did you first get involved in the marijuana industry?
Adam Knapp: In 2009, my brother and I started Good Meds located in Denver with a meager $10,000 investment, and today we operate in a state-of-the-art 60,000-square-foot grow facility with a cutting-edge extraction laboratory. We have two medical dispensaries in the Denver area to supply our patients with their much-needed meds, as well as a separate dispensary in Michigan. Currently, we are seeing record sales and have established a reputable name for ourselves. After working in the industry for several years, I feel like I saw more money being lost than being made, which is what led me to start my own consulting company, Superior Cannabis Consultants, in 2015.
RMMJ: How fast does the industry change and how do you stay nimble?
AK: The industry changes so fast that it is scary, so it's very important to be open, flexible, have the right connections and have the right information. That way we are able to forecast changes in the industry so we can always be one step ahead of the game. With the majority of my professional career in the marijuana industry, I know it is critical to have the right know-how and have the right people in your corner in order to succeed.
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RMMJ: What direction do you see the marijuana industry going, and where do you see yourself in five years?
AK: Hopefully in five years I'll be on a sailboat with my wife! But all joking aside, concentrates have been a very exciting facet of the market and will continue to gain popularity here in Colorado as well as other regions of the country. Currently, I have been working with one of the most advanced super critical extraction machines on the planet — it's housed in a Class 1, Division 1 blast-proof chamber in a laboratory specifically designed for this purpose. This machine is incredibly powerful and relies on several different mechanical systems to operate. When done properly, it produces "liquid gold" that is incredibly potent and more flavorful than your typical strains of cannabis. And did I forget to mention that this stuff sells for up to $100 or more per gram here in Colorado? However, we deliver it at a fraction of that price. That's the kind of stuff that makes me incredibly excited, as well as optimistic, about the future of cannabis in America.
RMMJ: What are some of the common hurdles to breaking into the marijuana industry?
AK: Hurdles to enter the marijuana industry can be abundant. Two of the major things that pop into my head are: having a solid legal team to handle whatever gets thrown your way — from licensing to contractual disputes, it's important to have the right answers when you need them. Secondly, since marijuana is still federally illegal, banks cannot lend to marijuana businesses. That means marijuana companies need private investment capital, which is also something we deal with at Superior Cannabis Consultants, either lending in-house or connecting investors to entrepreneurs to start the dream.
RMMJ: Why is the design of a grow facility so important?
AK: In a marijuana business, the grow facility is the heart of the operation — and just like the heart of an athlete, the heart needs to be operating at peak performance to realize the most success on the backside. I have had the pleasure of designing several commercial warehouses and I can say without a doubt that our facility in Denver is one of the most advanced grow facilities around, and I attribute a lot of our success to the efficiency and performance I have designed into that space throughout the years.
RMMJ: Is it difficult to break into this industry? Why or why not?
AK: I think the biggest challenge people have is taking the plunge and actually making the first step into this wild new industry, but as far as a licensing is concerned, it can be difficult to obtain but definitely not impossible. Most of it depends on where you want to set up shop, so every case is different. And just because you want to work in marijuana doesn't mean you necessarily need to cultivate or sell it. There are tons of subsidiary cannabis business opportunities, which typically don't require a state license — just a good idea and the entrepreneurial spirit.
Superior Cannabis Consultants, http://www.superiorcannabisconsultants.com • 303-800-665