I’m talking about the business side of marijuana, not politics and activism, although I have seen a lot on that side too. Some of the stuff I have witnessed in the marijuana industry has come through personal investigation, some has come from observing things from afar and applying my decades of experience, and other times I am lucky enough to be entrusted with privileged information at the highest levels of the industry. While I never name names, I am always quick to point out the deficiencies of things in general.
One re-occurring thing that I see over and over in the marijuana industry is too much pride and too much ego. There is no doubt pride and ego in traditional business, but in the marijuana industry it is prevalent on a level that is unmatched. This is due to the culture that the marijuana industry has grown out of. I am a third generation marijuana industry insider. My dad was involved in the marijuana industry, as was my grandfather. I’m from Oregon, where that is not uncommon. I have personally seen where the marijuana industry has come from, which heavily revolved around an attitude of ‘my stuff is better than yours.’ It was standard to brag about how much better your weed was, how much cooler your bong was, etc.
This same attitude has carried over into the emerging legal marijuana industry. I have seen extremely logical business decisions get killed because one person refused to bow to the fact that another person or business was better at a certain area or task, even though the decision would have been beneficial to everyone involved. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone from the marijuana industry say ‘I can do that better’ or ‘I think that person/company is overrated’ I would have enough money to not have to work in a cubicle during the week.
Business decisions (marijuana industry or otherwise) should be made by looking at math and history and then applying logic. Unfortunately, most business decisions are made in the marijuana industry based upon pride, ego, and emotion. It is hindering the marijuana industry from reaching it’s full potential, while at the same time providing a prime opportunity for corporate outsiders to infiltrate and take over the marijuana industry. People from outside of the marijuana industry don’t have the baggage that many marijuana industry insiders have. They are spotting the holes and hangups, and stepping in to fill in the gaps as we speak. I love that the marijuana industry is a cottage industry, and I fear that it will be lost as time goes by, and that the people that have fought so hard to make the marijuana industry legal will not benefit when all is said and done.
Are you involved in the marijuana industry? Have you seen pride and ego get in the way of business decisions? Are you a marijuana industry outsider trying to get in, and see what I am talking about? Do you think I’m completely off base and want to elaborate? Please leave your comments below!