How Steve DeAngelo built a legal cannabis empire

This episode is with Steve DeAngelo – cannabis entrepreneur, activist, author, and on-screen personality. He’s the co-founder of Harborside, one of the first six dispensaries licensed in the US and now listed on the Canadian stock exchange; Steep Hill Laboratory, the first dedicated cannabis lab; the Arc View Group, the first cannabis investment firm; and the National Cannabis Industry Association, the industry’s first trade association. And in 2015 he was dubbed “the father of the legal cannabis industry”. In this episode we talk about the legal cannabis industry – how it started, the challenges of growing a business in this industry, and where it’s going next.

LINKS

You’re listening to The Growth Manifesto Podcast, a Zoom video series brought to you by Webprofits – a digital growth consultancy that helps global and national businesses attract, acquire, and retain customers through digital marketing.

Hosted by Alex Cleanthous.

SHOW NOTES

  • 00:01:03 Steven DeAngelo’s introduction to the Growth Manifesto Podcast
  • 00:02:27 What are some of the biggest misconceptions around cannabis?
  • 00:03:48 Why was cannabis made illegal?
  • 00:05:40 Why is cannabis being legalized now?
  • 00:07:53 What was the catalyst for cannabis to go from mainly medical purposes to now being sold in retail?
  • 00:11:02 What was it like starting a cannabis-related business at the beginning when people were only starting to open up to it being legalized?
  • 00:13:08 How did you promote the business at the beginning?
  • 00:14:30 What was the process of getting your business publicly listed at the Canadian Stock Exchange?
  • 00:17:30 Steven talks about the overtaxation and overregulation in California that nearly crippled the cannabis industry
  • 00:19:47 How do some cannabis companies get such a big valuation on the public markets?
  • 00:21:04 How the legalization of the cannabis industry is more favorable to bigger companies rather than the general entrepreneur
  • 00:23:14 How Steven persisted through seemingly insurmountable challenges in the past 2 to 3 decades in the cannabis industry
  • 00:24:31 Besides the manufacturing and the dispensaries, were there other types of cannabis-related businesses that were successful when it became for-profit in 2019?
  • 00:28:15 Is it true that it’s hard to break into the cannabis industry right now?
  • 00:30:39 What is the estimated size of the cannabis market on both the legal and illegal side?
  • 00:33:09 What do you think it takes for cannabis to become legal in Australia?
  • 00:35:35 What would you advise entrepreneurs in Australia preparing for the legal reform with regards to cannabis
  • 00:37:06 Where Steven sees the cannabis industry going next
  • 00:39:15 What’s the message that you’re trying to get out there about cannabis?
  • 00:40:40 Steven tells us about “The Cannabis Manifesto” and “The Cannabis Renaissance”
  • 00:43:48 Steven talks about the “Last Prisoner Project” and how he’s approaching this challenge
  • 00:47:37 How do people support the “Last Prisoner Project”?

Adrian Clark

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