On this episode of the Kaya Cast Podcast, we're sitting down with Krysta Jones from THC Girls, a prominent figure in the cannabis industry, for an insightful discussion on growing and scaling cannabis businesses.
During our conversation, Krysta shares her strategies for staying lean and not overextending herself, the power of community and reputation in fostering success, and the significance of choosing the right products. She also emphasizes on the importance of having a concrete business plan inclusive of a budget, passion and the right location.
Krysta candidly talks about the common misconceptions many newcomers have about the industry and highlights the pitfalls of jumping in without a strong understanding of the dynamics of the cannabis space.
Beyond business strategies, Krysta discusses the vital aspects of building a community in the cannabis retail sector, from the influence of bud tenders for driving the brands and products to the need for staying connected and minimizing industry exhaustion.
Don’t miss this engaging episode full of industry insight and actionable advice! Tune in to gain from Krysta's experiences and insights in the cannabis community.
A visionary Entrepreneur with over a decade of Commercial Cannabis experience in multiple markets across the nation.
Krysta is responsible for injecting creativity and innovation in all areas of the Cannabis space. From Cultivation to marketing and branding, her hard work has been recognized by many publications such as Respect my Region, Marijuana Venture, and many more. Krysta was also recognized in Yahoos finest for Top 20 Women in Business. Her work ethics are equally matched with her master’s abilities to cultivate quality in both agriculture and in business.
When Krysta isn’t busy creating businesses from the ground up or implementing strategies to make them successful, she is working on building her in house team of THC GIRLS to help build and guide individually and alongside them.
Find out more about THC Girls at:
Tom Mulhern: Welcome back to the Kaya Cast podcast. I'm your host, Tom Mulhern. And today I have a fascinating conversation with Krysta Jones from The high Country Girls or THC Girls and The Highly Connected App.
Today, we're talking all about community and the importance of community in the cannabis industry. And if you're working in the industry, if you have a dispensary or you have an ancillary business, you know how important having the right connections to. Cultivators to retail operations to brands is it's all about fostering that community. And so Krysta and I talk about the importance of fostering that community, as well as the challenges of building those connections and really how having those connections and seizing those opportunities allows your business to grow and thrive and scale. And so I hope you enjoy this conversation with Krysta Jones of THC Girls.
Tom Mulhern: Krysta Jones is a visionary entrepreneur with over a decade of commercial cannabis experience in multiple markets across the nation. Krysta is responsible for injecting creativity and innovation in all areas of the cannabis space, from cultivation to marketing and branding.
Her hard work has been recognized by many publications. Such as RespectMyRegion, love that guy, love that whole crew there, MarijuanaVenture, and many more. Her work ethics are equally matched with her master's ability to cultivate quality in both agriculture and business. So Krysta, welcome to the Kaya Cast podcast. It's amazing to have you on here, calling in from Miami.
Krysta Jones: Yes, Tom, thank you so, so much. I am honored to be here.
Tom Mulhern: You know what, it's, it's an honor to have you here. AndWhat's your background and how did you get started in the cannabis industry?
Krysta Jones: Really early out of high school, I jumped into the industry. And at first somebody had just given me a call and said, Hey, do you want to help me do some indoor gardening? and then he explained to me, you know, they were growing.
So I had a personal relationship with a couple people that were caregivers in the early stages of legalization in Colorado.
Tom Mulhern: You kind of have a background in cultivation. How has that, you know, influenced your current role and what you're doing today?
Krysta Jones: A lot of disconnection happens in the industry between cultivators consumers, investors, and people running the business. So I feel that the cultivation background, it just plays a huge role in understanding the market, understanding the culture of the industry, because there is a huge culture that lies within the, you know, the legacy of the product.
Tom Mulhern: And what about that connection between retail, like dispensaries and cultivators? Because I know some of the smaller retail dispensaries, they have to go to the black market or the grey market to get their product. So, how can retailers build a stronger connection with those cultivators?
Krysta Jones: Definitely, I think that's actually the most important thing, right, is really becoming vertical or becoming a partner with somebody that has the assets you need, right? That creates a way for the retail space and the cultivator to have a relationship that the product that's being provided is the product that's desired.
And that really provides a way for success, you know, when, when the opportunity is there for that. But building a community, right, and supporting each other's ambition and goals, I think that also creates a huge importance in the space as well, because if I have your best interests, and you have my best interests, we can really produce something great, right?
And that's, you know, what really can come out of a retail space, because it can't just come out of cultivation.
Tom Mulhern: You've said community a few times and community is so key to everything you do. So, can you share a bit about the concept behind THC Girls and, you know, the Highly Connected app and how does that kind of facilitate that community between cannabis retailers?
Krysta Jones: I really do believe the community is very important in that it is a driver for the marketplace. Even the bud tenders, they're driving the brands, they're recommending the products, they're familiar with the products more than likely, they're probably best familiar with them, so.
It really is important as we're creating a space that we stay connected, and that's why I created the Highly Connected app, is really a place that we can ping pong and provide resources together promote products and opportunities together, and that makes a really steady flow for all of us to consolidate our efforts and, you know, advance really quickly.
Tom Mulhern: What other obstacles have you seen that are in the way of fostering kind of that community and facilitating networking within the cannabis industry because you got to know the right people, you got to know the right brands or whoever.
So what are some of the other obstacles that you've encountered?
Krysta Jones: There's a lot of people jumping into the space that have a lot of money and don't know what to do with it. They exhaust it, it throws off the industry because you have this impression that, you know, this is what works. And it's really a facade it's not really true to what's happening in the space.
So it's really misleading, especially to people outside of the space looking to get in. One of the biggest things that I think is hurtful to the industry. Again it leads back to the community is just, coordinating you know the opportunities and the things that are going on. A lot of people are trying to do the exact same thing where again if we put our energy and efforts into the same direction, we can move very fast.
Tom Mulhern: What's your favorite part about being in this cannabis community? Like this is your job, Krysta, that you get to work in cannabis and connect businesses and retailers and brands and all this thing. So what is your favorite part of that?
Krysta Jones: There's a lot of different favorite parts. I feel like there's a lot of good things that come with the space. There's a lot of things that are hard, obviously. But my most favorite I definitely say is just being able to be me and that, that actually creates my brand to thrive. It's been a tough pivot to say, let me be me, but also let me be professional and let me get respect, but also let me be fun. And it's a tough, it's a tough ride, but I, I appreciate that as I continue to build in the cannabis space, it's more respected and recognized.
I do think that there's a place for everybody, and it's a very accepting space.
Tom Mulhern: People obviously have accepted who you are and just love what you're doing. Cause you've got a community. I'd love to kind of pivot here and talk about automation and optimization because, everybody's trying to figure out the best way to optimize their business.
So how can business owners optimize their business through automation? Like that's one of the things you guys provide.
Krysta Jones: There's a lot of ways to do it, and there's a point in time where there's an optimal time to actually do it, right? And so with the THC Girls, we've really been able to watch a lot of operations from start to finish. Myself included, Sanja Ganju, who I work with really strongly a lot of the people on the team, you know, we've, we've seen a lot in multiple markets now.
And so being able to fine tune what's really necessary and what's really just the bells and whistles has been a great process for us to learn. And being so young in the space, we got to learn it firsthand from a lot of people instead of it being our personal project, fortunately.
Very early on I really took into the cultivation side and being able to automate and really optimize those processes. People are missing out on a full harvest throughout the year and that directly reflects into the retail side, right? And the ecosystem, the lights, everything. So it's super important and just being able to see those little small tweaks has been a great situation for us.
Tom Mulhern: I know you guys also help with business plans. So what would you say are the three most important things to include in a sustainable business plan?
Krysta Jones: I think the biggest thing for a dispensary or a cultivation is first off the budget, right? A lot of people just want to get into the space just to get into the space.
First and foremost, budget. Second of all, passion. So if your passion isn't to go talk to people every day in a retail store to make patients or people feel better, you know, that might not be your best game plan.
I would say third location. Location is everything. The timing of the market you could jump into certain markets right now and it will be horrible. You could jump into certain markets and open a retail store and be very, very successful. So, I think that those are the top three things when creating the strategy for sure.
Tom Mulhern: Now what about for a cannabis business owner that's looking to scale to multiple locations? What advice would you give to that person? That's like, it's time to grow. It's time to scale.
Krysta Jones: If you are ready to grow and ready to scale, it's really looking to see what the finish goal is in the timeline.
Right? And so really knowing your end goal, that would honestly be talked about too in the business plan originally.
You know, so talking about those kind of things would be very, very important.
Tom Mulhern: A lot of people like over exhaust themselves very quickly. They grow too fast and people that I see that are being successful are managing their operation and reinvesting and growing with the right people.
Krysta Jones: A lot of people are just throwing everybody together and seeing if it works and it doesn't.
You've got to be deliberate with building that team. So what sort of strategies could a business owner do to find the right people for their team? Definitely I think that being transparent and having clarity within their vision and their communications as they're doing outreach to connect with people is huge. I talk with a lot of people every day andthey feed me these big, big, big, big dreams and I'm like, okay, well, where are we at?
How quick? Are you ready to move? I say that this industry is not a quick flip.
There's other things for that. This is a long, long game. And so, you know, that's one of the biggest things I'd say.
Tom Mulhern: Now, looking at the long, long game, how do you see the cannabis industry evolving over the next five years or so?
Krysta Jones: Shoot, over the next five years, I think it's gonna be kind of scary. I think that a lot of people are suffering in this space. I know a lot of people are getting out of it. I know a lot of people still getting in.
As legalization and things are changing, people are putting different pressures on different areas and it's still a scary situation that it can all be gone, right?
And I think that within five years the people that stuck with it and that, you know weathered the storm they will be successful and but I don't think it's only five years. You know, I think another five, ten, twenty even before those things happen.
Tom Mulhern: What do you see as the biggest opportunities for growth in the cannabis industry? What are those areas of growth, those bright spots that you're seeing as you're connecting with people?
Krysta Jones: I think having the right network is the right spot and Because it enables you to have so much access so much opportunity. And having the network that you can count on is huge because a lot of people drop the ball, you know, and it, it, it costs. You, you lose a harvest, you have to, you know, you mislabel some stuff in the retail space.
That's a lot of money that you're missing out on. And so those, those hurdles and having the right network to avoid them is super, super, super important. I
Tom Mulhern: Now, one last question. What is one tip that you would have for a cannabis business owner to launch, scale, or grow their business?
Krysta Jones: Just do it. Just do it. Just keep it going. Stay very lean. Don't overextend yourself until you're ready. And just continue to knock some doors down and pick yourself up. And just keep trucking because eventually whoever can stick around will be the brands
that has that community, that reputation, they're going to be successful where you can just plug and play whatever you want in the future.
Tom Mulhern: Krysta, if people want to connect with you and THC Girls and the Highly Connected app, how do they get connected to all the many amazing things that you're doing?
Krysta Jones: Yeah, you can find us at TheHighCountryGirls. com And, on Instagram as well, at the Highly Connected app. And then, you can find me at M T H R F K N J O N E S On IG.
Tom Mulhern: Well, Krysta, this has been amazing and I, I am so thankful for the time for you to be able to talk and share about what you're doing. And, you know, I hope we get the chance to connect more in the future.
Krysta Jones: Yes, definitely. I really appreciate the
Tom Mulhern: I want to thank Krysta again for sharing her insights and sharing about the highly connected app. If you haven't gone and checked it out, make sure you go check out the app, subscribe to the app. It's really an opportunity for people to connect within the industry.
You know, I loved her insights into finding the right people for your team. It's all about finding the right people that will fit your community, your culture, your values. And so again, thank you so much, Krysta, for taking the time to share some of your insights and even. The future, the challenges, but the exciting things that our head for the cannabis industry.
I also want to thank you for listening to the podcast and subscribing to the podcast. It means so much to us that we have people listening to this every single week. And so if you're a loyal subscriber, I'm throwing some props out to you as well, because you're amazing. So stay tuned to the Kaya Cast podcast for more interviews, just like this.