Proactive Strategies to Grow Your Dispensary with Mike Wilson (GreenSpacePro)

Episode Description

In this enlightening episode of the Kaya Cast Podcast, we dive deep into the strategies and practices of successful cannabis businesses with Mike Wilson, CEO of Temeka Group and GreenSpacePro. Mike believes that success in the cannabis industry doesn't come easy. It relies on hard work, an impeccable work ethic, and business discretion.

One of the key challenges that Mike identifies is managing multi-location businesses before a system comes into place, sharing that many businesses are reactionary rather than proactive. He discusses the critical importance of implementing best practices and reducing the typical chaos that ensues when audits are imminent.

In a sector where staff turnover can lead to valuable insights walking out of the door, Mike stresses the importance of safeguarding institutional knowledge within the business. His advice? Move away from static spreadsheets on individual drives and laptops, and move all information into a central system that offers control and consistency.

As New York is a hotbed of growth and opportunity for the cannabis industry, Mike provides invaluable advice for those looking to open a dispensary there. The key to success, according to Mike, lies in understanding your budget realistically, reverse engineering performance expectations, and doing thorough homework before making any decisions.

Exploring promising areas for growth in cannabis, Mike mentions the possible impacts of acts like the Safe Banking Act and descheduling, which could potentially provide access to much-needed capital. He also expresses excitement about developments in Minnesota and the hope for sound regulatory frameworks that support a successful program.

Finally, Mike shares his number one tip for dispensaries looking to launch, grow or scale - having a clear line of sight and a repeatable system that is not dependent on personnel. As always, accountability is key.

Mike Wilson is the founder and CEO of GreenSpacePro, a cannabis business platform designed to bring together business professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors in the cannabis industry. Mike is an experienced entrepreneur, having started and sold several businesses in the past, as well as developed a successful real estate portfolio as Founder and President of Temeka Group. He is an expert in the business of cannabis, and is passionate about helping the industry grow.

Find out more about GreenSpacePro at:

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Episode Transcript

Welcome back to the Kaya Cast podcast. And today I have a returning guest. I have Mike Wilson, the CEO of Temeka group and GreenSpacePro Mike was one of my first guests that I had on the podcast. And so we reconnected after a year. Uh, just kind of check in and see what's happening at green space because they've got a V2 of their software coming out soon. And if you haven't checked out, greenspace, it's an amazing, amazing project management solution for cannabis. Dispensary's. We've had a bunch of people from their company on our podcast. And so it's so cool to have Mike here talking about, you know, implementing some of those best practices , safeguarding the future growth of your business and also his work in New York.

Temeka group and GreenSpacePro and Mike they're so intimately involved in the growth that's happening in New York. So I got his perspective on what's happening in New York. And we know that there's the injunction that's happening there and it's slowing things down, but it's still such an exciting market. So I really hope you enjoy this conversation with Mike Wilson from GreenSpacePro.

Tom Mulhern: Mike Wilson is the founder and CEO of , a cannabis business platform designed to bring together business professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors in the cannabis industry.

Mike is an experienced entrepreneur, having started and sold several businesses in the past. As well as developed a successful real estate portfolio as the founder and president of Temeka Group. So Mike, welcome to the Kaya Cast podcast.

Dude, it's been a year since you were on here last year, one of my first guests. So I just want to jump in and say, welcome back.

Mike Wilson: My pleasure, man. I appreciate you coming back and a lot of stuff has transpired in a year, compared to where we were a year ago today, man. It's pretty amazing.

Tom Mulhern: Well, I want to start there. What would you say is your biggest win from the past year?

Mike Wilson: You know, I think for us, you know, the Temeca brand and the Greenspace brand is, you know, for Temeca, it's, it's growing the relationships that I've done. I felt very strongly about the relationship we've had with obviously KayaPush and all our other suppliers and stuff.

And then secondarily as a customer base, you know, we've been very, very fortunate and expanding and growing our brand in different states as it legalizes. I think we're creeping, I, we lose track of how many stores. I think it's over 500 now, but it's insane. The amount of stores we've done. And then lastly is the biggest thing is New York.

I mean, I'm so pumped and excited about New York and what they're doing, you know, with regards to the DASNY and, for the state to be putting up money and building these stores.You know, it's a different model that's been not been done before, and I'm really excited about that and what it does for the social equity applicants.

Tom Mulhern: Give me the kind of the one minute elevator pitch of how helps cannabis businesses?

How do you guys help those, those dispensaries, have one single place for all their communications?

Mike Wilson: So at the end of the day, ours is a location based system. A lot of people are trying to use Smartsheets, Excel, Asana, Monday, and what we realized is there needed to be a location based system. So first and foremost, aggregation of data, your license, your leases, anything that's a renewal type piece, you can attach it to your location and put set dates on when they renew.

Is it annually? Is it five years down the road a lease is going to be done? I can't even tell you how many people get auto renew on their lease just because they weren't aware of when it gets renewed because once again, you've got so many moving objects in cannabis and it's not the easiest thing to manage.

You know, when I first got in this space, I'm like, how do you not know who the license, who owns it? But you start thinking about all these different LLC structures and never all these different things that in point of context and who owns the property?

So that was one of the biggest points why we saw the necessity to have a, uh, location based system. And then once again, is because of our background, we could put SOPs in place for construction. Obviously got HR, like from KayaPush, different, you know, best protocols and put some templates in there to set these people up for best practices.

Tom Mulhern: Do you find that a lot of multiple locations people, how are they managing that before, before a system came in? Like, I bet that was a challenge.

Mike Wilson: Reactionary. To be honest, everything that I've ever dealt with in the space mainly is reactionary, because, trying to be proactive sometimes as we've got so many things going on, it's challenging, and what system do you do to do that? So that's why we created this, and what I would say is, you know, I'd hear, oh, we've got an audit coming, you know, and everyone's throwing, the ambulances are going off, the sirens are going off, send the crew up to that location, let's make sure it's tidy.

Why not just put the best practices in place?

Tom Mulhern: So many businesses are reactionary and that's where you're going to fail when you're reacting and reacting and reacting. So how important are some of these SOPs and knowledge shares and how does GreenSpace kind of help provide that?

We have a library of templates, you know, construction, compliance, HR, all the different POS companies that we deal with, they've got their training manuals in there. So it's kind of a platform that you've got this, you know, go to a one source place to go to, to get all this aggregated data.

Mike Wilson: Because then it's a one true source, you know, they could go to see all these templates and and have this library of content from all these different providers that have thankfully been able to participate and input into our system.

Tom Mulhern: A big issue in the industry is turnover. How can dispensaries safeguard that institutional knowledge when a employee leaves a position? So say there's a bud tender that knows all about whatever a certain product or an inventory manager.

How do you pass on that institutional knowledge when somebody does leave?

Mike Wilson: The problem we see all the time and time again is personnel leaves, the IP goes with them. And that's where if you put it in here, it stays within the organization and stays there.

I see that with people working on consultant base and stuff like that is, you know, they're working with a client and all of a sudden they're gone. It's like, where did it all go? We have no idea where we're at.

And then governments and in different institutions as they're working along, somebody goes to leave for another city because they legalized, well they go, but guess what, all that IP, four years into that person, walks right out the door and goes out to another city, and their benefit, they're benefited, not the city that put all that money and lost that ROI of investment they put into it.

Tom Mulhern: How can a business owner kind of safeguard against that happening? I mean, obviously at the end of the day, you, if someone's going to leave, they're going to take that IP with them, but are there certain tactics that a dispensary owner can put in place before that happens to safeguard their future?

Mike Wilson: Stop using, you know, static spreadsheets that are out and about that's within their, their drive or in their laptop. You know, once again, if you put everything into the space, it stays there and they control it versus having these things outside of the system, you know, that, that's just, you know, unfortunately.

It goes away, it walks away, or even once again is, you know, I can't even tell you how many static spreadsheets are out there and if they're not updated and kept up, it's very hard. What's nice about ours is like some of the templates, you change a date, it notifies all your team members. So in real time construction schedules or whatever it might be, as you change, it gets notification.

You know, when you're talking about 40, 50 projects, even two projects, trying to make sure you keep up a schedule and maintain them and tell everybody, it's hard because you said, okay, who do I need to tell?

You've got so many moving parts of opening a business on top of, you know, opening a normal business is fine, but opening a cannabis, there's so much regulation, there's so much unknowns and stuff.

So that way you could kind of put your timing in there and go through and not overthink and, or forget about something, one of those steps, and you can put it on there. So that's what we're kind of excited about having some of the templates and, and sort of the notification process. So you go through there, you're not caught, you know, like you say, opening a store going, Oh my gosh, I got half the staff.

Oh, you know, I got to put in a lot of hours. I guess I'm sleeping at the store cause I'm never going to be able to leave.

Tom Mulhern: I know that you have been super involved in what's happening in New York. So I'd love to kind of get some of your insights into what's happening in New York and start with what do you see as the biggest opportunity in New York for dispensary owners?

Mike Wilson: I just love it, I just love the excitement and enthusiasm, and I also talk to them about, you know, hey, It just doesn't come easy guys.

You got to work hard. You got toput the time in, you got to hustle and do what you got to do. And it's  your work ethic and discretion and what you do, how you do business that's going to set the success of what you do. So I'm excited. And like I say, I just love being around these guys and the enthusiasm.

It's just super cool and fun to, you know, share stories of you know, the Stiizys and all these other ones, legacy brands that we've worked with and see them growing from, you know, zero stores up to where they're at today as one of the largest brands in the United States. So it's kind of cool sharing the stories and how that journey went.

Tom Mulhern: What advice would you give to someone that's opening a dispensary in New York for that in store experience to kind of make it unique, to make it stand out from all of these other stores that are opening?

Mike Wilson: Site selection is a big deal right now. And there's some challenges with that because. They've given away so many licenses now. It's kind of hard getting locations.It's kind of a bummer because there's so many people out there getting locations and, you know, kind of eating each other in a sense of what's happening.

So I kind of feel bad with that. Knowing a budget and knowing the reality of what your store is going to perform and do having that, you know, reverse engineer into. I think I could do this X a day and, just doing your homework.  What I hate to see is someone just you know, emotionally makes a decision and gets in there and then they set their expectations so hard, they're paying a massive rent and just the stress to cover that nut, you know, I I like to have eyes all wide open, do the due diligence, ask the questions, do the homework and, and, and look at that.

And then obviously the site selection,

you got a bad mechanical and that landlord puts it on you and it's an $85,000 number to pay for, that's something, you know, ouch, that hurts, you know, I mean, so trying to make sure that there's no surprises on them on the due diligence process of selecting properties and just doing a better job at that.

Now looking at the industry as a whole, what would you say are some of the most promising areas for growth in the cannabis industry? I think, you know, obviously the Safe Banking Act and descheduling, you know, that gets a lot of access for money and just get some of these hardships and stuff, 280E and things. I think that's a massive one that can help. Gives access to capital. It just, you know, it just opens up them things that are unfortunately hard to get at right now. But I think that to me is a massive one.

I was in Minnesota, which is kind of exciting, you know, getting in, in there early, talking to the regulators, talking to what's going on there and hoping to guide them to help them to set up some good regs to do a successful program. Doing it for as long as we have, we can show the good, the bad or indifferent or give options.

You know, these are the things that work and these are the different options of how you could do it. But there's just so many, you know, exciting times of where we're at right now, but the whole deschedulization, safe banking, you know, I think they're going to obviously deschedule, which would be a massive, massive, uplift for everybody.

Tom Mulhern: So I think just seeing some of these things that are just, you know, it takes time and, and, and get through this, but, um, I'm excited. I agree. I think there's, there's a lot of growth still left in the industry. I want to wrap it up with one, one last question. What is your number one tip for helping a dispensary launch, grow, or scale their business?

Mike Wilson: You know, I think having everything put together due to due diligence and trying to get something like GreenSpace that puts everything into a file cabinet organization, repeatable tasks, SOPs, and just having a really clear line of sight to organize and put everything out there. So it's repeatable and, and once again, not dependent on a person, you know, that you have all that IP in a system that's scalable and you know, our system works for one location or 200 locations.

It doesn't matter. But just something that has a repository that everything stays organized, consistent, detailed, and push along to all participants in your organization and external out of your organization, tightening that, that all up and holding people accountable.

Tom Mulhern: Can you share any exciting things that on the horizon for and then how can people connect with you guys or, you know, implement the system into their business?

Mike Wilson: Yeah, no, absolutely. You know, we got v2 just launched. So that was our, our sort of v1 was good, but it was just more of the, I would call minimal viable product. Now we have a really exciting product that, you know, we're launching and we're really like getting behind everybody and showing, and this is, this is to me, it's the real deal. It's the product.

I mean, we've been so blessed in Temeka getting deep into, you know, all the different operational parts of it. To share, to help that. And then also with other people like KayaPush and different people that we do work with to show that exposure of, of best practices, to help them and help everybody connect, I just, that's what I'm so, so grateful for everybody that we've been partners with and that we've been having the relationships with and the customer base to be so open and trusting to us, to show us that weakness or, or, or kryptonite that's happened in their company to expose it, you know, just so we can maybe mitigate, eliminate those problems from happening to somebody else.

Tom Mulhern: Mike, I am so grateful that you've taken this time to share about and Temeka and New York and everything. It's always great to reconnect.

Mike Wilson: Awesome. No, I love the time to you with Tom. And like I say, I can't believe a year has been here since we did this last. It seems like it, honestly, it just, it's time flies so, so fast and stuff. So once again, I really appreciate your time. Always an enjoyment to do this with you.

One of the most important things that I got from that interview was really leveraging those SOPs in that data and having it all in one place. Because having, you know, those important things in spreadsheets or Google documents or whatever, and they disappear, your dispensary is going to suffer.

GreenSpacePro offers such a great solution. They're partners of KayaPush we're so excited to be partners with a fellow tech organization that's doing amazing things like that. So, Again, I want to thank Mike.

It's always a pleasure to hang out with him and here the excitement behind some of the things he's doing, we didn't even get into the amazing things that Temeka Group is doing building, beautiful cannabis dispensary's if you want to find out more about, Tameka go check out my interview with him last year and you can find out more about that.

One more thing that I would just want to remind you of. It's not too late to vote for Kaya Cast for podcast of the year, and KayaPush for business software of the year for the MJ is happening in November. Boating ends October 15th. So, you know, if you're listening to this past the date, well, it's too late. If not get out and vote, the last few votes really matter to help us win these prestigious awards. I want to thank you for subscribing and listening to the Kaya Cast podcast. And I look forward to sharing more stories of business owners who are launching. Growing and scaling their cannabis businesses.

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