In the most recent episode of the Cannacurio Podcast from Cannabiz Media, my co-host, Amanda Guerrero, and I focus on hemp license updates, Cannabiz Media’s annual point-of-sale software program survey, and extra. We additionally communicate with Rachel Fournier, Director of Marketing at Agrify, which develops premium indoor develop options for the hashish and hemp industries.Press the Play button beneath to take heed to the podcast.

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Cannacurio Podcast Episode 15 Transcript

Amanda Guerrero: Welcome to the Cannacurio podcast, hosted by Cannabiz Media. We’re your hosts, Amanda Guerrero and Ed Keating. On right now’s present, we’re joined by Rachel Fournier, the director of advertising at Agrify.

Rachel and the Agrify workforce are some of Cannabiz Media’s energy customers, and we’re so excited to have her on the present. But as all the time, we will test in with Ed and see what he is uncovered this week from the information vault. Ed?

Ed Keating: Hi, Amanda. So, we have been digging into hemp. Lots of the licenses have now been issued, and one of the attention-grabbing issues that we’re seeing is that in some states, we’re truly expiring some data out. So, individuals who might have participated in final 12 months’s program should not taking part at the moment.

So, in Colorado, it seemed like 1100 licenses that we had have been expired out. And in Tennessee, solely about 73, and in Illinois, 181. So, this type of suits with the theme that I’ve been studying about and likewise in speaking to individuals that claims that after a tough 12 months of 2019 with so much of hemp not being bought and nonetheless sitting in barns throughout the United States, people determined to possibly sit a season out or possibly dangle it up all collectively for some time. So, we’ll see the way it performs out by means of the top of the 12 months and likewise into 2021.

Amanda Guerrero: Well, I hope that somebody is ready to assist them resolve that drawback, or at the least they have been capable of get rid of some of their extra hemp earlier than they utterly … Their license utterly expired. But I do not know. What do you suppose, Ed?

Ed Keating: Yeah, it has been a problem for that market in some of the analysis that the workforce did. We discovered that for some, it was such a brand new crop, they did not essentially suppose by means of all the best way to the top to, “Well, what do I do? Do I have contracts for people to buy this, to process it, et cetera, to get it to market?” And so much did not. I do not know in the event that they took form of a laissez faire strategy, “let’s see what happens,” or if the market simply wasn’t there.

In one panel dialogue I participated in, the moderator identified that in 2014, ’15, ’16, ’17, ’18, individuals made good cash on hemp and it attracted so much of entry, as you see in just about any market and any financial system. And we most likely hit an oversupply state of affairs.

And now that it is federally authorized, extra states are issuing licenses, licenses, licenses. So I feel it’ll be tough, and over time, we’ll see a balancing out of provide and demand for certain. But there actually appears to be tons of methods to make use of hemp, however I feel individuals are going to have to determine the markets for them as they do their planning.

Amanda Guerrero: Yeah, it undoubtedly sounds similar to the issues that we confronted within the Pacific Northwest a number of years again with their form of oversupply and below demand. So, curious to see how this shakes out in 2020 and transferring ahead. Looking forward, we will probably be talking with Rachel Fournier of Agrify, and we’re so excited. Ed, thanks for the replace. Stay tuned, all people.

Welcome again to the present. As I discussed, I’m at the moment joined by Rachel Fournier, Director of Marketing at Agrify. Rachel, welcome to the present. How are you?

Rachel Fournier: I’m doing effectively, Amanda. Thank you for having me. How are you guys?

Amanda Guerrero: We are doing so effectively. This morning, very excited to have you ever on the present. We know you as one of our energy customers, however why do not you give our viewers some background. How lengthy have you ever been within the hashish business?

Rachel Fournier: Yeah, so I’ve been within the hashish business for about three years. It feels so much longer at this level, however three stable years working in hashish and loving each minute of it.

Amanda Guerrero: Well, they do say that working in hashish … A 12 months in hashish is a 12 months in canine years. So, that is about seven years. So you are a veteran now. Look at you.

Rachel Fournier: It feels prefer it. It undoubtedly … I’m all the time shocked once I say that to individuals and so they’re like, “Oh, okay. Yeah, you’ve been doing this for a while.”

Amanda Guerrero: Absolutely. Where did you’re employed earlier than?Rachel Fournier: Yeah, so I spent a while doing freelance branding and advertising for a range of CBD and hashish manufacturers. And previous to that, my entry into the business was with an MSO, Ascend Wellness. So, I’m undecided if you happen to’re acquainted with them, however I used to be engaged on their advertising for some of their manufacturers.

Amanda Guerrero: Yeah. Quite acquainted with Ascend. They’re a reasonably well-known group. In my different life as a hashish recruiter, we truly labored with the Ascend group and made some fairly huge placements there. So, very excited to listen to that you just’re from there as effectively.

Rachel Fournier: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve had an excellent run up to now within the business and labored with some fairly superb individuals. So, fairly pleased about it.

Ed Keating: Well, wonderful. Excellent. Well, now that you just’re at Agrify, as we all the time attempt to do in the course of the podcast, we like to seek out out what makes these firms distinctive. So, inform us a little bit bit extra about Agrify and your declare to fame.

Rachel Fournier: Yeah. So Agrify is a developer of premium cultivation options. And one of the explanations I jumped in with them and why I’m so excited is as a result of I actually really feel like, effectively, they’re onto one thing.

I’ve been on the shopper aspect. So, I do know fairly effectively, some of the, for lack of a greater phrase, some of the struggles that individuals stepping into the house expertise, and what I really beloved about Agrify and what I feel makes them distinctive is that they actually take a complete options strategy.

And on condition that so much of individuals which can be stepping into hashish are new as a result of it’s a pretty new business nonetheless, having a accomplice, and I say accomplice, as a result of I feel that that is necessary, that actually understands your complete course of is simply so necessary.

And Agrify has accomplished such a pleasant job at actually, no pun meant, however cultivating a collection of options in numerous numerous sorts of tools and likewise providers that basically permits us to accomplice with our clients and get them arrange begin to end and serving to them put collectively a course of, a cultivation course of, that’s fairly streamlined and environment friendly and meets the calls for of the market and the place we additionally suppose the market goes.

Ed Keating: So in phrases of what you stated about new markets or new individuals in that house, does that have an effect on your go to market technique? Did you guys, for instance, wind up focusing so much on, for example, Missouri and Oklahoma, as a result of these have been kind of the latest markets which have come on line most lately?

Rachel Fournier: Yeah. Yes and no. So in some methods, sure, as a result of it is actually necessary, I feel, if you’re serving to any individual come up with what their rising system goes to appear to be, you actually must be there proper initially.

So, as soon as any individual will get that license, you must be a component of that course of. Lots of states, they require what your architectural plans are going to appear to be. They wish to know what the construct out is. And so, it is actually necessary that we get in there early as a result of these issues all have a value related with them and never only a arduous price, but additionally a time price.

And I feel the largest factor for everyone is attending to market as quick as doable, particularly after what is usually a lengthy, grueling licensing course of.

So, it is extraordinarily necessary that we get in with individuals when they’re actually initially phases of planning out their cultivation. But it is also attention-grabbing. So, with that being stated, sure, some of the newer markets, particularly as a result of we’re on the East coast, we focus so much on Massachusetts and surrounding states.

But additionally, we do have companions on the West coast which can be in additional mature markets, which is necessary, as a result of we wanted to get a foothold or fairly a foot in with those that have been skilled and sort of knew what the downsides have been of their processes. And so, we do have clients on the West coast in mature markets, however I feel so much of our focus or the place I feel we’ll proceed to seek out so much of success is, in actual fact, within the newer markets.

Ed Keating: Yeah. It’s attention-grabbing. Especially your East versus West coast challenges, as a result of I’d think about that develop practices most likely do differ throughout these sorts of states. I do know right here on the East coast the place I’m, so much of the develop is remitted indoor. They need a door, they need six partitions, they need a lock, et cetera, whereas in different places, it is perhaps extra greenhouse or hoop home or open area. So I’m curious, from the place Agrify is, how do you see develop practices basically actually differ throughout state traces?

Rachel Fournier: Yeah. So I feel, it is humorous as a result of I’m within the East coast as effectively. Our firms right here, I’m from right here, I’ve all the time labored, for probably the most half, most of the manufacturers and the MSO I labored with initially all reside right here on the East coast. So I feel in my thoughts, I simply robotically assumed all people was rising indoors, which is so foolish. And I did not come from … I used to be conscious of the cultivation course of, however I wasn’t actually, as educated in it as I’m now.

So, coming into this, it was once we first began utilizing hashish, I used to be like, “Yeah, let’s just look at all the cultivators. That’s all opportunity.” And then our gross sales workforce was going by means of the leads and so they’re like, “A lot of these are … They say farm, which usually means they’re outdoor or their greenhouse.” And it was fairly attention-grabbing, a little bit bit of my thoughts blown second, like, “Oh, wow. Not everybody grows indoors.” But, yeah. I’d say that for us, and we’re a reasonably new firm, we undoubtedly attempt to not go after the outside grows as a result of, I imply, it is simply not low hanging fruit.

The quantity of steps … It’s already such a brand new means of rising and our complete cultivation course of and what we’re pitching, it’s extremely authentic. And so, I feel simply that further hurdle of making an attempt to get any individual indoors can be a robust one.

I do suppose it will come with time. I feel so much of individuals are going to maneuver in direction of that, as a result of if you discuss heavy … Although individuals possibly earlier than issues have been authorized, they have been rising outdoors. But now with all of the heavy rules, it is fairly arduous to develop open air and meet the necessities.

Ed Keating: No, that is smart. One of the issues that I additionally simply wished to say is on the hemp aspect, we have been seeing so much of licenses are available in over the past six, seven months because the season has primarily began between licensing from the states and likewise rising from the farmers. And we’re seeing that individuals are performing some work indoors. I do not know what meaning. I imply, are they rising the entire cycle indoors, are they beginning indoors, et cetera? So it will be attention-grabbing factor for us to see, however hemp hasn’t actually been an enormous focus for Agrify. Has it?

Rachel Fournier: Not an enormous focus. We do have some partnerships and merchandise that may most likely be seen as actually nice options within the hemp house. But in my time … I’ve been with Agrify for six months and in my time, I’ve actually centered most of our energies on hashish.

Our proprietary vertical farming unit is … What’s so spectacular about it’s simply with the ability to have consistency in your merchandise. And we’re actually centered on the genetics within the strains and with the ability to replicate them time and again by having this managed setting. And I do not know that hemp is actually … Just given the fee of it and the decrease price, I simply do not know if it could be value it to develop it in a vertical farming unit or not.

Ed Keating: Yeah, proper, proper.

Rachel Fournier: I imply, I simply do not know that we’re there but the place individuals are centered on the genetics of a hemp plant like they’re with hashish.

Ed Keating: Yeah. Well, one factor that we have seen from a license standpoint and from a knowledge standpoint is Nevada is, I feel, the primary state we have seen that shares info as as to if a facility is licensed to develop each, and we have by no means seen that earlier than. So, that is form of attention-grabbing. I imply, we have seen actually some firms which have a hemp footprint and a hashish footprint, however right here they’re truly saying, “Well, this facility or this license holder grows both at this location.” Which we expect is form of distinctive. I do not know if we’ll see extra of that nationwide or if it is simply kind of a knowledge anomaly that one state is going on to serve up.

But it is nice. I imply, it sounds such as you guys have an important product and an important path ahead. And kind of trying ahead, may you share with us kind of any new product launches, markets or initiatives you’ve got bought arising?

Rachel Fournier: Yeah. So, I’m not fairly at liberty to say what the brand new product launches are. We do have one thing effectively on its means that ought to be popping out fairly quickly. We are all the time nice tuning and dealing on discovering options that pair effectively with our total answer. And in order that continues to be up to date. And we have had a number of LED lights added to our repertoire, however yeah, nothing outdoors of that at this level.

And with regard to new markets, I imply, we’re all the time going after new markets. Like I stated, our candy spot is actually these cultivations that simply obtained their license and are within the course of of getting up and operating. So we’re all the time new states. -. Oklahoma, Missouri, Massachusetts, New England basically. And we’ll continue-

Ed Keating: And Michigan. Don’t overlook Michigan.

Rachel Fournier: And Michigan, sure.

Ed Keating: [crosstalk 00:14:45] They’ve been issuing so much of cultivation licenses.

Rachel Fournier: Yes, completely. Definitely Michigan. So, yeah.

Amanda Guerrero: Well talking of new markets and figuring out prospects, Rachel, I wished to carry it again to Cannabiz Media and discover out what are some of the ways in which you and your workforce make the most of the Cannabiz Media platform?

Rachel Fournier: Yeah. So Cannabiz has been a tremendous software for us, for advertising and for our gross sales workforce. We just about have all people using it at this level. It’s most likely the one database that I’ve come throughout that basically has all of the contacts that we want in a central location.

And what else you guys have that I really like is simply your completely different filters. They have been undoubtedly fastidiously thought out, and so they permit us to be very particular in our messaging, which is so necessary. I feel simply the truth that you may even dwindle all the way down to HPS versus LED lighting, or you may see who’s had violations.And I additionally love the e-mail updates. I’m always floating them across the firm like, “Hey, did you see this?” So, I simply recognize how up-to-date it all the time is, and I really feel it is countless with information.

Amanda Guerrero: I really like that. Yeah. The e mail updates are tremendous useful, particularly if you’re that prospecting side on your gross sales workforce and figuring out licenses and new markets or who was simply granted a license. It may be tremendous, tremendous useful. Now, in phrases of the gross sales instruments that you just guys have used earlier than, how does this software examine?

Rachel Fournier: I’d simply say that each time we’re on a name to take a look at different gross sales instruments and one, it is by no means business particular, and once we ask them to drag up our class, there’s like 10 contacts. So, it is actually tough to seek out different gross sales instruments which have this type of knowledge.

And even those which can be extra particular or catering in direction of our business, I’ve discovered that it is so much of generic contacts, and I am unable to all the time get to a choice maker. And I discover that the contacts that you just guys have and the classes and the filters that you just guys present are undoubtedly … it looks like whoever’s placing this collectively, has labored on the opposite aspect of issues. So, it is extraordinarily useful.

Amanda Guerrero: Yeah. Well, I imply, to your level, the data that we’re monitoring, it is not simply what you discover off of both the state web sites or what’s publicly out there. Our workforce of 25 researchers that Ed oversees, they’re actually centered and focused on discovering and verifying this info so that you just and your workforce are supplied with the perfect out there knowledge, in addition to info that will help you guys prospect smarter. Right? Specifically with the violations, I used to be form of curious, how do you and your workforce make the most of the violations side?

Rachel Fournier: Yeah. So, like I stated, our vertical farming unit, what’s so interesting about it’s that it is a utterly enclosed rising unit. And so, it is a managed setting. So, if you discuss violations, effectively, why do violations occur? And it is actually necessary, I feel, once we discuss new markets, of course that is nice, however then a possibility for us to interrupt into some of the extra mature markets are those that have had violations. They’ve had some points. Maybe they’ve had [inaudible 00:18:39] powdery mildew, no matter it is perhaps. And once we current them with a managed setting, it is much more interesting. Until you’ve got skilled the ache of crop devastation, you actually do not know what you are dealing with.

Amanda Guerrero: Yeah. 100%, as a result of the insurance coverage would not all the time cowl it.

Rachel Fournier: No. And it is also simply the time that’s misplaced. Right? The demand is there. So, you are dropping that point.

Amanda Guerrero: 100%, 100%. Well, are there any suggestions or tips that you just wish to share with our present listeners?

Rachel Fournier: Yeah, I feel it is actually necessary proper now, particularly simply given all the pieces that is occurring on the planet, we’re not in entrance of our clients, so so much of individuals are doing issues digitally. It’s actually form of the one possibility on the market. Right? So, I’d simply say it is so necessary to be intentional in your messaging. Know what it’s you wish to get throughout, be very deliberate in who you are reaching out to.

If you may … as an alternative of doing a mass e mail blast, possibly carry that in additional and take a look at it by state, by maturity degree out there house, and cater and tailor your language to these individuals as a result of we’re all getting inundated with e mail proper now. So, the extra particular and the extra customized and simply delicate too that we may be in our messaging, I feel the significantly better response we’re all going to have.

And on high of that, little issues like utilizing individuals’s names, firms’ names, I all the time discover that that helps. Having a conversion path in thoughts. If individuals are partaking with your e mail, know what you need the next move to be earlier than you try this and have completely different subsequent steps based mostly off of the kinds of response.

And I’d say most significantly, offering worth. So one thing that Agrify has accomplished, and we’re not the one ones doing this proper now, however present worth proper now to your viewers. Create content material presents that matter.

Product brochures are nice. They’re clearly … you must have them, however is there one thing else that you are able to do? Is there a video that talks about what your organization values, and what’s your social accountability? How are you giving again? People wish to perceive manufacturers proper now and whereas they’re getting inundated, the extra private you may be, I feel the higher.

And if you will get different individuals in your workforce to additionally spotlight who they’re and sort of give a extra human component to what you are doing, the higher off I feel your organization will probably be.

And again to what I used to be saying with what we’re doing proper now, we have been doing a weekly reside Zoom recording with our co-hosts from Agrify and likewise a visitor normally in cultivation. And it is actually simply … It’s not about pitching our merchandise. It’s nearly educating our viewers and likewise educating us. And that is offering worth with out asking something in return. And I feel that that is actually necessary proper now.

Ed Keating: Well, Rachel, you actually sound like a really advanced marketer. If we ever get to having a consumer convention, I’m most likely going to have you ever come and discuss that is how you must market. And this is why, as a result of too usually we see individuals on this house, hopefully not our clients, however who depend on the previous spray and pray. Just give me an inventory and I’m simply going to hit it as many instances as I can and I do not care what message it’s so long as I get it out, as a result of I simply wish to feed results in the Salesforce.

And we’ve tried actually arduous on the information aspect to offer tons of different info, tons of methods to work together with the license holders that we’ve as a result of they’re arduous to seek out and so they do get a good quantity of messages. And I feel all these issues that you just simply outlined actually articulate what an advanced marketer ought to be doing nowadays. So, kudos on that.

One of the questions I wished to ask is we did a little bit bit of the look ahead about new markets. I wished to do a glance again on largest achievement within the final 12 months? Could be company and or private. We simply love to listen to extra about you and Agrify and the story.

Rachel Fournier: Yeah. So I’ll provide you with each. So, on a private degree, this can be a rather more technical set of merchandise. I used to be used to engaged on a extra B to C, what our manufacturers have been going to be, whether or not it was CBD or hashish. And so, coming over to cultivation and dealing with this enterprise tools, I knew was going to be a problem, particularly with one thing that’s so fashionable and there is software program concerned and a few of our growers are from a distinct time. And so it is undoubtedly … I knew it was going to be a problem, however it’s a problem that I actually get pleasure from and cultivation is so attention-grabbing.

So, I feel for me personally, simply taking up this type of problem and increasing my data into the cultivation aspect is one thing that I’m actually proud of, and I’m persevering with to study day-after-day. And I’m so fortunate to have the workforce that I’ve, and the individuals in horticulture which can be on our workforce are simply countless breaths of data, which is unimaginable to have at my fingertips.

And then from a enterprise standpoint, final quarter, we did exceed our objectives and we’re coming to an in depth and have a very robust quarter once more. And with all issues thought of, we nonetheless have been capable of maintain the ball rolling.

The solely factor actually that I’d say set us again a little bit bit was simply, clearly, COVID had its results and our purchasers are going by means of the licensing course of. So, issues form of bought slowed down, however we have not misplaced anyone.

I feel the Agrify reside movies we do weekly, we invite all of these clients to these movies, and I feel that they discover so much of worth in that and simply persevering with to obtain that schooling from us.

So yeah. I’d say simply final quarter and likewise simply in phrases of with the ability to maintain transferring the ball ahead with all the pieces that is been taking place, I’m fairly proud of that.

Ed Keating: Well, that is nice. Congratulations.

Rachel Fournier: Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. It’s been an excellent 12 months.

Amanda Guerrero: Well, thanks a lot, Rachel, for becoming a member of us on right now’s present. It has been so informative and to echo Ed’s statements, you’re so articulate. When you have been speaking in regards to the e mail advertising, I may’ve sworn you have been studying it straight from one of our assist articles, since you nailed it. You nailed it. Great job, however thanks a lot for becoming a member of us on right now’s present.

Rachel Fournier: You bought it. Any time.

Amanda Guerrero: And we stay up for seeing what you and Agrify have up your sleeve within the coming months.

Rachel Fournier: Thank you guys for having me and thanks for Cannabiz. I actually … we could not do it with out you guys.

Amanda Guerrero: We love to listen to that. Thank you. Well, Ed, that was an important interview. So pleased that we bought to talk with Rachel. Wanted to have a look forward and see what knowledge and license updates we’ve to stay up for within the coming weeks.

Ed Keating: Yeah. So, we have been doing so much of cleanup work and we have been dealing with some of the challenges of three of the most important states have actually modified and diminished what they make out there due to kind of the riots that have been on the market. Lots of the states have stopped publishing details about their licenses or they’ve drastically diminished the quantity of knowledge they share.

So that is California, Washington, and Colorado. Although Colorado appears to be possibly in a upkeep mode with their instruments. So, in some of the most important markets, there’s completely different knowledge out there. So, we have been reaching out to regulators, making an attempt to see what we are able to discover and work on. So, that is undoubtedly been an attention-grabbing problem for us.

And then quantity two is we’re gearing up for our point-of-sale survey. So we have accomplished two point-of-sale software program surveys over the past couple of years, 2018 and ’19, the place we test in with dispensers and retailers to seek out out who’re they utilizing for that perform? And we’re going to begin that course of once more.

This 12 months, it’ll be a little bit bit more difficult as a result of there are such a lot of dispensaries in Oklahoma. I feel effectively over 1,000, possibly 1,300, and that is greater than a number of states mixed. So, it will be attention-grabbing to see what we study.

And we’re additionally going to attempt to do a very good job of making an attempt to trace if there’ve been many modifications, like did any individual go from supplier A to supplier B? And we’ll see what that knowledge tells us as we transfer ahead on that over the subsequent couple of months.

Amanda Guerrero: So thrilling, Ed. I all the time stay up for the point-of-sales survey as a result of it additionally offers us, from a gross sales perspective, a gross sales consultant perspective, an excellent prospect checklist as effectively. So, excited to get that.

And then, Ed, shortly, I wished to ask you, do you suppose that with COVID lingering and sort of all of the issues which can be occurring on the planet, do you suppose that the license holders or the states not placing up license holder info on their web sites goes to show right into a long-term drawback?

Ed Keating: Oh, that is an excellent query. I’m undecided. I feel some may use it as an excuse to simply publish much less info, which I feel is a little bit bit robust if you’re making an attempt to make the business clear. We’ve seen so many circumstances the place there’ve been shenanigans on the state degree and the way licenses are given out, and if you do not know who’s successful these licenses or their relationship to the license issuers, that may be an issue.

So, I feel there’ll most likely be a push for it, however it’s actually going to be as much as every state and we’re simply doing our greatest to attempt to observe down no matter info we are able to. Sometimes the data should be out there regionally, however then it is a a lot slower course of. And you are making an attempt to undergo zoning board minutes and agendas and whatnot, looking for out knowledge. And that is simply not an environment friendly strategy to maintain tabs on 100 thousand completely different licenses. So, I’m hoping it is only a short-term blip and never a long-term headache.

Amanda Guerrero: Well, we are going to maintain our fingers and toes crossed right here that it is a brief time period blip, however thanks everybody for becoming a member of us on right now’s podcast. We’re your hosts, Amanda Guerrero and Ed Keating. Stay tuned for extra updates from the information vault.

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