Published April 18 2019, Sacramento News & Review SOURCE
In a recent study by Leafly, more than 211,000 Americans are involved in cannabis, making it the fastest growing industry in the United States.
Cannabis, especially in California, has come a long way since the state first legalized medical marijuana in 1996, but there are still many hurdles with ever-changing regulations and the day-to-day challenges of operating a lucrative business.
This year, SXSW launched its first ever Cannabusiness track, a bold move considering cannabis isn’t yet legal in Texas where the festival is held. The sessions acted as a jumping-off point for larger conversations on the evolving trends in the industry, hemp and health and the importance of cannabis-focused tech solutions.
Enter entrepreneurs including Keegan Peterson, founder of Würk, a cannabis payroll and HR company, and Cy Scott, founder of Headset, which provides real-time analytics and customer demographics.
It’s key for the cannabis industry to have track-and-trace systems for ingredients that go into consumer, point-of-sale systems and tech that makes sure employees feel safe at work and get paid on time.
Peterson said that tech has also made it possible to keep on top of state-by-state policy changes.
“Every day things are changing,” he says. “You have to train your entire staff how to pivot, and because of this, dispensary owners are some of the grittiest business people I’ve come across in my entire career. It’s like every morning you have to figure out a Rubik’s Cube, and every morning the government comes and messes it up.”
Because of that quickly changing business environment, cannabis tech entrepreneurs have had to become very focused on execution.