"Camaraderie is the biggest thing. People trying to do this shit on their own - yeah you have the luck-ability to succeed. I think we're in this today, growing this industry and flying the plane while building it. The biggest thing for me is our relationships; they are everything….The people that are going to succeed in this industry, you hope it's all the ones that care and that we can all do it together." – Kayla Mann
Getting started in an industry with few benchmarks and ever-changing regulations can be tumultuous and challenging. Amidst the ruckus, Kayla Mann has proven herself as a force to be reckoned with - blazing trails in marketing, financing, launching and growing one successful company after the next - her latest hinged on “fish-shit” (legit). With a curious spirit, a sharp mind and a magnetic presence that seeps through the microphone, Kayla takes our listeners on a raw journey of what it takes to navigate the complexities of such a young industry, unpacks some realities of the start-up life, and solidifies why collaboration is the only way forward if you plan on being a success story in this business of weed.
[0:08] Jason and Joel welcome their next guest Kayla Mann as they chat a bit about how they know each other.
[0:47] Kayla recounts her journey from accounting to artistry in photography, from nude female models to bison models, cannabis start up to bison and back to corporate finance.
[4:05] Marketing in the cannabis space, where it’s been and where it’s heading. It can be risky, but it is a risk Kayla and her team were willing to take for their passion.
[6:42] Navigating uncharted territory, Kayla describes the process of creating from scratch Habitat Life, with no benchmark and no comparison.
[9:15] Kayla explains the three components of the aquaponics system they are using, including a process unique to Habitat Life all while breaking a stigma or two along the way. Kayla also takes a quick dive into nutrient costs and Habitat Life’s current position at a zero cost.
[13:26] What are two distinct qualities Kayla has observed that can make one cannabis operation more successful than another?
[17:23] Given the infancy stages in which this industry exists, one can also count on the fact that change is a guarantee. Just ask the “Vape Queen!”
[19:18] Unpacking the vape topic. What the industry thought it knew, then what it learned from Kayla and her research and education. Kayla shares her hardware preference from a consumer standpoint.
[22:17] Using technology experts to cross-pollinate industries. Take tried and true technology from say a world-class vacuum company and apply it to vape technology – this could be a game changer.
[23:18] Kayla, Jason and Joel talk about talent acquisition from big corporate pharma, tobacco or food and beverage over to the cannabis industry. It’s not a shift everyone can make where the consumer needs are so varied and particular profiles of end-use have to be considered.
[26:50] Furthering the consumer conversation, they discuss how similar industries like alcohol are going to need to adapt to keep their market share as cannabis demand grows and the industry moves into mainstream marketing for recreational use.
[30:12] Let’s talk regulations and the challenges pre-existing dispensaries now face as a result of the new legislation is 2018.
[32:00] Kayla explains the micro-cultivator licensing process and the relative ease with which they obtained theirs, plus a bit about getting their product out in the market and the basics needs for getting started in the cultivation business.
[35:49] With a niche, organic product in a relatively small-scale environment, Kayla describes how she sees scaling Habitat Life’s operation for expansion while retaining high quality standards. Low and slow.
[38:12] Funding and financial support. Kayla, Joel, and Jason have a robust conversation about current realities, investor confidence, integrity, and chutzpah.
[41:27] The Godfather of purchasing, Kayla’s edible of choice and hey! Why not market cannabis beverages that also taste terrific?
[47:31] US Federal Legalization: how it could change and affect the game globally and how the climate of the cannabis industry is changing overall. If you are a start up now, there are considerably more elements to factor in and having one or two seasoned players on your team is critical.
[55:18] Kayla’s scars and bruises: she talks about the environment within which she has received the most, learning and personal development plus the importance of establishing timelines that cultivate a space for success for all players.
[59:36] Kayla expands on the challenges that come with the journey she has chosen so far and how it has contributed to her personal growth.
[60:44] Looking forward, Kayla offers her take on what’s next in the industry over the next 24-36 months, plus the frustrations with current regulations for people whose lives have significantly improved with the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
[64:33] The missing opportunity for education in the physician community and the need for more data and research on how different strains and consumption of cannabis can be successful in treatment of illness and injury.
[68:23] Working together to make a difference.
[70:10] Find Kayla on the social machine!
Hosted by Joel Sherlock & Jason Laronde, Vitalis brings you wise, humorous and sometimes shocking conversations with entrepreneurs and extraction industry innovators on 'The Extraction Insiders'.