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Business Leaders Podcast - Bob Roark 16th February 2021
Navigating The Complex Medical Cannabis Industry With Nic Easley, Founder & CEO of 3C Consulting And Co-host Jaime Zawmon of TitanCEO
00:00:00 00:34:17

Navigating The Complex Medical Cannabis Industry With Nic Easley, Founder & CEO of 3C Consulting And Co-host Jaime Zawmon of TitanCEO

BLP Nic | Medical Cannabis Industry

 

If there is one industry that can be tough to understand, especially if you are doing it legally, it would be the cannabis industry. Those who are in the medical cannabis business know how it can be challenging to understand the regulatory risks and compliance, to name a few. Stepping right in to help businesses and investors navigate this complex and new industry, Nic Easley founded 3C Consulting, LLC. He joins Bob Roark and Jaime Zawmon of Titan CEO this episode to share with us what goes on behind the scenes of this business as CEO, highlighting what characteristics will make one a Titan of Industry. Nic then gives some advice about leading and building a great business, no matter what industry.

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[embed]https://youtu.be/9iEQcvXuA7A[/embed]

Navigating The Complex Medical Cannabis Industry With Nic Easley, Founder & CEO of 3C Consulting And Co-host Jaime Zawmon of TitanCEO

In this episode, we have our special cohost Jaime Zawmon. She is the Founder and President of Titan CEO and our guest is Nic Easley. He's the Founder and CEO of 3C Consulting and he’s the Managing Director of Multiverse Capital. Jaime, Nic, welcome.

Thanks for making the time.

We were privileged by you taking the time and sharing your experience and wisdom with us. With that being said, if you would, tell us about your business and who you serve.

I've been in the legal cannabis industry for many years. Originally, I was an Air Force Linguist and I speak a few languages. I was from the farm county Wisconsin. After the military, I got hurt after about four years and came to Colorado. Medical cannabis was legal in 2006 or 2007 and I got my first medical card. I saw how people were growing and was disgusted by pesticides and indoor lights which is very unsustainable, non-environmental and not safe for patients. I started my business many years ago to help the cannabis industry form in a responsible way.

As you see it now being over a $30 billion industry, which is a drop in the bucket for where this would go. It was to help companies understand the regulatory risks and compliance of navigating this brand-new industry that is a medical product. It's an adult-use product, but then also getting into the hemp industry and making papers, plastics and fibers. Helping businesses and investors navigate this complex and new industry is how we established ourselves.

What are the typical issues that a client you're serving now has that you were able to solve their problems? I'm trying to paint a picture in the reader's mind of what's your clients and who your clients are?

One of the challenges with cannabis is that it's federally illegal and each state has come up with its own medical or adult-use program. At the end of 2020, we have sixteen adult-use states where 21 and older consumption and possession is legal and we have 47 states with some medical laws on their books. About 37 of those are also having medical sales. In a normal business, you're like, “I want to open a gas station or a restaurant,” you would have that state's Department of Health to deal with. When it comes to cannabis, each program is different. I'm working on applications right now in the State of Georgia. Eleven million people are giving six licenses for cultivation for eleven million-person marketplace. It can be competitive.

How does a client build a team, put their financial models together and start to raise capital? Put together thousands of pages of voluminous application content about the standards of DEA cages and vaults that they might need or video recording or production plants based on the Georgia Department of Agriculture requirements. We help people that want to get into a new market and not just domestic. We've done licensed work in nineteen countries. I own and operate cannabis businesses in Portugal, Denmark, Germany, South Africa, Colombia, Uruguay and Canada, to name a few.

[bctt tweet="If you're going for too much margin, your competition is going to find that unique secret sauce." username=""]

Each one of those has their own regulatory requirements that if they don't have over a decade of experience, how do they solve those problems, raise capital or have some unique advantage because you might've seen in some of your states. You're driving around, you might see sticky buds or something that's very cliché, like a green cross or flashing pot leafs. We're a professional industry and trying to make this a bonafide industry for the United States and internationally. To help clients come up with a new strategy is to not repeat the same past mistakes of California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado, even though this is where we started. We will never allow a client to repeat past mistakes that we saw other groups do in other markets.

It's refreshing listening to you speak about the wealth of knowledge in this industry which is one of the reasons why you were recognized as a 2020 Titan 100. For the readers, I have a copy of the 2020 Titan 100 book which recognizes Colorado's Top 100 CEOs and C-level executives, 100 Titans of industry, which Nic is a Titan in the cannabis world. I have to ask you, Nic, and I ask all of the Titans that we interview in this show, what characteristics do you believe it takes to be considered a Titan of industry?

There are always millions of problems in business. I'm a biologist and a military linguist. I didn't have an MBA, I didn't have normal business training, but I looked at things from ecological lens systems. Business owners are always going to face internal problems, external problems, threats, competition and liabilities. If you're going to be at the tip of the spear of your game, it's dealing with problems before they start and your planning and understanding what's unique about what you do as a business or a business leader and how to maintain that culture. Especially during COVID times, I can't go into an office and have a big motivational presentation and give everybody a gift and motivate people. It's like, how do you adapt and change the situations as they come up?

It's still federally illegal what we do and risky. We are trying to navigate this and not having normal banking. We have to solve every single problem from the ground up that’s never been solved before. One of the biggest things is innovation and perseverance to where someone might say, “It's 40 hours a week.” I'm like, “That's cute. I remember my first part-time job.” It’s that delicate balance. Being a single veteran, how to manage that startup mentality or business mentality, home and work-life balance and knowing that if it's a business and revenue that you're interested in, that's not going to motivate you than if it's mission-driven.

I'm a disabled vet. I know medical cannabis helped me to get off of eleven different types of prescriptions many years ago. I owe my life to this plant. That's why I'm able to run my company in such an aggressive way that this isn't about profitability and KPIs. It's how do we deliver quality medicine that's sustainable, affordable and set a new example for what industry is going to be. You could think of alcohol. What alcohol has done to our culture versus cannabis? With this being legalized, how to not just monetize on the opportunity? It's not just an opportunity, it's a responsibility.

For business leaders to find that why. Why do they do what they do? It's not to sell more soap, houses, or build bigger buildings but your buildings are more energy-efficient, going to be better for design or healthier environments for people to live better lives. That's what your business needs to do. If you forget that as a business leader, your customers and the regulators are going to see that. If you're going for too much margin, your competition is going to find that unique secret sauce. You always have to be innovative. The biggest sin in business is getting complacent and thinking, “I'm at the tip of my game, everything is going well. We're winning in all these states. We keep doing better.”

We have to constantly innovate and stay on top of that to avoid competitors taking us out, becoming mundane, forgetting our mission or not focused. That's the main thing I remember, remind my staff, and our customers every day like, “We get to do this once.” Normal industries have been established for hundreds of years like real estate. They're not making any more real estate. This new world is ours for taking. If we don't do it right, there are bad people out there that might establish this industry irresponsibly. You might've heard about the vape crisis for electronic cigarettes and cannabis.

Some of those were dangerous with pesticides. As soon as we hear things like that, we start to work with regulators and think, “How do we make this safe so it doesn't have bad credibility?” I'm coming from many years of federal prohibition. We have a big job on our unions but we can never get complacent and forget why we do what we do to make the world a better place with our business, for our customers, and for the planet that supports this plant that we grow and caretake.

[caption id="attachment_5686" align="aligncenter" width="600"]BLP Nic | Medical Cannabis Industry Medical Cannabis Industry: To help clients come up with a new strategy is to not repeat the same past mistakes of California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.[/caption]

 

Those are profound words and spoken like a true Titan. Thank you for sharing your why with us.

As you were talking and I was thinking about your path from there to here, Biology degree. I'm a tacked Intel guy, you're a linguist, we both have an Intel background. I only speak Southern so I never picked up a second language. I'm handicapped for sure. In any case, how did you get from the farm to where you are now?

I'm from Central Wisconsin which is farm country all around it. I was in FFA, Future Farmers for America. I was the one not dairy kid. I was all about vegetables. I was homeschooled by a botanist for a few years in middle school. He had a big native American background, honoring medicinal plants and the space for them. Going through high school, as a raft guide down in Tennessee and North Carolina in the summertime during high school, I still never understood how my parents allowed me to go from Wisconsin to live with a bunch of college kids in the woods in Tennessee that developed a big love for whitewater and adventure. The military approached me. I was going to go to a normal college but they said, “You have a high aptitude to learn languages. How many do you speak?”

I'm like, “That's a big old zero.” Being eighteen, I went into the military, I figured instead of my parents using all their savings to send me to college, I would do the right thing and learn some skillsets, personal development and go into the military. Having white level security clearance working on high level, top-secret type projects with linguistics and international relations. I learned early on that professionalism goes a long way, but in getting hurt and then having the VA to provide medications after I'd got out, I thought that was the right thing to do. When I got to Colorado, medical cannabis was legal and I came out to be a ski bum in Crested Butte back in 2006. I did a winter out here. I learned about cannabis and tried that. I slept wonderfully for the first time in years.

I didn't have a lot of pain from some of my injuries. I wanted to see how people grew up. When I saw that, it was disgusting to think about how we were utilizing this plant and cannabis is dioecious. There are a male and a female. The female unpollinated flowers which is important but it was being grown with such dangerous pesticides. There was no research and no understanding for me to have got off of those medications and realized there's a profound medical opportunity here in hemp, being the Great Dane of our species. Medical cannabis is the little poodle. They're both dogs. We looked into ways that how I could, as a business owner, not only make a living but make an impact.

After getting hurt in the military and then I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, it was getting my physical body working better. During those six months, I started to get a profound reason of we're a part of a biological system and we have a role in this. I started thinking about how businesses have roles in this and how I could use business to make the impact I wanted other than writing a book or teaching a few growers in Colorado.

By 2010, when we were doing some of the first greenhouses in Colorado using natural sunlight like echinacea farms that I'd worked on as a kid or tomatoes. I was seeing the environmental impact being about 1/6 of what it was to do this indoors and how we could cultivate cannabis organically, sustainably, and provide medicine and make it a lot cheaper, more accessible for people. All of the painful, bad things on my path in the military of getting hurt that led me into a medicinal plant and then led me to a state of Colorado which was more legal. We had the first legal medical program ever that was commercialized where you could purchase it, not just donations like California originally.

In 2014, to be one of the first business owners to own an adult-use dispensary. We've had six years of recreational cannabis in Colorado. To take that experience than to these other states to where people see the green rush but they don't know how to do this and they'll often repeat those same mistakes in the past. All the things that had happened to me allowed me to see the industry and where it was going and know that one way or another, we didn't know how fast it was going to take. 2020 has five new states on my mind.

[bctt tweet="The biggest sin in business is getting complacent." username=""]

I've worked with the United Nations as a voting member for the opioid crisis for about 2.5 years as an advisor and to see the United Nations finally remove cannabis from Schedule IV, which was the same as heroin, no medicinal benefit. On an international level to be changing policies on the pesticide workgroup in Colorado with their Department of Ag all the way to the highest levels of government with the United Nations and to think of how some allowed me to change international drug policy. It's a responsibility now to help this industry grow and guide because there's already multibillion-dollar Canadian public companies in this. They all thought they'd produce cannabis in Canada which is very cold compared to some of our farms in Colombia, where we're producing it for $0.7 to $.10 a gram compared to $1 to $1.50.

What are the environmental implications of this that allowed us to see this and grow with this? Using my GI ability to get another degree in college at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, I was studying environmental sciences. I already had degrees from the military but I did an energy audit on the cannabis industry. People don't realize that 1 gram of a marijuana cigarette, like a joint to take over 22 pounds of coal to produce that gram was the sunlight.

We can change this industry. We don't have to do it like high times taught us for years. That brought me from Wisconsin farm kid like FFA all the way to now to being a business executive, flying and working all over the world. I'm thankful for those things, enemies, or injuries in the past that led me to here because without it, I wouldn't be in this industry and it wouldn't be as safe as it is now from some of the things that we've learned and educated the regulators on.

It's quite profound the impact that you've had in your industry. There are many things that we don't understand or think about. You're navigating new water with regulation and rules. You're paving the way for many and kudos to you for taking the stand to be someone who wants to set the standard for how things should be done because somebody has to step up. I appreciate your experience. In a typical business, we don't have a lot of these challenges with the fact of all these regulations. It's interesting you share about how you've navigated things. With that, I have to ask you. You've amassed quite a bit of knowledge and experience but if you could go back ten years per se of experience and offer the less experienced you some advice about leading or building what you have built now, what would you say to yourself?

In a new industry or a new business, there's no road map. We always are guessing but I realized now there were a lot of resources out there for typical businesses and I committed that air of like, “We're busy, we have so much demand, we're growing fast and hiring. We'll fix some of this stuff later.” That idea as a business owner, we keep going fast and then we'll fix some of these problems later. Those problems get bigger and harder to fix later but it's easy to get entrenched. Imagine the pioneers crossing the prairies. If you keep going in the same path, those wagon wheel rust and get deeper and it's harder to change later or turn your course.

I wish I could have said some of the things. I should have prioritized more on HR staffing, payroll, accountability, legal compliance, documentation of having a strong template because someone like myself being a public speaker, as you said, navigating the waters. I was a Grand Canyon River guide for years. What we do with clients is to help them navigate new places. We've been there before. Having been there before, I made sure that my clients never repeat some of those things. We now have new business checklists. “When you start a business, here are 37 things you need to do to get ahead of these problems.” I wish I could have taken some of my own advice but if I hadn't made some of those problems early on, I would have never known how important they were.

When you have a key man or a key woman and that's mission-driven, one-to-one consulting or working with clients, it doesn't scale. It’s trying to figure out how early on it could have gone from one to many of templatizing certain offerings where if I'm going to have seven clients in Arizona at the same time, they all need to know the same thing. Instead of me and my project managers get on those calls, how could we make it more assessable for them to get this information, do the things that they need to do instead of having less limited client-by-client? That's what allowed us to scale a lot bigger years ago of going from one-to-one and one-to-many. How can you do one thing that's going to have a massive impact on massive clients and be repurposable instead of spending all the time to do the exact same thing for a client?

That handholding is nice and personal touch but when you have a deadline like I get a call from Denmark and applications are due in nine days and we have to buy a property. If I didn't have a template roadmap, I wouldn't be able to deploy. When 2 of the 10 licenses in the country or these Georgia ones that happened last minute, these licenses are going to be worth $20 million to $50 million a piece of paper once they get them. The all-nighters and the working having the content to repurpose a knowledge management system. If you're a smart business owner, no matter what it is, if it's plumbing and accounting, even if you're an artist, I have some great, amazing artist friends from some of those videos you saw where I did some filming this summer.

[caption id="attachment_5687" align="aligncenter" width="600"]BLP Nic | Medical Cannabis Industry Medical Cannabis Industry: It's a responsibility now to help this industry grow and guide because there's already multi-billion-dollar Canadian public companies in this.[/caption]

 

I was like, “You sell one painting. That's one thing, but how could that painting beyond mugs, stickers, and t-shirts share that joy and that beauty with as many people as possible?” That's also a lot of diversity of revenue streams. You can never have one. When a market is done or you can no longer sell that painting, for example, what are you going to do? That's one thing I would have thought to myself in the past of how to go from one-to-one to one-to-many and have templatized systems in place. You don't need to hire a great HR person and a marketing person.

There are amazing third-party vendors out there that can take care of a lot of your basic business needs early on so you can stay lean and focused on what you do. At the end of the day, I always thought it would be cheaper to have my CFO, CMO, and everything. When it said now using like Gusto, ADP, or some of these other companies, that's what they do as experts or trusting experts to do what they do so that you can do what you do even better.

They say tuition is expensive. You’ve got to think about, “I could have spent that money a little differently for sure.” I oftentimes wonder about the preservation of intellectual property that occurs from experience. For you, you've got all this between your years. Luckily some of it's been put out there in a scalable mechanism, but if you got run over by a bus tomorrow, what always strikes me is, “Who's memorialized this journey in a smart part?” It’s part of what the podcast does. We try to capture some bit of that intellectual property and share it. With that day-to-day with your varied interests and enterprises, what do you do daily in self-talk or motivation to keep you focused in moving forward? What does that look like?

Before Coronavirus time, it’s a whole different world. In 2017, I didn't have a home base. I’ve got my house here in Colorado. I didn't even sleep in my own bed for six years before Coronavirus. I had seven different offices. I would have meetings in Berlin and then I would need to get down to Dubai for investor meetings. I would be back in Portugal working on the farm. Coronavirus has changed everything and it's going to change how we do things in the future. One good advice is no matter what time zone I was working, we work in fourteen time zones now, I wake up at the same time every day. That idea of The 5AM Club where it's like, “Wake up early, work out a little bit, get your blood flowing. Come up with a strategy, don't start checking emails in bed and be intentional with your morning.”

I liked that quote, “Own your morning, own your life.” It was that first moment in the day when our brains are thinking like work out a little bit, prioritize, meditate a little bit, try to come up with some new ideas, and plan out the day because if you don't, the day starts to own you. My schedule could be 12 to 15 hours of stack calls on a daily basis. At the end of the day, I didn't do anything and I'm like, “I'll catch up this weekend.” Every morning, I wake up at 5:00 AM, no matter what time zone. With Coronavirus, it's a lot easier to be in one place. I’m focused on myself and my company like, “What are five things I'm going to get done now?”

Even if I get those five things done and I have a mountain of other things to do and delegate, it allows me to feel that little bit of accomplishment. On a traditional day, I can be dealing with Massachusetts delivery licenses, Georgia applications, dealing with calls in Portugal, regulatory issues for the lawyers back home, staff motivation and project manager calls or whatever it might be. The one thing that's helped me over these last few years, since I learned about it was like that 5AM Club of how to focus in the morning, workout, take care of oneself and not just like, “I'll fix these things later. I'll take care of my health later. I'll drink water later.” If you go down as a business leader, your whole company is going to go down and your mental health is the one thing that you have in a disaster and you have control over in your life, even though self-control is challenging for everyone.

I start my day with that kind of focus. One of the little trick I learned on the Grand Canyon guiding years ago is no matter where it is, look at the sunrise in the morning, honor that, and be grateful even if you got crushed, lost millions of dollars the day before, new lawsuits, this thing happening or that thing happening, or your favorite VP quitting because she is getting married. Whatever it might be, it’s being grateful for the opportunity to participate in a business. We control our destiny when you own a business, instead of going and showing up at work, but that means you are beholden to your employees, staff, clients and the regulators or in our case, the plant that feeds us.

Morning time is important for me. At the end of the day, what didn't get done and what's urgent needs to be done instantly. The biggest key for scaling your business is delegation and having good people to trust. I've hired nearly 100 different people in my company that could step in and take those calls. They might not have the same experience in some things but I trust them to do their job better than I do. That's why I hired them. Having that courage to hire people to do a better job than I can even do it myself.

[bctt tweet="If you keep going in the same path, those wagon wheel ruts get deeper, and it will be harder to change later or turn your course." username=""]

It's important to make yourself a priority. We hear a lot of CEOs talk about what they do in their morning rituals and how they get themselves mentally prepared for the day at large so that they can go out and accomplish what they need to which is the most important thing for them. With that, what advice would you give a new entrepreneur or a new CEO that's assuming the role for the first time? I'm sure you've got a lot of advice for them, but if it's one thing, what would that be?

Putting the infrastructure in place that you need to run your company. There's this idea of “you either run your business or your business runs you.” You're working on your business or in your business and normal CEO's as we start hundreds of companies every year. I'm coming to getting equity of those and being a part of those companies, I'll see the business leader working in the business, doing the things like, “I need to do this. I'm the expert at this.” It's like, “How do I work on the business? What things need to happen? What's my infrastructure? How do we deal with our accounting? How is our marketing? Especially with Coronavirus, how do leads come in?” It might not be at trade shows, it might be different. How do you have good infrastructure to know what you’re doing and how well are you doing it?

I've talked to CEOs that are 2 or 3 years into their business. I'm like, “Let's talk about your KPIs.” They're like, “What are those?” I'm like, “Many years ago, I didn't know what those were either, but it’s key performance indicators. How are you measuring the success of your business and what tools do you use to deal with these things?” The most important thing is the infrastructure. I run empires off of the smartphone. I'm vulnerable. My company will produce 2,000 pages of reports in a few days. I’m like, “I don't even know how to type.”

I have good infrastructure and good people but I am also vulnerable enough to say like, “Where is my infrastructure not good or what are my weaknesses and how do I have the infrastructure of the business cover those weaknesses?” I should learn one of these days. I figured I'm too old and stubborn now but putting in the systems and the infrastructure to take care of your indiscretions or your shortcomings is the most important thing to start with.

From being an army guy and you being an Air Force guy, Air Force only allows you to type with each finger. For you, with this journey, how do you stay motivated to show up and be present for your company and your customers every day? What do you do?

It's taken a toll on my personal life. I'm single. I don't have children. I've worked in this industry since I got out of the military at 22. I had some degrees but when it comes to staying motivated, it's that quote from Bob Marley. He got shot, he was in the hospital, and he had a concert that day and they're like, “Bob, take a day off.” He's like, “The band people don't take days off.” When I look at this industry, this is one of the biggest opportunities that we've ever had. It’s a new emerging industry. There are a lot of horrible people. This industry didn't have the best reputation anyways, but there are a lot of people that think, “We've got this pest problem. Spray this pesticide on it. It's just micro butanol.”

When that's burned above 317 degrees, it turns into hydrogen cyanide and that goes into people's lungs. Any product that I'm making, I consider it's for my sick grandmother. That personal responsibility knowing that there are a lot of bad apples that are better capitalized than we are. They have better resources from Wall Street, or their previous experience of investment banking. They know how to manipulate the system. They don't care about the plant, the end products, or what the reputation of the industry is. For me, it's knowing that what we do matters. There are a lot of good people in this industry and trying to establish it. If we don't create that positive light on this or showing a different path, because there's a problem, I solve it this way.

Some of these problems have taken years to build these bridges. One match can burn the whole bridge down. Realizing the band people don't take days off and we only have so long until this is normalized. You don't get some of these revolutionary ideas when you're older or willing to take some of these risks with your portfolios and grandkids. Being agile, adaptive, and goal-focused of even if I'm poor at the end of all of this, I'll know at the end of the day when I laid down, I did my part in making this industry a better industry. In my mind, from Vandana Shiva’s Model of people, planet, profit. We have to be equal in all three of those departments to have a true profit.

[caption id="attachment_5688" align="aligncenter" width="600"]BLP Nic | Medical Cannabis Industry Medical Cannabis Industry: No matter where it is, look at the sunrise in the morning, honor that, and be grateful.[/caption]

 

Normal business is you cut down the forest, you make your lumber. That's how you make your money. It's like, “We'll replant trees.” This is the first time in the history of business that I feel that doing the right thing environmentally and socially is the most profitable thing you can do, like big greenhouses, big outdoor plantations and not using very dangerous solvents that could get you in lawsuits later. Being mindful of the planet that we use to create this and the people that are workers and not string things over to make a profit, but working with those systems like my biology or ecology background. Being part of the system to make things better. That's the main reason that I wake up every day and work as hard as I do.

Always do the right thing and take care of the planet because it's the only one we have. To switch gears for the last question, you said that you are a skier and a Grand Canyon River guy. You seem like an adventure-seeker because you're a world traveler as well. Outside of work, what's another passion of yours?

That's been the main passion there for years, but when I got out of the military, I was hurt. I had enough of the world, hence why I settled down in the most desolate remote county in Colorado. I used some of my last savings from the military and bought a 35 acre off the grid parcel. I built a straw bale house and focused on environmental systems. When you can plug the power of the water, it's easy to not question where things go. I remember learning a long time ago, we believe in this place called away like, “Where does your food come from? Where does your waste go?” When you have an off the grid property, I have to create everything and deal with those systems.

That was a big backbone for the company of thinking, “How can I live even though I might have been on private jets from Dubai back to LA with clients and giant investors using huge oil and gas proceeds from family offices to invest in new industries?” I've had to learn how to compromise from a simple-minded, I do a 30-day Grand Canyon that is 300 miles. All of our food, water, shelter, fire on boat that's going through 30-foot waves. What I do now and I would guide that, I'd been there before but I had some very scared people that had never been there. I wanted to share that beauty.

I remember mountain guiding up to Crestone Needle over in Colorado one day. We were 200 feet from the summit and the storm was coming in. My clients were like, “We’ve got to get to the summit.” I'm like, “We didn't come here to get you to the summit. I came here to make sure you get home safely.” It's the same idea of my personal life and my business that are all intertwined in one thing. I use my business to drive those passions, but I figure at least as of now, being mindful of those systems that feed us and the people that are from this because if this was any normal industry, it wouldn't be as unique or I wouldn't be motived. Even if you're like, “Nic, you're going to be a multimillionaire someday.” I'm like, “That's not what I do this for. It's to create something that's intergenerational wealth and prosperity that's not just for my kids.”

It's thinking for future generations where if the alcohol industry had thought about this or the train industry had thought about this, they would have made different decisions where as you said, Jaime, “Do the right thing.” We used to have trains all over the place but then we can sell more tires, windshields and wipers with cars if we got rid of the trains. That's a great idea but there's a reason that Europe didn't do that because trains make a lot of sense. When you look at why cannabis was made illegal, even in the first place, it wasn't about the medicine of smoking marijuana. It was, “Hemp is six times better than cotton and is 40 times better than paper.” It's the only plant that makes Omega 3, 6, and 9. Six tons of protein per acre.

That would be like having cows stacked on top of each other. It's this plant that's important for an eight billion person population for how we're going to feed ourselves. How are we going to have paper, houses, or plastics as we're getting past peak oil. For protein sources, we can't keep having capitols or over fishing the ocean. We need to diversify into plant-based proteins and some other things that it’s this giant coalescence for me of why I do and what I wake up for, of how I balance that personal life and professional life of knowing what we do matters. New other business owners out there, you have to embody that like, “What you do matters,” even if it's selling bathroom fixtures. Where do you source your porcelain?

How do you make sure your workers are making living with sustainable wages or not using solvents that are giving them cancer? It might be cheaper but in the long run, those lawsuits are not going to be cheaper and it might be even a good thing to market and brand if you're doing the right thing, not just a greenwash but there's always an avenue that you can do better as your business. If it's from your personal reasons or your personal life of why you do that, you're going to show up stronger and more motivated. You're going to go home happier and live a more sustainable, happy life if you do that.

[bctt tweet="The biggest key for scaling your business is delegation and having good people to trust." username=""]

I think about the comment of doing the right thing. Doing the right thing is always easy to explain to your children. It cuts down on the things you have to keep up with and go, “I would've probably done it this way,” and go, “That's what you said.” You go, “That's the right thing.” It's a simple mantra. What is the difference between easy and simple? Nic, we appreciate you taking the time. It is fascinating to watch you try to establish the culture of an industry. It reminds me of the internet. That's a whole different technology and whatnot. I look forward to hearing about your success and impact. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking time out of your day to visit with us.

Bob and Jaime, it's been an absolute honor and privilege. I wouldn't think the cannabis industry would be right here on a show or getting this award. It was big for my team to share that honor knowing that without them, I would've never been able to do what I do. Without investors being able to trust us and clients being able to trust us based on our track record, we would have gone out of business a long time ago. If someone can do what we do better, bring it on, but we're constantly going to be here, adapt and evolve to make sure that we do this in the right way moving forward. It’s been an honor to share with you all.

How do people find you?

3CCannabis.com and Multiverse Capital is where I kept seeing massive investment opportunities in the space and you can't fight a war without bullets. That's why we started our venture capital funds and have seen well over a billion dollars of capital deployed into the cannabis industry through the projects we've worked on. If there are investors that are trying to figure out how to invest in this space or new people that want to get into the industry or existing operators that need help with their businesses, www.3CCannabis.com or on LinkedIn and all the normal places there.

We are here to help and we've got a long way until the industry gets done, but looking at a big potentially federal decriminalization coming, looking at social equity, like more minority business owners getting into the space of diversity of the capital. In the coming years, you're going to see a whole different world where it's not just CBD products at a gas station or a dispensary you pass in Colorado or Massachusetts but creating something that's going to be new and changing the future that we live in. It's an honor to do this for you all.

I appreciate it. Thanks very much.

For those of you that are interested in learning more about next door, you can visit us at www.Titan100.biz and you can read the profiles of all the Titan 100, including Nic's profile. Thank you for being with us, Nic.

You, guys, have a great day. Thank you.

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About Nic Easley

BLP Nic | Medical Cannabis IndustryAs a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force, I've personally experienced the therapeutic value of the cannabis plant. My work in the industry began in Colorado's early medical market and has since expanded into 35 U.S. States, two Territories, and 26 countries. Along the way, I've witnessed the numerous pitfalls experienced by cannabis entrepreneurs. I've observed weak cultivation, extraction, and manufacturing techniques that resulted in negative environmental and social impacts. I've seen improperly structured companies crippled by their tax burden. I firmly believe that as pioneers and leaders in the cannabis industry, we have a great responsibility to steward its growth. It's my mission to develop profitable companies that employ forward-compliant business procedures, support their communities, and utilize environmentally responsible practices.

As the CEO of 3C Consulting, I oversee daily operations, business development, and work hands-on with clients to optimize their operations. 3C provides strategic and tactical consulting to cultivation, extraction, manufacturing, retail, delivery, and distribution companies as well as ancillary service providers and product manufacturers in the industry. We are passionate about introducing demonstrated best practices from other industries to the cannabis space. In the process, we establish the highest industry standards for sustainable, long-term cannabis businesses. Alongside the 3C team, I have helped nearly 500 clients to design, start-up, build, and scale their cannabis companies.

I founded Multiverse Capital™, a cannabis & hemp venture firm, to provide investors with the deep cannabis operational experience necessary to adequately vet opportunities in the space. Our extensive network offers continuous access to quality deal flow. Further, we manage and advise portfolio companies via value-added services. As a result of my work with Multiverse, I was named one of the rising stars in cannabis investment by Business Insider in 2018.

I frequently share my industry knowledge by keynoting at conferences and events, publishing original articles, and participating in industry committees and organizations, including serving as a Board Member for Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Additionally, I recently educated delegates on medical cannabis at the UN Intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting on International Challenges Posed by the Non-Medical use of Synthetic Opioids.

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