Hi, Reddit! I'm Joe Hodas, Chief Marketing Officer at the international edibles company Wana Brands. I've been part of the cannabis industry since 2014 when I was appointed CMO of Dixie Elixers, and since then I've watched the industry grow and change at a mind-boggling rate.

I'll be here from 11am to 2pm EST. Ask me anything about the business side of cannabis, the future of the industry, or whatever else is on your mind.


Comments: 551 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

Wandering_butnotlost229 karma

Once the banking rules are fixed, how long do you think it will take until Big Tobacco controls the entire market?

WanaBrandsOfficial246 karma

Well, I sure hope thats not the case. And TBH...im not sure it will be Big Tobacco necessarily or specifically. I think they have the expertise in growing and distribution, but there are many large CPG, Bev/Alc that might also jump in I would imagine.But, I wouldnt say any of that is necessarily "good" depending on where you're coming from. It will make for better and stronger businesses, more access, etc. but likely could hamper innovation and the real understanding of/dedication to the plant.

Slapmeislapyou-15 karma

Was in the traditional markets almost 20 years here. Served two years for cannabis back in '08. And I have to say you're 100% right. Dispensaries will not survive a federal legalization of Cannabis. Not even close. Once the tobacco companies get involved it is GAME OVER. And I'll tell you why. Convenience, availability, price, quality and quantity. Most of Cannabis's value over the past couple decades can be attributed to the religious culture surrounding it. Not a religion of faith in a higher power. But a religion of an exaggerated impact or enjoyment of cannabis by most of its users. Especially the daily users. Most daily users of cannabis experience little to no psychoactive effects at all. But yet still spend significant %'s of their income to use it, even though they haven't been "high" for much of their time using cannabis. When Big Tobacco comes in and doesnt acknowledge that religion, no longer uses names like, Durban Poison, Grease Monkey, Ice Cookie, etc, and simply labels it either Indica, Sativa, Hybrid. Priced at $7 a pack, for 20 cigarettes, on EVERY SHELF of EVERY CONVENIENCE STORE IN THE COUNTRY, it is over with for mom and pop. The tobacco companies will give many cannabis users the experience they always wanted deep down. Not the religious experience they hold on to because they've been paying $50/8th for quality for years. But the experience to smoke when, where, and how you want throughout the day, for less than $10/day. For most Cannabis users, using is not even affordable. Most cannabis users have families and are middle class. Smoking cannabis on a daily for Mom and Dad cuts DEEP into the family budget. Judge them is you will, but that's the reality. Yes, there will always be that demand for exotic. But that will represent a minority share in overall cannabis use. Most cannabis users are your everyday Joe or Jane, looking to relax a little and not break the bank. Not the connesuir whose day is all about finding the ultimate strain. Overall, for anyone "in the game", legal or otherwise. They better get what they can get while they can get it before Phillip Morris and the like come through and acquire the entire industry, almost overnight. Sorry for yelling.

BrothelWaffles35 karma

Tell me you don't smoke weed and know nothing about it or the market without telling me you don't smoke weed and know nothing about it or the market. You sound like a tobacco exec in denial that you missed the boat.

All the big players in cannabis already exist, and they're not tobacco companies. Cresco and Curaleaf are the Philip Morrises of weed, and they're only going to grow bigger.

WanaBrandsOfficial4 karma

I dont disagree..as it stands to today. But i know those MSOs well, and while many might aspire to be the Phillp Morris, they are still FAR from it. So if legalization gets drug out for years, and they continue to grow/build/fine tune...maybe. But if it happens in the next, lets say 4 years...they get bought out and become Phillip Morris IMO.

WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

Really interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing. Definitely some truth in there.

daqq80 karma

Is the slightly bitter taste of your edibles by design (to lessen the chance it is accidentally eaten) or is that due to the bitterness of the cannabis distillate? I've noticed some companies have more bitterness than others.

WanaBrandsOfficial142 karma

well, its a combination of things. Yes, its the quality of the distillate we use, so it does maintain some of the weediness. But, we are also not a candy company. We want an edible that tastes great, but, its still medicine.

roberttatefan77 karma

Many would agree that edibles have lower health risks compared inhalants and are thus more palatable, especially to new users. The downside has been the slow onset, which often means newer users struggle with dosing. Even among standardized dosages, there are considerable differences in (subjective) effects across a standardized dose.

Are there emerging technologies/carriers/delivery mechanisms that help one feel the effects more quickly to allow users to titrate to effect, much like one can do with inhalants? Tinctures appear to somewhat bridge this gap but seem fairly uncommon in the retail industry. Is there a reason for this?

Comparisons are often made to alcohol so some version of social consumption where folks can individually monitor their intoxication in near real-time seems like it would be an appealing development for the industry.

**Edit** apparently you've already made headway on this based on a previous answer citing Wana's "Quick Gummies" - are there plans to expand this technology to true beverage replacements to compete with the alcohol industry?

WanaBrandsOfficial152 karma

Thanks robert. Totally agree..and we are getting there. But, that said, unless the science catches up, I dont think cannabis will ever have the same "arc" as alcohol. It interacts with our bodies in a completely different way. But...we are making progress with tech like fast acting. We partnered with a great company called Azuca for our fast acting edibles, and our data shows (and from personal experience!) that you feel effects in 5-15 minutes. BUT...and this is important...there is still that Arc. You dont go from zero to 60 in 15 minutes. Its a gradual climb, with a peak, and then a casual decline. OVer about 3 hours. So its not like alcohol in that sense. And TBH, thats one of the things I really like about the plant. I dont actually want it to hit me like alcohol.

Dudeist-Priest61 karma

We've all seen the basic gummy, hard candy and baked edibles. What are some of the next level edibles we can expect to see in the future? And while we're at it, what were some of the worst ideas you've seen?

WanaBrandsOfficial93 karma

Great question! Truthfully, IMO, there arent many "formats" that havent been explored. And the ones that havent, likely dont need to be. Point being, we are still humans, whether ingesting cannabis, vitamins..whatever. We have a ton of historical evidence to show how/what people like to use in terms of formats. Ive seen many products on the market that just dont make it because there simply isnt a reason for them. Nasal inhalers is a good example. No disrespect there, but, the efficiency of the delivery isnt THAT much better that you might choose that over a gummie. And those who do need that methodology are simply a smaller portion (very small) of the consuming public. So i believe innovation will be in the form of things like we are delivering at wana...products that solve problems. Use case specific products that are highly formulated. Products that solve for existing issues, like our fast acting Quick gummies that all but eliminate the delay in edibles effects. This is where real innovation will head...how can the plant be better, do more and enhance lives more effectively and not necessarily in some kind of fancy new format like beef jerky (which we once made back in the day! and which isnt really very fancy :).

daqq26 karma

Any chance we could see something like Listerine strips in a cannabis version? Sublingual dissolvable strips, and they could even be minty fresh!

skyandbray37 karma

My local dispo sells these already.

WanaBrandsOfficial31 karma

Yep. They are around for sure. Escape Artist here in CO makes those.

daqq5 karma

And another question, are you planning on partnering with any other dispensaries in the FL market outside of Muv? And will the quick gummies be making their way to our market soon?

WanaBrandsOfficial9 karma

yes and yes! Very soon...so stand by!

ronnock18 karma

Seems to be a lot of THC-infused drinks coming on the to market too

WanaBrandsOfficial36 karma

Yeah. There are. Im not sold. I was part of drinks for four years with Dixie, and I just think its still such a small market, and its not the preferred format for most. Some are making great headway, like Cann and Happi. Also another REALLY interesting company ive come across recently is MXXN in CA. Check them out. But by and large, I dont know that sales have followed the hype.

Diet_Coke31 karma

How do you control dosing so that each edible has a consistent, reliable dose and how do you test to ensure your methods are working?

WanaBrandsOfficial52 karma

Love that question. SOOOO important to us. There are a few things at play here.

1) The state of Colorado, and many other states, require homogeneity testing. So we have to be sure that each batch has the right amount on a per piece basis.

2) We test them in house as well. Requires a little chemistry, science and some fancy equipment, but worth the investment.

3) Each state requires state certified labs to test for potency. This one is tricky tho as there is no national reference lab for this that will show each state how to test properly. And depending on type of edible, testing methodology can be highly variable. But we have to pass these potency tests (usually plus or minus a certain percent) to even be on shelf. Otherwise, product gets destroyed.

We have spent years and $$ perfecting our formulations and emulsions to ensure that consistency across every state (or country) we are in.

SleepyLakeBear20 karma

I just want to say that your CBD gummies were the only thing to give me some relief from a bad case of shingles that I had a few summers ago. Thank you for a great product! I tried the fast acting 1:1 gummies over the 4th of July this year, and they were great!

WanaBrandsOfficial23 karma

thank you so much for sharing that. It sounds hokey, i know, but thats truly why we do what we do. Believe me, there are days when this industry isnt the ton of fun everyone thinks it is. Which is why we love to hear when we are helping people. Thank you. Stay healthy!

Diet_Coke8 karma

Thanks for your answer, super interesting! As a follow up, let's just say you were on a challenge kind of tv show (like Great British Baking Show) and had only the equipment available in a standard kitchen. You've been tasked with making cookies. What would you do to get the dosing as consistent as possible from one cookie to the next?

WanaBrandsOfficial11 karma

well thats not a question I ever thought Id be asked! Its an awesome one too...unfortunately, Im not the guy to ask as I dont formulate the products...just market them. I wish I had mike hennesy on here..hes our VP of innovation and he would know! FWIW...I LOVE to cook. I hate baking though :).

Cakelord26 karma

How do you feel about your success when so many are in jail for doing what you do? Are you working to correct this injustice?

WanaBrandsOfficial26 karma

I dont like it at all. And we are indeed trying to support efforts to correct this injustice at every opportunity, both personally and as a company. Our best ways to do that are to donate to causes looking to get prisoners released and records expunged (along with social equity initiatives by state) and to use our megaphones/platforms to keep raising the issue.

peaphive22 karma

How are one kind of edibles different from other edibles other then flavor?

Its my understanding that thc is made into an oil then that is used to make the edibles. So if you make strain x into edibles do the effects carry over? If strain x make you sleepy, chill or happy. And strain y makes you up beat, chatty and giggley is that all lost when the flower is made into an oil?

WanaBrandsOfficial45 karma

Love this one. And the answer is..yes and no :). So, there are many types of oils from straight distillate to hydrocarbon extracts to solventless, like live rosin/resin. While it is true that with distillate, you are blasting out the "terpenes" which give each strain their unique personality, we actually add a custom blend of 30+ terps back in to the oil during the process. Many have questioned the viability of a terpene when digested, but we are soon going to be able to share some exciting data that shows that the body retains the terps even when eaten (rather than smoked).

Additionally, we differentiate by a number of other unique factors. Our "quick" line of products provides a Delta-9 "Smokers High" rather that the traditional edible 11-hydroxy effect. We make custom "optimals" gummies that include other minor cannabinoids for desired effect, like our Fast Asleep formulation. And we make a Live Rosin, fast acting edible that is about as close to the plant as you can get in an edible.

Thats how we go well beyond flavor!

BloodAwaits9 karma

Very interesting. I always assumed that the mass industrialization of cannabis would trend towards hyper-specialization: large scale "dirty" farming for relatively low THC plants that can be produced cheaply and in huge quantities for extraction purposes, followed by adding the terpenes back in from specially bred terpene-heavy plants that are grown much more selectively. Is this the actual situation in the industry?

Following up, how is the terpene addition done? Do you select certain terpenes for certain effects and make custom blends, or is it more trying to recreate the taste and sensation profile of existing strains?

Thanks for your replies, fascinating AMA that provides an insight into a rapidly developing industry.

WanaBrandsOfficial16 karma

Great questions. And while i concur that cheap, likely outdoor grown flower will be used to feed biomass needs for oil, there is still a bit of a trash in, trash out issue. You cant go super cheap because the yields are so terrible. But, i would also say that distillate only gummies are the front line/cheap price product. As we push more into premium solventless extracts like Live Rosin, or other techs that I know are being developed that are pretty much able to replicate plant composition, we will see a striation of the edibles markets. As for the terps, cant speak to anyone else's but for ours its a curated blend of 30+ for most of our products. For our "classic" and Quick gummies, they are comprised of the most commonly found terps in the most popular strain of the class (indica, sativa, hyrid). So while it does provide consistency of flavor/quality, its also meant to replicate the best of those strains. For our new sleep gummies..and this is really cool...we actually used AI through our partners at BudBoard to understand, via thousands of consumer data points, what strtains/terps were best for sleep.

teaplease8814 karma

What is the biggest threat/hurdle to nationwide legalization?

WanaBrandsOfficial64 karma

The senate :). Truly. Its politics. Cannabis has bi partisan support. Its favored by a super majority of the country. And yet, it still cant get done. Its all about politics, grand standing and fear mongering at this point. Other than that, maybe macro economics and global geo political tensions.

BikeBikeRabies13 karma

Walk me through how sourcing product works. For example, if a state suddenly approves recreational use, how would a small business owner start sourcing product?

WanaBrandsOfficial31 karma

Ha! Thats an age old secret :). The truth is, you arent supposed to have "plants" or even seeds, in many states prior to licensing etc. But, somehow they always appear. Some states have created work arounds for clones and seeds, but in others, its just a matter of turning a blind eye. I mean...a plant doesnt magically appear out of nowhere, right?

WanaBrandsOfficial29 karma

But, in re reading your question, if you are talking about retail...thats different. If you want to open a store to sell, step one is licensing with the state. Then you have to have all the infrastructure required (cameras, safes, etc) and then you have to be in the state approved seed to sale tracking system that most/many states have implemented, in order to track all product to and from your store. Other than that easy stuff...its actually a very relationship based industry. Make friends with cultivators and distributors. But likely they will be looking for you anyway.

dukereuchre12 karma

do you think Canada edible issue (10mg a package thc limit) will change?

WanaBrandsOfficial22 karma

for sure. It has to. And I hear that its in progress. But it likely doesnt make sense for anyone (producers, consumers or regulators) to keep it how it is now.

Temporary-Diamond-3211 karma

What kpis and metrics do you lean on to measure succes of your part of the organization?

WanaBrandsOfficial21 karma

Any I can get my hands on! Truthfully, other than DTC ecommerce, it can often be hard to measure (and thats not an invite for any measurement or digital companies to hit me up on how their platform can do it). But we have several constraints with cannabis that preclude us from getting precise data. So I often have to look at things in broad buckets like awareness (how many people did we reach with X initiative), Sales (did they go up coincident with the timing), and manufactured conversions (did we capture an email, did we get a click thru to the site). So its still rudimentary, but that will change. We also look at things like "how many Budtenders did we train" and "how many consumers hit the education link we sent out." Education is big for us. So we use that to measure as well.

usedatomictoaster10 karma

How high are you right now?

WanaBrandsOfficial51 karma

Not at all. Why? Do I sound high? Do you think anyone else thinks Im high? What if they do think Im high and I get in trouble with my boss? :)

Duke_Driller10 karma

What are your thoughts on the emerging rec market on the east coast, specifically on how the close proximity the states have with each other will impact/affect or change how companies are able to operate across state lines? Just the commuter market alone between NJ->NYC<-CT.

WanaBrandsOfficial8 karma

well, for sure there is a ton of anticipation for those markets. And they will be huge. But the regulatory roll out, and subsequent political squabbles, will be the first step in the process. From there, once its all up and running, it changes the economics of nearby states like MA and MD. But in terms of state lines...other than consumers crossing them...none of that likely changes before legalization as interstate commerce is federally regulated. But we are VERY excited and bullish on the East Coast overall.

daddio25908 karma

What exactly are the regulations that currently discourage banks from handling pot shop transactions?

WanaBrandsOfficial10 karma

Federal banking oversight. Its not federally legal so bankers dont feel they can touch it, despite "light guidance" from the feds.

Jackiedhmc7 karma

Do you sell delta 8 products?

WanaBrandsOfficial29 karma

Nope. Have not and likely will not. In most cases, its not regulated and its lab manufactured. So, I dont have any interest in us being involved with products that someone underage can buy online or at a convenience store. And we are also unclear as to what issues might arise from effects of delta 8 conversion.

6sh00ter7 karma

Can we petition for your title be "Chief Munchies Officer"?

WanaBrandsOfficial4 karma

Wait a minute...who is this? :) I do like munchies though. And I would also say that if asked to curate a bunch of post-sesh munchies, I could put together a solid selection.

TisTheWindAndNothing6 karma

What are the biggest constraints to growth? In an era of cheap and plentiful cannabis, what truly differentiates one company to another?

WanaBrandsOfficial12 karma

Excellent question. And I was just in MI this week where I couldnt believe some of the pricing I was seeing. So, at the end of the day, how do you differentiate? Some think its price...they dont care about quality, brand, effect, etc. They just want to make a 100MG edible as cheap as possible. And there is a market for that, but its not sustainable, and frankly, it damages the industry IMO. But we believe that we differentiate on brand, but not just pretty packaging. Its who we are as a company...investing in our communities. Constantly driving innnovation. Using quality, organic ingredients (tho legally we cant say organic b/c we aretn recognized as an industry :). And so for us, cheap is not the route. We have found that people gravitate to a brand that stands for something and ensures a premium product every time.

eight786 karma

Thank you for the AMA.

As a novice to the legal in-store conversation, I’m usually just asking for the “cleanest” quality edibles, and not trying to get them to qualify the supposed affects.

How can a consumer distinguish the “good actors” in the industry who are putting the health of the consumer ahead of just profit maximization?

WanaBrandsOfficial7 karma

Thanks for that. Hard to say, other than just doing research. The good ones stand out. And also, look at review sites like leafly and weedmaps. People are quick to call out the bad actors. But of course, there are also the trolls, so multiple data sources is always best. And then I would also go to a few stores and ask the budtenders and get a consensus there. But of course, if you always just go with Wana, then you know you're good!

Calvertorius5 karma

What does your job as CMO entail? Doesn’t the product basically market itself?

WanaBrandsOfficial19 karma

Ha! Im always surprised at how many people say "come on joe..how hard is it to market weed. Everyone already likes it." Well, it may be true (tho not everyone) but its a hyper competitive, highly fragmented, insanely regulated industry. So, it requires some fancy maneuvering. Luckily I have an absolutely amazing team of professionals. And i view my job as basically setting strategy (in collaboration) and from there providing support, removing road blocks and keeping the plates spinning. To get to the heart of your question about a CMO in this space...consider this one slice...We are in 15 markets and two countries. We add another market about every three months. Each market has to have its own unique packaging, each market is its on market separate from any other and requires marketing unique to the state/country and each has its own regulatory hurdles, changes and partnerships that change regularly. So imagine having 15 brands and 100 skus...and ask if it requires some marketing leadership :).

MaximusIcarus5 karma

I'm currently in the UK where we haven't got to legalisation yet; in your opinion as it approaches, what is the best way to get involved/invest in future companies pre-legal? Thanks for your time!

WanaBrandsOfficial6 karma

ooh. Thats a tough one. Such a gamble because everything from regulation to macro economics can impact that investment. I got involved with companies early on that made it, and more that didnt. So, I would look for a few things:

1) what is the space they are in? And do they solve a problem/have something better/different (and make sure they do...dont just take their word for it :)

2) experienced team? I would look to ensure that someone at the top understands the industry as well as business in general.

3) Cash. Are they well funded. I realize they are looking for your investment as part of that funding, but, I wouldnt be investor #1 in a highly leveraged start up.

Much of that is investing 101 i suppose, but with all the risks and potential pitfalls, discipline is even more important in cannabis.

intelligentiam3 karma

When do you expect to be in nyc?

WanaBrandsOfficial6 karma

Well, first they have to actually roll out the industry there! But assuming it gets up and running in the next 3 months, definitely gonna try to be there as soon in 2023 as possible!

WanaBrandsOfficial3 karma

Thanks for all the great questions! I have to get back to work but I will return later to answer any questions I wasnt able to get to. Thanks for all the great/thougtful input and dialogue.

Funkadelichica3 karma

What is Wana’s key differentiator and why do you think it’s become a leading brand in the cannabis industry? Does wana have plans to enter the New York market?

WanaBrandsOfficial7 karma

Well, I did post on Linked In that I wanted softball questions...so thanks! But honestly...I love this company. And the reasons i love it are the reasons I think its a leading brand (and I have seen/been with many companies in this space).

  1. Amazing leadership. Nancy Whiteman is all the good things you've ever read about her (and I would say that regardless of whether she is reading this :). And it has bred an amazing culture of love and respect for each other, the plant and our communities. and that shows.
  2. We understand that "brand" is not simply a logo or a pretty package or ad campaign. Its everything...from how we interact with our partners/consumers to how we invest in our communities. To though leadership and innovation. To quality products. All of it. And its surprising to me how many brands dont get that its EVERY touch point and you dont get to pick and choose.
  3. I often get to take credit for "brand" but in truth, we wouldnt be where we are without amazing leadership in product development (looking at you Hennesy :). Our products speak for themselves and we continue to lead with innovation and meeting consumer needs. Thats a big part of our "brand"

Farva852 karma

What are some avenues to raise capital in this industry? I've found Arcview, but are there others to review and consider?

WanaBrandsOfficial3 karma

I would say Arcview is one of the most established. But really, until such time as banking is fixed, its primarily HNW family offices and private equity. And there are many funds in those areas that have been established to serve the cannabis industry.

Temporary-Diamond-322 karma

How do you price your products?

WanaBrandsOfficial7 karma

Well, we dont actually price it at retail. We sell wholesale to the dispensary. So, we create a wholesale price based on Cost of Good Sold (COGS), but, once we sell it to the dispensary, its up to them (though we make strong suggestions) as to where they sell it. However, when we offer a wholesale discount, we do ask they they pass it along to the consumer. And each of those costs will vary by state depending on cost of THC oil, taxes, efficiency, etc.

Temporary-Diamond-322 karma

Interesting. Does higher THC % correlate with premium pricing? Or is that an incorrect assumption?

WanaBrandsOfficial6 karma

depends on category..in flower..maybe. Premium pricing is usually reserved for special strains, small batches, hand trimming, etc. But sometimes it coincides with THC perentage. For edibles, its not really "percentage" of THC b/c a MG is a MG. But, for example, a product that has 100MG might cost more than on that has 50MG. But as you scale up in MG, you also get some cost savings on other hard costs like labor and packaging etc. So..on a price per MG basis, a higher MG edible might actually be less if that makes sense. so for edibles, several other factors go into premium pricing like ingredient quality, technology, flavor profiles, consistency, etc.

tofu_schmo2 karma

While smoking/vaping is a pretty standard experience for me, I find that edibles have very little effect. Any idea why this might be the case? This is w/ homemade edibles and dosing you can buy. I'll do a 10mg and barely feel anything, and even when I've tried 20-30mg it hasn't been much different.

WanaBrandsOfficial6 karma

Well...there are a few answers. 1) Believe it or not, not everyone is affected by edibles. There is an enzyme in the liver that converts a standard edible from delt-9 THC into 11-Hydroxy...which is what gives you the edible effect. So if you dont produce that enzyme, and some dont, you might not feel edibles. If you are in a market with our QUICK fast acting edibles, do me a favor and try those. Our encapsulation process maintains the delta-9 and its absorbed into the bloodstream vs. being digested. So for many who prefer smoking, our quicks are a great answer.

2) Might be dosing. Sounds like youve tried 20-30, but maybe you need more? I wouldnt jump too quickly, but, perhaps scale it up slowly?

3) Not sure what market you are in and what products you have access to, but, quality of products really does matter. I promise a 30MG Wana dose isnt the same as a fly by night edible company who might not understand that science behind extraction, dosing an emulsification. Not throwing shade and not sure what you have access to, but, that might be part of it.

CallMeSnuffaluffagus2 karma

How reliable do you think testing lab results are? I don't know which state you're primarily out of but here in Oregon the dosage needs to be +/- 10% of the target. We've tested the same exact product/batch at multiple labs and gotten results ALL over the place. I've always wondered if the cannabis industry exploded before the methodology of testing was ready to go and that most results are basically an educated guess depending on the accuracy of your instruments.

WanaBrandsOfficial3 karma

totally. Its a real challenge. And there's no reference lab to teach methodology. Ive also been told, tho not necessarily first hand, that some labs are willing to be "paid" for certain results. Definitely an area the requires more discipline and development. Tho there are some great, science driven labs out there leading the way. For us, our goal is to never "need" to rely on a lab because we solve for dosing and consistency before it ever gets to the lab.

derpderpdonkeypunch1 karma

How do you maintain consistency between batches and ensure that the concentration is the same? Do you test every batch, or a random selection?

WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

In house we test batches. State by state requirements vary. In CO, you can test a batch for homogeneity and potency and as long as you dont change the formulation, you are "approved" for a given period of time. In other states, every batch is tested. But potency, consistency and homogeneity all stare with our in house SOPs and testing.

L-A-Native1 karma

Why aren't more edibles made that are either strictly sativa or indica?

WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

I think many are...In most of our markets we see ours, and many others, that are class specific. Consumers want it, and bud tenders like it because it helps identify products for consumers.

JazzProblem1 karma

Thanks for the ama Joe!

Are you hopeful for smaller businesses in the cannabis industry in the future? Recreational was just legalized in my state and it seems like all the business open so far are these giant chains (I'm guessing that's since they're the only ones that can meet the demand presently). Do you think this will change as the market expands, or will it be more difficult for smaller local groweries to succeed?

WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

Excellent and thoughtful question. I think it will be a cycle. And i hate to use this overused comparison, but think of beer and alcohol. For so long it was controlled by major companies. Then, we got craft brews, micro distilleries etc and the dream of a small company making it big, became a reality. So I think it will come and go in cycles. Currently where we are, as new states come on, there is an opportunity, but its not as robust as I would hope and it excludes those who dont have the money to get in the game (which, sadly, often impacts the very people who could benefit from the potential of this industry). But all of that being said, there will ALWAYS be an appetite for highly curated, botique/high end products in Cannabis. So, there will be a spot for it, but just wish it was larger.

Futuressobright1 karma

What percentage of your workforce has expirience in the Cannibis business that predates legalization? Have there been struggles with helping these employees transition to the "formal economy"?

I have a friend who started in on the ground floor of a canabis company right when legalization happened and told me his boss, a long time grower, tried to pay him with an envelope full of cash, no deductions, no paystub...

WanaBrandsOfficial3 karma

Excellent question. And it really varies by state. As each one comes on line, they are more and more sophisticated out of the gate. But it still takes a minute for an industry to get its feet under itself. So, yeah, i have experience with getting paid with an envelope of cash (not at Wana!). But, its often a result of the environment (ie-no banking, etc). I think most/all employees WANT to be paid properly, get proper benefits, etc. I think the system just has to catch up. And we have long time industry employees, even some who were in the market prior to legalization and while there may be some resistance to becoming corporate (which, frankly, I dont wan to see either), i think almost all of them would choose to be above ground.

bumpkintrue1 karma

What kinds of software do you guys use to run your business?

Also, do your sales reps make commission?

WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

Softwares...many. Not a single source to run the business per se. But SAP probably gets closest to the question you are asking. And yes, sales do make commission in the form of bonus for goals achieved.

Boxcar_Blues1 karma


WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

Well...I hate to say it this way..but thats kinda why we are in business. It aint easy...and we have spent many years and a ton of money perfecting it. You can grow your own tomatoes and make an amazing pasta sauce. But to grow, extract, infuse and formulate...takes a lot of science an know how. I dont really know of any good references to send you to. Sorry...

Zalenka1 karma

Have you ever paired with a non-profit on a product? If so, did you pay them in cash?

WanaBrandsOfficial5 karma

We have. For example, we have supported Last Prisoner Project for several years and they are on our packaging. But, its not exactly a "one for one" situation. We make the donation regardless of product sales. And we did a big initiative this past 420 to help fight food insecurity. WE donated 10K to a non profit in each of our markets, and we promoted it in stores...but a purchase wasnt required necessarily.

bonyponyride1 karma

I'm interested in getting involved in the industry in Germany when/if it is legalized in the near future. Where do you think is the most profitable place to position oneself in the market? In product production, cannabis testing, retail, etc? I imagine it'll be different in different countries, but if you could start over knowing what you know now, where would you get involved in the industry?

WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

Well, the good news here is that honestly..I would be right where I am if I had it to do over. I believe strong brands are the place to be. But to an earlier comment I made, i define a strong brand as much more than a logo and pretty packaging. So there's a lot to that. But I have seen brands, time and again, be of the greatest value. And frankly, the most fun as a marketer. But, brands are across segments, so to the rest of your question...HIGHLY dependent on regulation and how that rolls out. I think for a while Germany and others in Europe wont even allow edibles for example. So its hard to say. But I do know cultivation is highly capital intensive, a grind and prone to commoditization. And retail, if you build the right brand, consumer experience and location, can be a lot of fun. Truthfully though, Ive always said that in early days, its mostly lawyers and real estate agents that make money in this business :).

jwill6021 karma

Got any marketing internship spots for MBA candidates next summer?

WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

Ya never know! HMU at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) when the time is right.

mcxmammer1 karma

For someone who has a bachelors in Business, but not all that much experience in the cannabis industry, is there a career path to follow? I’d be interested to break into that industry since I’m looking for a change.

WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

absolutely! All about networking. Might have to come in a little more entry, but, depending on the role (like maybe not head grower :), the industry can be taught/learned. Just need some patience and the ability to be tenacious but flexible in this industry. Definitely a need for more analysts if thats your business jam.

RODAMI1 karma

What are y’all doing about counterfeits and stuff coming in from Canada?

WanaBrandsOfficial2 karma

Well, as far as counterfeits, we shut them down the second we see them. But they do pop up on occasion. Not sure what you mean about Canada? We sell products in Canada and the US, but havent seen any issues with product coming from Canada.

nachodorito-5 karma

What's a fair valuation?

WanaBrandsOfficial4 karma

Of what? Thats a pretty broad question that cant be answered without more detail.