'It Pays to be Vertical,' Curaleaf CEO Tells Cannabis Capital Conference
The topic on everyone’s minds at Benzinga's Cannabis Capital Conference Wednesday in Miami Beach was how to maintain an edge and maximize profits as a market still in its infancy faces explosive growth amid political uncertainty.
On hand to offer his expertise was Curaleaf Holdings Inc (OTC:CURLF) CEO Joseph Lusardi, arguably one of the largest multistate operators in the space — the company holds licenses in 11 states. During a fireside chat moderated by 420 Investor Alan Brochstein, Lusardi told the crowd: “It pays be to be vertical.”
Execution Is Key
The cannabis industry veteran, who joined Curaleaf in 2016, has led the firm to massive growth: in 2018 they opened more dispensaries in Florida than any other company and have set their sights on nationwide expansion through their line of hemp products. The key to success during this integral time for the cannabis industry lies in execution in order to create a consistent consumer experience across the board, Lusardi said.
Despite the fact that Curaleaf has a presence in multiple markets, the company chose to stick with one cohesive brand under the company name at a time when many brands are laser-focused on the desires of customers in varying markets. This commitment to perfecting the Curaleaf name has been critical to the company's success, the CEO said, going on to offer insight on how to further increase the number of SKUs under one line.
“Bioavailability is going to become more important in order to differentiate products and effects and meet the needs of a broader consumer base,” he said, adding that precision dosing and lesser-known cannabinoids are also topics of discussion in terms of the future of the industry.
The Industry's Biggest Threat
When asked who or what the biggest threat to the American cannabis industry is, Lusardi’s answer was not "Canada," despite the fact that it’s the first developed nation to legalize marijuana. It's the black market, he said.
“The market is valued at $50 billion, but only $10 billion of that comes from legal sales,” the CEO said, noting that broader reform of cannabis laws could help ease high prices currently seen in many legal markets — one of the main drivers of the so-called black market.
Photo courtesy of Curaleaf.
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