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'Data Is Key': MNP's Glenn Fraser Discusses Cannabis Consulting In A Newly Legal Market

'Data Is Key': MNP's Glenn Fraser Discusses Cannabis Consulting In A Newly Legal Market

MNP’s Maruf Raza discussed the process of going public in Canada at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on Thursday, Aug. 15 in Detroit. 

To discuss the company's distinct services and consulting in the cannabis industry, Benzinga spoke with Glenn Fraser, the co-leader of MNP’s Cannabis Services team.

HG: On a day-to-day basis, are you actively seeking new clients? If so, what type of clients?

GF: We are always looking for new clients that fit our business model and go-to-market approach. At MNP we are focused exclusively on the mid-market, and we believe we can drive the maximum benefit to this segment. The mid-market for us is not a one-size-fits-all equation, and we often work in emerging industries.

Right now we are very focused on the cannabis sector, and we are looking at the sector globally.

HG: What one thing should cannabis companies focus on early in their day-to-day operations?

GF: Given that it is a heavily regulated market, compliance is the one of the first things a new company needs to focus on. [That means] getting the appropriate license to operate the business.

The second is defining the vision and mission for the business: what business do we want to be? and where can we use our skills and talents to maximize the profits, or return on investment? 

Once this is defined, the next key step is to make sure you have the capital to execute — both financial and talent capital.

HG: What consulting services are critical to a new market like Michigan?

GF: Compliance services is critical. As I mentioned above, you need to make sure you have a legal license. The recent events in Canada have demonstrated that the market, industry and regulators won’t tolerate noncompliance.

Next is defining the road map, or the strategic plan. This is where you will define the vision and mission and the pillars that support these. What is your competitive advantage? Or, even better, your sustainable competitive advantage?

HG: How do advising strategies and services change as the industry grows?

GF: It doesn’t change a lot, as the questions we ask are still fundamental regardless of size. As the industry grows and companies become larger, our services expand to look at operational efficiencies, integration services if companies are in acquisition mode, divestiture services if they are looking for an exit and governance structuring if there are outside shareholders, investors or stakeholders — to name a few.

HG: What do you consider the most prominent disruptors in the US market?

GF: Data and technology. Who is buying what, when and where and how can we produce that product quickly and consistently? 

Data is key to any industry, and given the infancy of this industry, there isn’t a lot of data from which to analyze and build a platform. Information is king, and in this industry it is hard to get information and likely more directional then accurate.

Like all other industries today, technology plays a vital role. How can I grow it quickly, efficiently, effectively and consistently given that it is a plant and not a manufactured widget?

I believe as data and technology evolve, they will play a key role in disrupting the industry.

Check out more coverage of last week's event here and sign up for Chicago here. Don't miss out! 

Related Links:

Michigan Policymakers Discuss The Future At Cannabis Capital Conference

'Who Do You Help?' Acreage EVP Talks Cannabis As A Wellness Product

Posted-In: Cannabis Capital Conference Glenn Fraser MNPCannabis Markets Interview Best of Benzinga


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