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Pod 317 - Expanding a leading cannabis retail brand into New York

by Business of Cannabis
September 13th 2021

On this episode of BofC Live, we connect with Korin Neff, Founder & CEO of B Cubed – a social equity venture with the exclusive right to develop ... More

Yeah, welcome to BFC live. The daily video and podcast series of business of cannabis BFC live highlights. The company's brands, people and trends driving the global cannabis sector. Find out all that we do at business of cannabis dot com. Coming up on BFC live, we connect with corn F. The founder and Ceo of B cube, a social equity venture with exclusive rights to develop the fire and flower brand into the new york tri state market be cubed and fire and flower us are part of our business of cannabis new york event on september 29th. Wow. Yeah, Corrine F Nice to see you. Great to see you jay Rosen ball 1st. Quick Shout Out to Emory University Class of 1996. We know each other. I was, I wanted to say 20 something years But it's dangerously close to 30 years that we've known each other obviously went to university together but it's great to see you on the cannabis front again. So thank you for making time. Well thank you for having me and it's great to have a friendship turned into something like this. There was a big gap in between when we didn't see each other or talk to each other outside of social media but I'm glad that we are seeing each other and talking to each other now and we're actually working together for an event that obviously we have all coming up business of cannabis new york On September 29.

Um Fire and flour and be cubed. Your company are exclusive partners in the tri state area. Talk a little bit about that and you're also sponsored the event. Talk a little bit about be cube and sort of the relationship you have with fire and flower. Sure. So be cubed is a woman owned business um, that I started with with two partners and our vision is to responsibly expand access to cannabis um, for women and minorities and veterans. Um, we were looking at partners and we're like minded which share the same vision and values as us and we're really fortunate to connect with firing flour us. Um, there are the exclusive license orders of the fire and flower brand and technology stack in the United States. So we have the fortune of being able to be home grown in the new york, New Jersey and Connecticut markets and being able to really understand the landscape here but have the power of a really amazing brand and uh, some pretty amazing people behind it too. And folks certainly on this side north of the Canadian border, no fire and flour and the tech that they use and the position they have in the sector and obviously they've made it very clear looking to expand the brand in the US as well.

And in the tri state area seems to be a key focus with you and the team that be cubed and things are moving fast now where they were moving I think really slow before and I think it's mostly based on sort of new york's effort. Is that how you're seeing it as well? Yeah, I mean, there have been a lot of fits and starts where we're like, mobilize everything right now and then and then there's a bit of a slowdown. Um I think there's some healthy competition between new york New Jersey and Connecticut, so I think that's going to keep the momentum going um from here on out, so we're ready and getting ourselves poised, um but also trying to do things in a responsible way and like I mentioned, find people on the ground and all of those markets that can really help us understand the consumer base that we're trying to attract, understand the local municipalities um in the right ways to operate. Yeah, it's interesting because um what, what appeared to hold back new york maybe a year plus ago, aside from political scandal, was the focus on social equity, right? And and doing right by the people who have been harmed by crackdowns on this plant, um and communities that have been adversely affected.

And now New york, I think is trying a more robust approach um than many, or maybe all states have in the past and really making a core to legalization efforts. I think you'll see a similar thing in New Jersey uh and Connecticut as well, and it seems to be sort of that Venn diagram that you guys are overlapping with them, where that's your focus to and and just talk a little bit about that, because it really is core to what you do, core to what new york is looking to do with legalization and it seems to be an approach that um is more on the floor than in other states that came before it. Yeah, I think New York is trying to learn the lessons from other states that tried to promote social equity and maybe it didn't didn't roll out quite as as people had anticipated that it would. Um so New York has made the commitment that 50% of its licences will go to social equity applicants. Um we're women business owners, we can't understand the perspective of every population that might be disenfranchised, but we certainly understand the struggles of being women in business and um are trying to empower ourselves with that and also find an opportunity to empower others.

So we are really focused on bringing minorities into our group, bringing veterans into our group, um working on things like expungement projects and also educational programs. So you have communities that were largely impacted by, you know, the quote unquote war on drugs for many years and it became this terrible cycle of incarceration and then lack of education. So we're trying to bring education to people because we know that in new york alone there expecting somewhere upwards of about 60,000 jobs to become available in cannabis market. Um So we want to be there to train people, educate people and then also work with communities to help communities understand that there's not necessarily a negative stigma attached with cannabis, that there's a lot of positives aside from just tax revenue. Yes, well tax revenue can get a lot of municipalities and cities moving as well, so let's not downplay that, but but the jobs and frankly many cannabis retailers or dispensaries that we've seen in Canada colorado California tend to be very, very good neighbors, right?

They drive a lot of foot traffic. They are sort of economic drivers by block or by city and so it's really important and sort of your focus on it is really keen and as I said, you're a partner and sponsor for our business of cannabis new york event coming up in the 29th. It'll be nice to be back in person safely with all the covid protocols, new york has, but actually connecting with people who are moving the industry forward in new york and like I that seems to me like that's what I'm excited about that, that sort of exciting for you as well. Yeah, I mean really aside from our friendship and the fact that we've known each other forever, I mean really one of the draws was first of all I love, you know, the ironic twist on having a canvas event at the rainbow room. I mean who could say no to that, but also, as you know, we've talked about the sponsors that have been popping up and some of the people that have just joined us attendees. It's really nice to see people that I've known in the industry for a while. Um and you know, so it's a it's a great group of people that have been trusted colleagues of mine for years.

Um but I'm also really excited because I know with legalization in new york and the move in New Jersey and Connecticut, there's a lot of new faces and names that are popping up as well and and there's a lot to go around. There's a lot we can all learn from each other. So I'm really excited by that opportunity and we've seen in other places. It is like groups of people meeting on a regular basis to actually discuss what's happening and connecting between and amongst themselves, which can really drive a sector forward, especially when the regulatory environment is still being written. The rollout strategy being written, the timelines are being decided upon, sort of, the regular touch point is super critical for success. But I want to thank you and the team would be cubed team at firing flour us. We look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks and thank you for your time today. Thank you, jake, wow. Yeah, that was korean f of the cubed. If you like this program, please rate and review us on how the podcast Spotify or we ever heard the show that helps support the work we do. Mhm. We're able to do what we do because of our ongoing partners, including alternate savings, cannabis at work, cannabis benchmarks.

Can delta, Gallagher, headset and torque remain? Find out all that we do at business of Canada's dot com. You feel like you you you you you.

Pod 317 - Expanding a leading cannabis retail brand into New York
Pod 317 - Expanding a leading cannabis retail brand into New York
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