Word(s) of the Week: Vertical Integration

Vertical Integration” – Defined as:

  1. The latest Sylvester Stallone movie; or
  2. The psychological impact of being shorter than 5’9″ in height; or
  3. The skill of painting the wall without getting paint on the ceiling; or
  4. When one company owns and controls the cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensing processes.

The answer, of course is #4.  Besides, everyone knows Vertical Limit starred Chris O’Donnell, while Stallone’s ice mountain climbing movie was Cliffhanger.

In practice, vertical integration represents the ability for a cannabis company to manage every aspect of growing and selling cannabis – from the earliest planting of the seed or clone, through the final sale to the consumer.

A cannabis business often benefits from vertical integration – it allows a company to control quality, create staffing efficiencies, and reduce costs and tax liabilities throughout production.

So why are cannabis businesses not all vertically integrated?  Because the government sometimes stands in the way.

Many medical cannabis states allow (and in fact, require) vertical integration – California, Massachusetts, New York, Florida and others.  Yet others require separate licenses for cultivation, processing, and dispensing – including Illinois, Maryland, and soon-to-be Pennsylvania.  There are some good policy reasons for splitting them up – for example, those that are excellent at cannabis cultivation might be awful at patient education and counseling at a dispensary.  But generally if you find states without vertically integrated cannabis businesses, it is due to regulation as opposed to choice.

Word of the Week – “Budtender”

Budtender – Noun.  An employee who assists customers buying cannabis (medical or adult-use) at a retail store/dispensary.  The budtender helps a customer select the best strain, amount, and delivery method for what they are looking for.

Still confused about what a budtender is?  Think of a bartender serving alcohol – just substitute pot for liquor, and instead of someone who can’t tell you the difference between Jack Daniel’s and Pappy Van Winkle, a budtender generally is going to be quite knowledgeable about which strains are best suited for what ails you.

The earliest reference to “budtender” that I could find was a High Times article from March of 2000 detailing the history of the Cannabis Cup, but the term has only gained mainstream prevalence in the last few years.  We’ve come a long way – there is even a “Budtender Society.”  Who knew?

thatsgoodweed: Budtender (n);        The person at a medical marijuana “dispensary,” or “clinic,” who tends to the patients’ medicinal needs. He/she works with you and helps you decide what will be the ideal medicine for you to purchase, and in what quantity.          These are also some of the luckiest motherfuckers on the face of the earth. Despite that, you should still tip them as heavily as you can possibly afford to. via Urban Dictionary