Andrew Mullins discusses success and opportunity for MoCann Trade and Missouri cannabis operators
Ahead of MoCann Trade’s Q4 Meetup, the Executive Director talks about microbusiness and celebrating the cannabis industry
Missouri’s thriving cannabis industry is set to come together tomorrow as Missouri Cannabis Trade Association hosts its quarterly meeting, this time in Springfield.
Greenway recently spoke to Executive Director Andrew Mullins about the Meetup, how the state’s leading cannabis trade association aims to assist microbusinesses, and celebrating the year’s successes at the Missouri Cannabis Industry Holiday Party, co-hosted by Good Day Farm.
The Q4 Member Meetup, slated for December 5, at the University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, serves as a bookend to the year for many operators and an entry point for dozens of others who recently won microbusiness licenses.
The gathering, expected to draw over 600 MoCann members, is poised to significantly influence the trajectory of the state’s cannabis sector, especially for those newly awarded microbusinesses.
Mullins highlights the unique focus of the meetup, “We have organized a panel of industry experts to share knowledge and best practices for microbusinesses. Similar to what we did for the commercial licensees pre-industry in 2019 and 2020, we are tailoring this programming to help prepare micro licensees.” This initiative represents MoCann’s commitment to nurturing the growth of all segments within Missouri’s cannabis market.
A cornerstone of the meetup is the expert panel discussions. The ‘You Won A Micro, Now What?’ panel, in particular, promises to offer critical insights for the successful launch of microbusinesses. Mullins elaborates on the composition and purpose of this panel: “We’ve hand-selected experts for the micro panel to represent various areas of knowledge and information we believe are most applicable to micros’ next steps in moving forward with their businesses.” The discussion topics are set to cover a wide range, from capital sourcing and fundraising to security planning, compliance, equipment, and operations planning.
Beyond the panel discussions, the event is designed to foster effective networking. Mullins takes pride in the environment created by these meetups: “These events are truly the only B to B industry events in Missouri and we believe our efforts to bring everyone together in an informal yet professional atmosphere creates the perfect environment for connection and camaraderie.”
The MoCann Government Affairs Committee’s panel discussion is another key feature of the Q4 Meetup, focusing on the intricacies of Missouri’s regulatory landscape. Mullins explains the significance of this panel for microbusinesses: “Since micros are beholden to the same regulatory framework, rules, and requirements, we believe the GA panel discussions will be very useful and valuable.”
MoCann and its Government Affairs Committee, liaisons, and lobbying efforts touted many successes in recent years, Mullins explained. “We’ve we’ve always had a significant priority on regulatory policy and legislative impact. Over the last 5 years, we’re batting nearly a thousand, with those efforts. What we’ve tried to do is to continue to have a strong impact with the Department as well as in the legislature. Last year the legislature passed the least amount of bills in its last 20 sessions. We had 5 of those with our name on them. For our members, that shows how much our relationships with our legislators and partners in the capitol mean.”
Highlighting the overall benefits for microbusiness members attending the Q4 Meetup, Mullins points out, “Beyond the panels, micro attendees can benefit from industry networking, a cannabis industry expo with over 40 relevant service providers, a testing lab village with 6 of Missouri’s testing labs, and the industry after-event and holiday party that puts our commercial and micro members face to face in a casual business atmosphere.”
MoCann’s role in supporting microbusinesses is poised to evolve. “Our role looking forward, will look very much like the work we do on behalf of our commercial licensed members,” Mullins states, signaling a shift from preparatory to proactive support as microbusinesses become operational.
Regarding the opportunities and challenges facing microbusinesses in Missouri’s cannabis sector, Mullins shares, “I think the most exciting opportunity or outcome from the micro market will be the more craft-oriented products. For Missouri patients and consumers, I am excited that folks may see some very tailored, unique small batch products that may not be able to be produced in a commercial production environment.” However, he also notes the significant challenge of identifying efficiencies in smaller operations to keep costs down.
Following the Member Meetup, participants of Missouri’s cannabis industry will gather to reflect on a momentous year.
The Missouri Cannabis Industry Holiday Party, co-sponsored by MoCann Trade and Good Day Farm, aims to celebrate the year’s achievements in the cannabis industry. Discussing this aspect, Mullins notes the significant milestones reached. In discussing the successes of 2023, Andrew Mullins, Executive Director of MoCann, draws attention to the remarkable milestones achieved. “The industry’s ability to pivot to adult use, managing to have active sales in just 87 days, was a feat in itself,” he states. This rapid implementation stands as the second fastest of any state in the U.S., setting a new benchmark in the industry. The swift adaptation to the changing landscape is indicative of the industry’s resilience and agility. “I think the industry did a hell of a job.”
The holiday party is envisioned as a celebration and recognition of the industry’s collective efforts and successes. Highlighting the financial achievements of Missouri operators, he said, “We were expecting to be a $100 million a month market, but we surpassed that, reaching more than $126 million, and averaging over $118 million per month since the start of adult use.”
“This party is basically a celebration of that effort. It’s an opportunity to pull off a little steam,” Mullins explains, underscoring the spirit of collaboration and shared success that defines Missouri’s cannabis industry.
As 2023 draws to a close, the Meetup and Missouri Cannabis Industry Holiday Party serve as a showcase of the state’s cannabis industry’s innovation, success, and potential. It’s a moment for industry leaders, stakeholders, and enthusiasts to reflect on the year’s achievements and set the stage for continued growth and success in the coming year.