Business of Marijuana

By popular demand, I have created a separate website specifically focused on the Business of Marijuana – businessofmarijuana.org. Please check it out!

As a strategy and management scholar with research interests in non-market strategy, public policy, and regulation I see the legal marijuana industry as an important research subject. As a professor who teaches courses on public policy and business I also see the industry as a highly relevant and important classroom subject. As a consultant I have found the industry to be an area of significant interest and opportunity and have tremendous respect for the industry leaders I have had the opportunity to get to know and work with in recent years.

Personal Highlights

2020Keynote speaker for June 1 420MSP virtual conference
Expert witness in ongoing court case
2019Taught final session of Business of Marijuana course at University of Denver
Expert witness in Nevada court case
Hosted Business of Cannabis 101 session at the University of Virginia
2018Taught second-ever “Business of Marijuana” elective course at the Daniels College of Business
Panelist and presenter at a variety of industry events and conferences
2017In Spring 2017, I taught the first-ever “Business of Marijuana” elective course at the Daniels College of Business. The course examines various business aspects of the industry including management, accounting, finance, marketing, ethics, and others. It combines relevant analysis of the industry with a wide range of guest speakers who are currently involved and affected by Colorado’s marijuana industry. Our initial guest speakers included Michael Elliott, Sam Kamin, Wanda James, Nick Richards, Kayvan Khalatbari, Tripp Keber, Lauren Ginsberg, Mason Tvert, and a number of others. The course is only open to students enrolled at the University of Denver but a copy of the course syllabus is available upon request. The course has received considerable media and industry attention:
Chronicle of Higher Education
7News Now (aired in over 50 U.S. Media Markets)
Poets & Quants
7News ABC Denver
Denver Post/The Cannabist
DU Clarion
Salon
University of Denver newsroom
The Fresh Toast
Hydrolife Magazine

7News Denver (ABC) covered the April 17 version of my Colorado Marijuana Market Report. Spoke about the marijuana industry with the Center for Work Education and Employment (CWEE), Colorado’s first 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that assists low-income single families in gaining the skills and education necessary to transition off of public assistance and gain long-term employment. In June I was interviewed by the Boston Globe regarding a debate over recreational marijuana taxes in Massachusetts and by the Toronto Star regarding Canada’s upcoming legalization of marijuana. In May I was interviewed by the Denver Post regarding proposed changes to Colorado’s state recreational taxes.
2016Created first-ever Colorado Marijuana Market Report, based on analysis of marijuana license data from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) from Jan 2013-Dec 2016. The report received coverage in a variety of print and online media outlets including Denver’s 9News and MJINews. University of Denver report summary. Interviewed by 9News regarding the recent drop in marijuana prices in Colorado and the potential impact of these lower prices on the industry, Colorado’s economy and the general public.

In April 2016 I participated in a session at the DU 4/20 Marijuana Summit hosted by the Sturm College of Law entitled “50 Shades of Green” and focused on the business impacts of marijuana. My presentation in the session highlighted the many counter-intuitive strategies being employed by industry participants and examined the forces that will determine whether the industry evolves in a manner similar to breweries/alcohol, tobacco or takes another path. A video of the “50 Shades of Green” session is available online and my slides and comments from this session are available upon request.
2015At the Academy of Management 2015 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC my Daniels management colleague Aimee Hamilton and I co-organized a showcase symposium titled “High Hopes: Studying the Emergence of the Legitimate Marijuana Industry” focused on academic research related to the marijuana industry with participants from a variety of prominent business schools including the University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, University of Oregon, Pennsylvania State University and Case Western Reserve University.

At the 2015 Strategic Management Society Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, I worked with Eva Yao of University of Colorado and Josh Keller of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to offer a one-day pre-conference workshop on the Marijuana Industry that included industry and academic panels, keynote speakers and a site-visit to two Denver-area businesses (Dixie Elixirs and Medicine Man). During the SMS conference program I chaired and moderated a showcase panel featuring Tripp Keber, CEO of Dixie Elixirs, Andrew Freedman, Marijuana Coordinator for the State of Colorado, Diane Carlson of social interest group SMART Colorado and Dr. Vioina Rindova of the University of Texas-Austin.
2013Published the first-ever business teaching cases on the Marijuana industry, Medical Marijuana Industry Group: Outdoor Advertising in Denver in Case Research Journal. The case is based on a proposal from Denver City Council to restrict outdoor advertising of marijuana in the City and County of Denver and the subsequent responses of affected stakeholder groups, in particular the Medical Marijuana Industry Group led by executive director Michael Elliot. The teaching note/instructor’s manual for the case is available upon request.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with academic, media or industry requests.