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Interstate weed: Execs discuss biggest challenges of running pot businesses in multiple states

Expanding a marijuana enterprise across state lines often involves forging new territory, says Scott Thorn, chief operating officer of The Clinic, which operates dispensaries in Colorado, Illinois and Nevada.

It’s often a matter of ensuring capital structures and business plans are aligned and can meet regulatory requirements that could vary from state to state and town to town, he says.

Thorn joins Strainz CEO Hugh Hempel on The Cannabist Show to discuss the most significant challenges they encounter when expanding their operations in the marijuana industry.

“Expanding into a new market in this business is similar to a normal business expanding internationally,” Thorn says. “You’re encountering an entirely new political climate; new sets of rules and regulations; and ultimately, determined by the number of licenses issued, a new supply-and-demand fundamental.”

And there’s not a lot of consistency between those “countries,” Hempel adds.

“Managing products, managing product development across those jurisdictions is extremely daunting — literally down to the font on the packaging,” says Hempel, whose firm provides consulting and brand management services to cannabis businesses. “So when you’ve got that spectrum of complexity to manage, if you’re trying to do a multi-jurisdiction business, it truly takes a significant investment and a smart team of people.”

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