Katelyn Coskey is one of the long-standing members of the Point Seven Group team. She stands as Director Of Business Development. Katelyn Coskey’s role provides pivotal instruction and leadership to those attempting to navigate the complexities of emerging cannabis markets.
Interview – Katelyn Coskey
Q: Tell me about your journey working in the cannabis industry? When did it start and how did you end up here?
A: I initially started as a budtender at a vertically-integrated MSO in 2014. When I came in they fired the store manager after only 6 weeks and I was promoted to Assistant Manager. Soon after, I became the General Manager. After my time there, I went up to the mountains to manage multiple dispensaries in Aspen. I learned so much, but ultimately Aspen culturally wasn’t the right fit for me. So, I moved to Denver where I worked as a budtender again for a couple of months. Within the same company, I switched roles to work in cultivation and soon became the Compliance and METRC Administrator and was the second in command for compliance and inventory. I then went on to manage a mom-and-pop cannabis storefront. During that time, I met Ashley and decided the next stage in my career was cannabis business consulting.
Q: What would you say are some of the biggest challenges in cannabis business consulting?
A: Getting a potential cannabis entrepreneur to understand the gravity of the work needed in an emerging market. Understanding what their thought process is brand management-wise and getting people to understand what they are attempting to sign up for can be frustrating.
Q: What are some of the greatest rewards of cannabis business consulting?
A: Honestly, watching those who take it seriously flourish. It’s meeting someone before they make it and watching them create a successful application and business. I enjoy seeing the right people moving into the industry. I also appreciate the educational pieces. This industry has taught me so much about business and the hustle. Also, the connections that you make along the way are invaluable.
Q: Let’s talk a little bit about the grass ceiling. What challenges do you believe you have faced as a woman in the industry?
A: Like any industry, men can have an easier door of access. Sometimes you have to prove yourself in ways that aren’t expected from men. However, overall the industry, in my experience, has been extremely kind to me. I can recognize that this is not every woman’s experience.
Q: What are your thoughts about the current New Jersey cannabis market, especially as it pertains to business and brand development?
A: I have a vested interest in the development of New Jersey’s cannabis market. I was born and raised in Collingswood, New Jersey. I grew up in a liberal household where cannabis use was accepted. New Jersey is in its early stages, so a big part of maintaining brand development is outreach to lawyers in the state. It will also be important to have prominent educators be part of the conversation because of the current public outlook. Some folk in suburban municipalities, especially those who have opted out, have more conservative views about adult-use businesses entering their hometowns. This is hindering many from being successful because they can’t gain access to available real-estate. Many towns were rushing to meet the opt-out deadline.
More specifically from the business development perspective, limitation on annual cultivation could create shortages for the adult-use cannabis market. In my opinion, New Jersey would most resemble the California market.
Q: What advice would you give to someone new entering the cannabis industry?
A: Do not come in blindly. Do your research on the failures of similar markets. You really have to prepare for the long haul. Take the time to really educate yourself and be willing and able to listen. Also, be respectful of the people in the legacy market who have a small leg-up in terms of market knowledge.
How Can Point Seven Group Help?
The team of cannabis consultants and professionals at Point Seven Group have worked extensively in the U.S. and international cannabis markets and are familiar with the unique challenges of the cannabis industry. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with more cannabis industry updates!
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