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🎙️ Podcast: Green Flower, CEO, Max Simon
The company powers the training programs of companies, higher education institutions, government agencies, and passionate individuals who want to succeed in the cannabis industry.
For those that haven’t seen any posts from Max Simon on LinkedIn (hard to miss with his 37,000+ followers and level of engagement), he often shares the behind-the-scenes of building Green Flower and the struggles and successes that comes along with it, basically anything that comes to mind for him. Recent posts include giving himself a buzz cut to spend less energy thinking about his hair, working from home and spending a lot more time with his kids, and being in a funk the last few weeks of 2021. Max is one of the few Cannabis entrepreneurs building his company in public. Max and I chatted through his background, the company’s early days, raising his $20M Series A, his LinkedIn presence, growth plans for Green Flower, and much more.
$20M Series A Based on Vision. The company raised a $20M Series A (June 2019) led by Tuatara Capital with additional funding from Poseidon Asset Management and Phyto Partners. At the time, the company was still very much a B2C business, with individual customers buying certificates themselves ($300-500/certificate), but Max was able to raise based on a shared vision of enterprise sales with the lead partner at Tuatara Capital, Al Foreman. The company had ~$1M in sales at that point but were able to sign their first university relationship around the same time.
Partnerships with Universities.
The company helps schools like The University of Denver, The University of Arizona, Syracuse University, among others, offer non-credit cannabis certificate programs (Business of Cannabis, Cannabis Law and Policy, and Cannabis Healthcare and Medicine). The company plans to increase university partnerships this year to 25. Green Flower has also recently partnered with community colleges to offer similar certifications.
Ganjier — Cannabis Sommelier Certification Program.
Modeled after the Sommelier (wine) and Cicerone (beer) certification programs, the Company spent three years building the Ganjier program with three different levels — Certified, Advanced, and Executive (the latter two is still being built). At launch, the company offered 200 spots (which sold out in 2.5 weeks) for the first class in 2020 and spent 2021 putting people through the program. Curriculum includes 40 hours of training from 18 council members, and continues through assessments and live training in Humboldt County. After which, a three-part exam is required in order to become a Ganjier (Max himself is still working through it). 125 of the 200 have completed the program in 2021.
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