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People to know in NY cannabis: Juliana Whitney

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Juliana Whitney is the founder and president of Cann Strategy, a business strategy consulting firm. She answered eight simple questions for NY Cannabis Insider’s ‘People to know’ series.

What is your position and what do you/your company do in the cannabis space?

I’m the founder and president of Cann Strategy – cannabis business strategy consulting including license application writing, project management and advising during the startup process from license to launch, and operational development.

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In simpler terms — Cann Strategy puts all the pieces together by helping clients successfully accomplish goals, avoid common mistakes, make intelligent decisions, select the best service providers and teams, prepare to compete, and efficiently solve problems along the way.

How long have you worked in the cannabis space?

Seven years. I started in Las Vegas in late summer/fall of 2015.

What did you do before you were involved in the cannabis industry?

I worked in a multitude of startup companies including health care, non-profit, fine foods, and media. I also invested a couple of years in getting a Masters in Business Administration with a special focus in New Venture Development.

What led you to the cannabis industry?

Synchrony. I took a two-year hiatus from getting my MBA and needed a job. Some family friends were opening the first dispensary in Las Vegas and hiring their first employees at that exact time. They offered me a job at the store, I took it for what I thought would be a short stint, and I have been part of the cannabis industry ever since day one of medical cannabis sales in Nevada.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into the NY weed industry?

Start preparing now, have a long term plan, and meet as many people in the industry as possible. Though the product is fun and exciting, the business itself is rigidly regulated and requires a high performance mindset — if you’re not ready for that, then save yourself the stress and don’t do it.

What do you think the NY cannabis ecosystem will look like in five years?

Within five years, New York will see some well-established brands rise to the top, many operators will have found their groove and be operating consistently well, the supply chain will have somewhat stabilized, some regulations will loosen up to allow for better business operations and customer benefit, and the market will experience business closures for a number of the businesses that aren’t adequately prepared to compete in such a large market.

Do you use cannabis? If so, what’s your favorite method (flower, dabs, edibles, tinctures, etc.), and why?

I occasionally consume cannabis. My favorite method is micro-dosed edibles. I prefer the light uplifting effect of micro-dosed products to the effect of high potency products. And I enjoy that edibles have a gradual onset.

Who should contact you, and what’s the best method (i.e. email, phone number, LinkedIn handle, etc.)

Investors, companies and entrepreneurs with startup capital who want to start cannabis companies, especially dispensaries, in New York.

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