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The Emerging Enterprise Opportunity Around Cannabis Decriminalization – Mama P’s Wholesome Grinding Co. – A Case Study Market Model for Success in a Changing Economy.

With the Presidential election of 2012 now history, the economic die is cast for the next few years and the people have spoken. One conclusion the results support is that a majority of the American people recognize or believe that economy of Wall Street doesn’t serve well the families who live on Main Street. The repudiation of the Romney – Bain – Vampire Capitalist economic model in the political election, is not a reflection of society’s liking for government hand-outs, as much as a long standing American characteristic of middle and lower class upward mobility through personal entrepreneurship.

Our nation was founded on small business. Today in the US there are over 27 million businesses, over 78% of them are small businesses with no employees. These micro sized enterprises of one or a few collaborating partners, offering their talents, brains or skills make up over 20 million companies mostly offering services or innovative products.

That group of small businesses has been on the rise in recent years as the economic giants in banking and wall street stumble over their own internal hubris and manufacturing jobs moved overseas. “We’re seeing the beginnings of the entrepreneurial economy, a system built on nimble, low-overhead, oftentimes small companies with fluid workforces” Entrepreneur.com reporter Jason Daley suggests.

In truth, its more a resurgence of an entrepreneurial economy that has long been at the foundation of American capitalism all along. It merely suffered a pretty bad beating for a while as corporations grew and merged into mega-global-conglomation ultraasauruses and crushed or swallowed many of Main Street’s mom and pop shops and small manufacturers into historical footnotes or corporate dino droppings.

Hopes that the President or corporate enterprise will bring back manufacturing jobs is unrealistic in a global economy where technology increasingly replaces labor and information and service are the products in increasing demand.

Considering that Information and Service are the new products of value and importance in our national future, it should come as no surprise that independent small businesses provide that so much better than the megacorporations who’ve universally outsourced customer service to robotic tape recordings and reveal next to nothing of their businesses unless regulated or prosecuted into doing so.

“In the future, the net source of new jobs will be predominately created from an entrepreneurial climate, not from revitalizing old industries.” George Solomon of George Washington University claims.

According to Daley, self-employment entrepreneurship has been growing at about 4.5% annually for the last decade. It has accelerated in the recession, at least partially due to many lower and middle class workers having lost their jobs and confronted with the real potential of long term unemployment regardless of skills, knowledge, experience, and resume.

When the American people are confronted with challenges, we have historically seized the opportunity inherent in them to overcome them.

Entrepreneurs have always been the innovators on the cutting edge of whatever trends were occurring in their time. Large enterprises are slow to seize tomorrow’s opportunities. Like a ship, the larger it is the more slowly it turns when the winds direction shifts. Independent entrepreneurs tend to be the enterprises that best ride the wave of change.

In these times, the wave of change is a tsunami. Over a third of the ‘united’ states now have legalized medical marijuana and on November 6th both Washington and Colorado decriminalized the herb for recreational use. The emergence of such regulations alters the former exclusively black market operations profoundly. With regulations comes licensing, inventory control, tax collections and accounting, liability, transparency, audits, and oversite. The companies evolving to serve the increasingly legitimized industry are not the unground cast of outcasts and hippie holdovers, but well funded, smart, straight shooter businesspersons well informed on both the legal ‘potholes’ and medical science of the growing industry.

There is a rush of entrepreneurial businesses entering the medical marijuana industry evolving to emerge as one of the early market leader brands in an industry approaching 2 billion annually and expected to quadruple within 4 years as reported by NBC news. Even with only 36% of states with legal medical marijuana laws in place, the pharmaceutical cannabis market sales will surpass those of Viagra within the year. Without question, if there is any economic opportunity super market in the USA today, medical marijuana is it. And within that supermarket around the pharmaceutical itself is the whole category of medical equipment.

Medical grade cannabis is a far different animal than your grandfather’s Mexican dirt weed. It’s highly refined, cross bred scientifically over generations, nurtured, cured and processed increasingly with the same (if not more) care than in manufacturing and researching other pharmaceutical drug products. And like in the larger health care industry, much of the real money is made in the manufacture, sale and use of specialized medical equipment. From CRT machines, to EKG reader plotters, to gauze dispensers and scalpels, much of the medical industry’s economic wealth is made in the manufacture and sale of the tools of the trade.

When most people think about the emerging medical marijuana industry few ordinarily consider the companies that are filling the need for the tools and equipment that transforms a mere organic weed into a medically pure chemical compound prepared for prescription sale in a variety of ingestible, smokable or soluble forms.

In that economic enterprise space, one company is fast establishing itself as a market leader.

At the forefront of the new American economic opportunity, Mama P’s Wholesome Grinder Company is already a model of today’s emerging entrepreneurial enteprises poised for breathtaking growth and success. Founded just over one year ago as a private family business corporation of “Mama P”, Shanna Pearson and “Papa Grind” Marc Wein, as a way to help market an innovative lighter designed by Wein’s son, the company’s reputation has exploded on the scene as an instant market leader like a fourth of July fireworks display.

Mama and Pappa, as they are known from their frequent presence at fairs and festivals around the country, are regular, hard working, middle class family with a daughter creating a business out of social changes and opportunity. And though non smokers themselves, they did see a market opportunity in the equipment needed for herbal preparation processing.

With Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit from years on Wall Street and Shanna’s accounting background, they put their heads together and saw opportunity to fill a niche in the evolving marketplace for an industrial grade herbal grinder up to the task of professional and commercial dispensaries and processors.

Research into the market uncovered that besides a need for processing larger batches of herbal material, the grinders on the market were never intended for constant commercial use so lacked the rugged durability demanded of commercial business enterprises. Further studies indicated that the market for a commercial grade grinder extended to the cancer, bipolar, glaucoma and other patients requiring ongoing daily medication.

Marc and Shanna set about to redesign the basic hand spice grinder to meet the requirements of the new market and industry. But they’ve already accomplished more than simply creating a product to fill an opportunity market niche. They have in less than a year become the unquestioned premium brand in the herb grinder equipment niche, and subsequently the broader medical processing equipment category.

They’ve created a model of an adaptive entrepreneurial business success story around the following premises:

  • Fill a niche where business will be and ride the wave of growth.
  • Create a product compelling better than the existing competitors
  • Customer service, whether to the final consumer or business to business is SOP, not mere lip service. Customer interaction is built and nurtured on person to person contact and relationships, not technological impediments and short cuts to interaction.
  • Responsible corporate citizenship and responsiveness to the needs and attitudes of their primary market.

For example, with a recognition that the marketplace for grinders has large percentages of persons concerned with ecology, it was determined to manufacture the grinders from recycled aircraft aluminum.

Equally sensitive to the sentiment of most of America about the loss of jobs and business to global competitors, Mama P’s chose to manufacture on US soil and contract exclusively with domestic suppliers and services for their flagship grinder product.

To insure it met the higher durability and operational dependability of the commercial processing business in the industry, the product was designed to handle quantities several times larger than consumer grade personal grinders, with manufacturing tolerances that would meet NASA standards.

The result is a multi-stage assembly of precision milled components that screw and slide together so smoothly it feels as slick and easy as sharp skates slide on ice. The top slips on almost as if by magic as neodymium magnets pull it into place to form a silky smooth, freely rotating grinder top, with a tight enough seal that even air can’t escape.

The first replaceable screen mechanism was designed into the unit to rectify the biggest issue that limited the functional life span of the prior grinders on the market. And to insure replacement is infrequent, the 60 micron screen itself is made of strong, durable, rust and corrosion free titanium.

And if that wasn’t enough and as a further benefit to quadrupling the volume of a typical consumer size grinder, the extra size allowed for increased functionality for the patient with the design inclusion of a built in ashtray, tool, pipe and lighter holder into the milled surface of the top. Then they provided the grinder with the innovative magnetic refillable butane lighter developed by the son of “Papa Grind”.

Like in most established industries, the medical marijuana segment has it’s trade shows and the highest honors and recognition for excellence in that industry is bestowed upon manufacturers with the awarding of High Times magazine’s prestigious “Cannabis Cup Award”.

High Times Magazine has been around for over twenty years and it’s influence and reporting on the cannabis culture has tracked it from its underground rebellious roots through to the increasingly industrialized and sophisticated scientific agribusiness it’s become.

Mama P’s entry into the emerging industry’s early legacy, with it’s classic grinder is already legendary in brand recognition and dominance, standing alone in having received seven 1st Place Best Product Cannabis Cup awards in Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Chicago, and Detroit.

With almost 250 retail outlets in over 35 states already carrying Mama P’s grinders and other manufactured line extensions into vaporizers, curing vaults and tools, Mama P’s has rapidly become one of the market leaders in an industry that is growing…like a weed.

Regardless of your personal attitudes whether it’s a positive direction for the country or another sign of America’s perceived decay, the change and trend and industry is occurring and growth and expansion makes it one of, if not the, great opportunity markets and growth industries in America’s foreseeable future. Mama P’s is poised to become the Apple of the medical cannabis equipment marketplace.

And maybe even a model for reviving the economy in general with a smaller, decentralized approach that grows businesses and enterprise locally with product innovation and manufacturing married to personal service and attention in the great tradition of American family businesses.
About the Author

This article was written by the author of the book “Altered States: Effects of Drugs & Medications on Human Sexual Chemistry” among several others available on the Kindle platform about psychology of relationships, dating and human sexuality. He holds an MA in Journalism from the Univ. of Texas and PhD (ABD) in mass communications (advertising/psychology).

His publishing enterprise Dreamstream Productions Publications is focused on helping men and women achieve richer more satisfying and spiritually connected relationships.
He’s considered by many as a “modern Renaissance creative master” as introduced at the “Hollywood Seminar”. In print (Lucky That Way, by Brad Fregger) he’s been called one the ‘finest 3D artists alive in the world today”.

He’s taken first place national honors in computer animation at Siggraph, fine art (SMAL national juried exhibition, and teaching as co-advisor to the national championship National Student Advertising Competition sponsored by the American Ad Federation. He’s earned scores of lesser awards and honors including exhibition at the National Arts Club in NYC, at the Witte Museum and the Alamo, in acting, teaching, and design.

In film & television he’s been seen on America’s Most Wanted, PBS and about a score of feature films & tv pilots. He’s served as director, producer, scriptwriter, videographer, production designer, special effects consultant, director of photography, camera operator, & 3D computer graphics animator. His animation, photography & video editing work can be seen on the Danlguitars Youtube channel & at here on this website.

By |2016-12-02T16:55:01+00:00July 20th, 2013|Case Studies|1 Comment

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