Why does everyone want a crystal ball? How to prepare for the unknown, or can we?
Working in the cannabis industry as an emerging marketplace, the public, government officials, consumers, and companies alike continue to sit together at events and seminars to make predictions on the industry’s future.
Why do we do this?
It’s a good question. Since almost all the predictions we make can never be quite accurate. It seems as though the anxiety of not knowing what will happen next, makes us want to prepare for some sort of fictitious upcoming.
My approach throughout this period has been to make decisions that leave me flexible for any situation, rather than focused on any one aspect.
For example, many companies working in compliance with Health Canada had no choice but to call themselves providers of medical cannabis. And, now, in some cases for over four years, they have employees and cultures that have been trained to believe that cannabis is a medical product and a medical product alone.
So, now that these companies are being exposed to the recreational marketplace, what are they going to do? Their staffs aren’t ready to commercialize products. Many of them don’t know what a UPC code is or how to book a transportation company, or manage a supply chain. What are they going to do when the recreational cannabis marketplace opens up?
Many of the Licensed Producers who have benefited from the first-to-market advantage in the medical marketplace are having major identity issues – both internally as employees and within their culture, and externally as a brand.
Instead, had these companies operated in compliance, but left themselves flexible to change, the announcement of the recreational marketplace would be much different.
So, what are you going to do to remain flexible in your relationship with the cannabis industry? If you’re a consumer, consider that medical definitions might also be recreational ones (e.g. red wine for stress, cannabis for stress – which one is recreational vs medical?). If you’re a company, how can you hire and train your staff to be prepared for the unknown? If you’re an employee, what will you do to be flexible to a changing landscape? If you’re an investor, how will you have patience with the unknown?