Marijuana dispensary operator MedMen sees major hurdles in operating in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, where pot is medically and recreationally legal, co-founder and CEO Adam Bierman told CNBC on Monday.
Bierman, whose company functions in California, Nevada, New York and Florida, called the first three fully legal U.S. weed markets “horrible markets to be in” in an interview with “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer.
“[It’s] good for business that those are tiny markets that, in the grand scheme of things, maybe matter not that much,” the CEO said.
“What’s really important to understand is every market since those markets came online [has] been supply constrained, so limited licenses and, most importantly, especially for the MedMen’s case, the most arduous retail zoning restrictions known to man,” Bierman continued.
While MedMen is licensed to operate in the United States, where some of its retail locations have been affectionately dubbed the “Apple Store of weed,” the company is publicly traded in Canada on the Canadian Securities Exchange and the OTCQB Venture Market.
In early June, the Canadian Senate voted to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide. The move would make Canada the first and only country in the G-7 to fully legalize marijuana.
But Bierman won’t stop at Canada.
“From the beginning, we’ve been the ‘Why not?’ people,” he told Cramer. “Why can’t you build a billion-dollar business in this industry? Why not? Why can’t you take the biggest U.S. weed company and make it public and available for people to own all over the world? Now, there’s a lot of roadblocks in that kind of an attitude and we can’t list here in the U.S., so we have to list in Canada and, unfortunately, that’s the only place to go. Now, fortunately, it is a place to go and they’ve been great partners.”
According to MedMen, some of the company’s California stores bring in over $20 million a year in revenue. When the company reaches $1 billion in revenues, Bierman said he’ll “look at what’s next.”
Part of MedMen’s mission is to make marijuana mainstream, as illustrated by its latest marketing campaign, “Forget Stoner.” The visual ads attempt to buck the “stoner” stereotype with photos of professionals and others who say they use marijuana.
It could even help stem the opioid epidemic sweeping the United States by offering individuals an alternative solution to prescription pills, Bierman said.
“The concept of a stoner or a stoner image is something that’s yesteryear,” the CEO said. “This is about Chardonnay moms. This is about working dads. This is about marijuana substituting and replacing, you know, other things that people are already utilizing that, in some instances, are detrimental to their health.”