Insights from Willie McKenzie of Left Coast Holdings on Building Community and Success in Cannabis

In this episode of Roots to Risk, hosts Eric Schneider and Isaac Bock sit down with Willie McKenzie, a family man, and the CEO and Co-founder of Left Coast Holdings, a vertically integrated cannabis business based in Michigan.

Willie is also the founder of the Elite Cannabis Operators Mastermind Community, a vibrant network of cannabis entrepreneurs supporting both plant-touching and ancillary businesses in building profitable enterprises.

Willie shares his journey from starting as a legacy operator in California in 2006 to establishing a significant presence in the regulated market. He discusses the challenges and triumphs of transitioning between markets, the importance of community among operators, and the strategies for maintaining a lean and profitable business.

Willie also offers insights into the current state of the cannabis industry, the impact of potential regulatory changes, and the need for better enforcement at the state level. Tune in for an authentic and informative conversation about the evolving landscape of cannabis entrepreneurship.


00:00 Eric Schneider
This is the Roots to Risk Podcast hosted by Eric Schneider, alongside Isaac Bach. Roots To Risk brings you insights, the latest stories, and long form discussions about the cannabis industry. You’ll hear interviews with industry leaders and their perspective on current and future trends, how they’ve built success and what challenges they have faced. Our goal is to facilitate candid conversations and provide informative content for the cannabis community at large. Let’s go.

00:31 Eric Schneider
What is going on, Isaac? How we doing today? How we feeling? I’m

00:34 Isaac Bock
Good, man. I’ll see you in person in in two days, so that’ll be good. Good. Be good to be back in New York, but how are you doing?

00:43 Eric Schneider
I’m excited. I can’t wait to give you a big hug, even though you’re not gonna like it. It’s coming.

00:50 Speaker 2:
<laugh>, <laugh>.

00:52 Eric Schneider
But anyways, we got a great one on deck, an awesome story. You know, legacy operator in California transitioned to the, the Michigan market, really authentic and just like great human. I, I follow him on LinkedIn. I don’t know if you do as well, Isaac, but just some of the stuff he puts out. It’s, it’s very genuine, organic, and I think that speaks to, you know, a lot of his accomplishments. Willie McKenzie, he’s a family man first after that.

01:24 Eric Schneider
He is the CEO and Co-founder of Left Coast Holdings, a vertically integrated operator based in Michigan. He’s also the founder of Elite Cannabis Operators Mastermind Community, which is a dynamic community of cannabis entrepreneurs that supports both plant touching and ancillary businesses in building profitable enterprises in the cannabis space. As I mentioned, Willie’s a legacy operator who started growing California in 2006. Been in the space for quite some time, so very eager to hear about what he’s building, you know, on the community front, but also with Left Coast Holdings and just to get his perspective overall, because he’s been in the space for quite some time.

02:04 Isaac Bock
Yeah, for sure. And I think his, his background in the space and operating two different markets will definitely be a valuable insight for, you know, us as well as everyone else. So looking forward to chatting with them.

02:16 Eric Schneider
Absolutely. Well, let’s bring ’em in. Hey, will, thanks for joining us on the Roots to Risk podcast. How we doing today?

02:23 William McKenzie
Absolutely, man. I’m great. Thank you. Appreciate you guys having me.

02:28 Eric Schneider
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And, and excited to have you, you know, as a leader in the space and, you know, the, the co-founder and CEO of Left Coast Holdings. I’d love to just learn a little bit more about you, your role in the cannabis industry, left Coast Holdings, as well as, you know, the mastermind community that I know, you know, we’ve chatted about previously and, and what you’re doing to bring community together a amongst the operators.

02:55 William McKenzie
Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve been in the cannabis industry since the beginning of time. It feels like I started growing 2006 in northern California. Prior to that, I, I was involved, you know, kind of adjacent, we’ll call it. And, and yeah, I started off like small grow at my house, two lights, then moved up into the Oakland Hills, had a 12 light grow in my garage, then to a, a warehouse in Berkeley.

03:27 William McKenzie
And then I went up into the hills and started growing outdoors. Last season was my 10th consecutive outdoor season. I’m a big proponent of Sungrown cannabis, and so that’s really kind of at the heart of what we’re doing here. You know, with Left Coast Holdings in Michigan is a large farm, you know, growing outdoor in the sun. So we, we have 50 acres of canopy. We also have a, you know, a smaller indoor grow, 15,000 square feet.

03:58 William McKenzie
And we do manufacturing and we do a bit of retail, and so we have, you know, a vertical platform here in Michigan. And it, it has been quite the ride, that’s for sure.

04:08 Isaac Bock
That’s awesome. I mean, yeah,

04:10 Eric Schneider
Absolutely. How, how’d you get from, from California to Michigan?

04:16 William McKenzie
You know, the long and bumpy route, <laugh>, I was, you know, in the medical market in California for a long time, and you know, for those who have been in the medical market, you, you realize that, you know, when you have a medical asset that there’s a possibility when the state goes rec, that the municipality or the county that you’re in may not adopt a rec ordinance. And so I was in a situation where I actually had four farms and I couldn’t take any of them into the rec market.

04:48 William McKenzie
And so I had a bunch of property that wasn’t really worth much anymore, a bunch of infrastructure I’d built. And yeah, so when the opportunity came to come to Michigan, I, I jumped

05:00 Isaac Bock
On it. Yeah. What’s been, what’s been the biggest difference you’ve noticed between California and Michigan? Obviously the medical versus rock has, its its own differences alone, but from state to state, what have you kind of noticed from a challenge perspective?

05:15 William McKenzie
Oh, man. I mean, the market’s completely different, right? California is a very snobby cannabis market. The Midwest, not as much. There’s great product here in Michigan. There’s great growers, but kind of the, the majority of the market wants, you know, an inexpensive product that quite frankly wouldn’t sell in the state of California. So that’s been one thing On the cultivation side, you know, just a completely different growing environment, A lot of different microbials in the air of different challenges on that side of things.

05:52 William McKenzie
On the pest side of things, shorter growing season, a lot more inclement weather, rain, crazy wind, you know, lake effect weather that we get here. But then there’s also advantages, right? Like, we don’t have any fires here. We don’t have any shortage of water here. The soil here is amazing for growing cannabis. It’s a sandy loam. It drains really well. It’s super easy to work with. And so from that perspective, you know, I think ultimately at some point you’ll see Appalachians for cannabis like you do for wine, you know, and Northern Michigan is starting to become a place where they’re growing wine.

06:33 William McKenzie
And so there’s a lot of advantages and disadvantages. It’s, it’s totally different though.

06:43 Eric Schneider
Absolutely. And I know, I know just from, you know, following you on LinkedIn and just seeing like what you post about communities at the, the heart of what you do, right? And I know that you’ve built a, a community amongst operators like, you know, the the elite cannabis operators community, you know, the mastermind community. What, I guess, what was the reasoning and kind of at the core of, of you creating that and, and how has that blossomed since you’ve embarked on that?

07:18 William McKenzie
Yeah, absolutely. You know, the idea was born out of the struggle, right? Like 2022 was a brutal year here in Michigan. The market absolutely crashed. We went through some things within our business that wiped out a significant chunk of our revenue. And, you know, I was in a position where I needed some support from people, and it was challenging to find, right? They say entrepreneurship is lonely. I would say cannabis entrepreneurship is even lonelier.

07:51 William McKenzie
You know, we are an industry that’s coming out of the shadows. We’re coming from a place where very siloed people are kind of in their own box. They’re doing their own thing. They’re not really talking to other operators about what they’re doing, what’s working. And so, you know, through the, the challenges that I dealt with in 2022, I joined a mastermind community that was not related to cannabis, but it was full of entrepreneurs.

08:17 William McKenzie
And I really found my people there, right? I found this group of, of men and women who were doing big things. And you know, it was a place that I could go and be open about the stuff that I was struggling with in my business. And it was a transformative experience for me for so many reasons. I, I built relationships with amazing people. I could go and be open about my business struggles and things that I couldn’t talk to, you know, my friends or my wife about. And so through that experience, I just really knew that the cannabis industry, especially with everything that we were going through, that we really needed to start building community among operators.

09:00 Isaac Bock
That’s awesome. I guess what have you noticed, you know, over the last few years from 2022 and now, like how has the overall vibe in the community been as you continue to grow, as the challenges are still very prevalent in the canvas space, but hopefully starting to get a little bit better?

09:21 William McKenzie
Yeah, I mean, the vibe in the community is great, right? There are, you know, all these people who really care about each other and have a vested interest in helping each other. People are sharing what they’re doing, that that’s working, which is not something that we have seen in the past. There’s kind of been, you know, yeah, the industry’s been so challenged. Everybody operates with a, a very scarce mindset. Like if I tell other people what I’m doing, like my secrets that, that that’s taking food off my plate, and like a shift to an abundance mindset where, you know, hey, a rising tide lifts all boats.

09:58 William McKenzie
Like there’s enough money, enough business here for all of us. So let’s, like the people who, who are like-minded and are interested in sharing, let’s get together and share what’s working and propel the industry forward. And that’s really been the biggest, I don’t wanna say surprise, because I knew it existed, but the most impressive thing for me is just seeing people showing up for each other.

10:26 Eric Schneider
Yeah. And is, is it mostly cultivators manufacturers in like Michigan, or is it kind of like spread all over the country?

10:35 William McKenzie
It’s really spread all over the country. I mean, we’re, you know, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts. So we have a pretty good distribution across the us. And then in terms of vertical, you know, we have everything from, you know, a large single state retailer like Embark to a smaller private MSO, like Nobo that started in, in Colorado and is now in, you know, Colorado, Illinois, and, and Michigan to single state verticals like myself, single state cultivators, multi-state brands, uncle Arnie’s, 40 tons.

11:15 William McKenzie
So we really have a, just a great distribution of operators. And then we also have a nice community of ancillary businesses that support operators, finance professionals, branding experts, loyalty agencies, branding, you know what I mean? So it’s been a, it’s been a very cool experience to see all these people come together and support each other and support.

11:40 Isaac Bock
Yeah. I guess since you guys have such a wide spread of types of operators locations, has there been, you know, certain nuggets you’ve taken from other people in different states, though they’ve thought about certain problems you might be running into that you haven’t thought of? ’cause you weren’t in a different market?

11:58 William McKenzie
Yeah, I mean, that’s the beautiful thing about, and, and kind of the idea behind it, right? A lot of people want to put together kind of like state by state operator associations, and that’s great. I, I think that’s an amazing idea. And we’re building towards that. This community will eventually be big enough that we’ll have, you know, Michigan chapter, California chapter, and there will be separate meetups for that kind of stuff. But the lessons that a new state can glean from a mature market are just so invaluable, right?

12:33 William McKenzie
Because the things that are about to go on in New Jersey and New York are the same things that have already happened in Michigan, that have already happened in California, that have already happened in Colorado. The states are different, but the cycles are the same, right? There’s this boom bust cycle that we all go through, and for some reason, when a new state comes online, they think for whatever reason, like that’s not gonna happen here.

12:57 William McKenzie
It happens everywhere, right? There’s, there’s a, you know, the market runs hot in the beginning for, you know, two to three years, depending on how quickly people get in, how quick the licensing process is, and then it gets saturated and it crashes, right? And then there’s a bleed out, right? There’s a culling, people start falling off and then prices get a little bit better and then people rush back in. You know what I mean? So it’s like if you can talk to people in mature markets and get some of that information, you can be better prepared for that kind of stuff. And you can actually set yourself up so that you don’t get crushed when it happens.

13:32 Eric Schneider
Yeah, absolutely. And I think, no, to your point, every, every market says like, we’re gonna learn from the past and then we’re gonna do things the right way and, and make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes. But I think it’s like, and I don’t think it’s anything related, you know, to the regulatory, I mean, obviously it has a larger, it’s a larger challenge just given the regulatory framework, but it’s, at the end of the day, it’s a commodity, right? And it’s supply and demand and it’s about, you know, to your point, right, there’s a boom in the beginning because it’s a little scarcer.

14:06 Eric Schneider
And then as more players come into the space, it drives down pricing. And you know, that’s where we, you know, big thing over the, I feel like past year and a half has really been like how to trim costs and operate an effective business, you know? Will, what are some things that, you know, you guys have done internally to, to make sure that you continue operating in Michigan and, and having success and, you know, what are some of those like tough decisions that you have to make, you know, as a CEO to, to make sure that the sustainability of the organization is, is perpetuated, you know, not only in 2024, but in years to come?

14:47 William McKenzie
Yeah, you know, and this is one of the things that I talk to new operators about. It’s like, start off like this, you know, ’cause this is coming. Don’t, don’t build a fat bloated business and then have to scale back when times get tough. Like start off lean, you know what I mean? Run, lean from the jump and just know that you’re gonna be okay no matter how bad the price compression gets, how saturated the market gets. Like if you build your business like this from the jump, you’re gonna be okay. And so for us, you know, in the beginning it was, it was cuts, right?

15:22 William McKenzie
You have to trim the fat, especially at the management level, at the production level, you know, the plant needs, what the plant needs manufacturing takes, what manufacturing takes, like you can only cut those positions so much. And so it becomes at the executive level, at the management level that, you know, the founders have a whole bunch of people, you know, as direct reports, whereas you don’t necessarily want that, but that’s just what it’s gonna be because you can’t necessarily afford, you know, a bunch of a hundred, $200,000 salaries for executives.

15:53 William McKenzie
And so those were some of the things. We also simplified our offerings, right? We took the brand that was doing well and we ran with that and we stopped producing the other brands that maybe weren’t doing as well and needed more marketing dollars behind them and just really got focused on what was working. And then even within that brand, simplifying the offering. So like reducing the SKUs, getting rid of SKUs that weren’t doing as well, and kind of really focused in on a core offering. And then beyond that, even further, it’s like for us having a vertical operation and looking at the whole swath of the business, like what within this business really works.

16:31 William McKenzie
And for us it’s outdoor cultivation at scale. And so simplifying down, having that really be our focus here in 2024, you know, we just sold off all but one of our stores and that one store is, you know, in our HQ basically it’s profitable. It’s very simple to run. And so we’re focusing back in on our core competency, which is outdoor

16:55 Isaac Bock
Cultivation. No, that makes a ton of sense. And I guess, you know, we haven’t had a ton of people on so far in the Michigan market, so what have you kind of noticed from, you know, the skews and the things that are doing really well for your clientele in Michigan that might be a little bit unique? I know you mentioned the, the price point was a big thing, but what else have you guys noticed and howton success with?

17:22 William McKenzie
So yeah, price point is huge. Obviously THC levels are still huge. People want high quantities of high quality, high THC, cannabis at a low price. That’s like the, that’s the math that makes sense in the Michigan market right now. And that’s what we aim to produce and to supply also convenience. It has been huge. So pre-rolls just sell by, by the literal fuck load. And then also, you know, one piece that was surprising to me, just based on the Michigan market, so like, you know, at any given retail in Michigan, you can go and buy 12 to 15 vape carts, five 10 vape carts for a hundred bucks.

18:07 William McKenzie
That’s really cheap. And so when disposables started popping up, you know, a couple, two and a half years ago and coming out at $35 a piece, that was kind of like, well, why would people spend 35 bucks on a disposable when they could buy 15 vape cart for a hundred dollars? And so that was a little bit counterintuitive, but disposables continue to be incredibly popular in the market, continue to grow, continue to grow month over month, year over year.

18:38 William McKenzie
And so for me, you know, pre-rolls both regular and infused, and then disposables are also massive.

18:49 Eric Schneider
Are there, are there a lot of other operators in Michigan that do outdoor?

18:55 William McKenzie
Yeah, so there are, but you know, Michigan’s a different market than California, right? Like kind of the, the soul of California cannabis is outdoor cultivation, right? It’s the guys who started in the Emerald Triangle growing outdoors in the hills and, and that product supplied a lot of the United States for a long time in Michigan, there is a long standing history of a caregiver market, right? They had a medical market for a long time, a thriving medical market, the second biggest medical market in the United States.

19:28 William McKenzie
But those guys were growing indoors, you know, completely different growing style than we had in California. And so for, you know, now producing outdoor flour in the regulated market, it’s a little bit different. And so we’re seeing a different quality and a different grade of outdoor flour. And so for people who, you know, are producing high quality outdoor flour there, there’s a bit of an advantage here in Michigan.

19:57 Eric Schneider
Got it. Because I’m sure you can get a lot more scale and bang for your buck outdoor versus indoor, right? And the Oh yeah. The cost of goods sold has to be lower, right? Just in terms of using water, electricity, all of those things.

20:13 William McKenzie
Yeah, I mean, so like, you know, to grow a pound of indoor flour, you know, you’re in the six to $700 a pound range and like, you know, sorry, that’s, that’s indoor flour and then like indoor flower wholesale in Michigan right now is probably an average like eight to $900 a pound. So there’s not a lot of margin there. Growing indoor flour and selling it a bulk and wholesale outdoor flower we sell for like, you know, 2 75, 300 bucks a pound, but, but it only costs us a hundred bucks to grow it, you know, and that was really kind of the marching orders that Yeah.

20:50 William McKenzie
That the team got, right? It was like we, Charlie McKenzie is, you know, our director of cultivation and he’s got a great team with him and the marching order was like, what’s it gonna take to get us to a hundred dollars a pound cost of goods? That’s where we need to be. And that’s kind of where the scale came from, right? It’s like, okay, we can get to a hundred bucks a pound all in, but we’re gonna have to grow 50,000 plants. And so that was, that was our goal. That’s what we got to last year and, and for us, that’s the business, right? Cost a hundred bucks a pound to grow it, we sell it for 2 75, 300, that’s a profitable business.

21:23 Isaac Bock
No, for sure. And that makes a ton of sense. I guess you, you know, you kind of absolutely touched on it already with focusing a lot more on the outdoor grow as well as closing down some of your retail side of things. But what else are you guys focused on for the rest of 2024 and hanging into 2025?

21:42 William McKenzie
I mean, at this point in the year, it’s like a hundred percent focus on getting ready for the outdoor season, right? Outdoor cultivation. Yep. You get one shot and if you fuck it up, you’re, you’re out of business, right? You’re gonna spend, you know, depending on the size of the farm, you know, four or $5 million for the year, cash flowing, that operation, you get one harvest, this isn’t California, you can’t get two. And so it’s like all hands on deck, all, all energy focused on getting the, getting the farm planted in the, in early June, propagating all of the genetics that it takes to produce enough clones to, to plant 50,000 plants.

22:27 William McKenzie
So that’s really the, the focus of left Coast Holdings right now. And then, you know, outside of that, I also obviously have this community that I’ve been working on building. And so that remains part of my focus is, is networking with good operators and bringing more people into the community, you know, and we’ve had really good organic growth to this point and kind of getting to a point where, where we may start ramping it up a little bit.

22:58 Eric Schneider
That’s awesome. What are, what are your thoughts on anything, you know, like a big thing at Benzinga, you know, the, the main takeaways that I kind of, you know, got and people were, were chatting about it quite a bit, is obviously, you know, going from a schedule one to schedule three, you know, if that were to have, I guess like what are your thoughts on that and, and how would that impact you all as an organization?

23:24 William McKenzie
Yeah, you know, this is a, obviously a hot topic and there’s a lot of opinions on it. What I took away from Benzinga was, you know, rescheduling won’t affect the cost of capital or potentially the availability of capital. So that’s one thing that some people were thinking, oh, if it gets rescheduled, you know, people are just gonna jump in, institutional money’s gonna flood in. I don’t think that’s gonna happen. That’s not the sense that I got from the people I spoke to at Benzinga, the talks that I listened to at Benzinga.

23:59 William McKenzie
And then, you know, it’s kind of hard to tell what the government’s really trying to do with the rescheduling. Do they have some ulterior motives of allowing big pharma in, you know, cannabis would be the only schedule three product that’s not sold in a pharmacy, which doesn’t really give me the warm and fuzzies, so I’m not exactly sure what it does.

24:24 William McKenzie
If it gets rid of two 80 e that changes the game for, for cannabis companies, obviously that makes a whole lot more of us profitable than our right now, you know, I’m sure you all saw the, the Forbes article that less than 25%, like 24.4% of cannabis companies in the United States are profitable. That’s deplorable, that’s just atrocious that so many people could be working so hard, have put up so much money to not be profitable to, to be taking this massive risk. So, you know, if we got rescheduled, if two 80 E went away, that would be a big step for the cannabis industry.

25:02 William McKenzie
But I’m just not sure about the strings that are attached to that. Right.

25:08 Isaac Bock
No, for sure. I mean, I think you kind of steer point

25:11 Eric Schneider
No, that’s a good point, right? It’s, it’s the old like, be careful, be careful what you wish for a little bit.

25:17 William McKenzie
Yeah, absolutely.

25:24 Isaac Bock
Yeah, I mean I think, I think we’ll see what happens over the next few months. Obviously there’s a lot of stuff going on in the world, so interesting to see what the government decides to do, especially in an election year, I guess. Is there anything else kind of on that side of things that you think would move the needle a lot? Or do you think just kind of maintaining the course as is right now will allow yourself and other operators to maintain business and continue to grow?

25:58 William McKenzie
You know, if they ever managed to get safe banking passed, that will certainly have a big impact on the industry. I think that that would start to see more capital be available for operators, cheaper capital be available for operators. I don’t think that it’s a quick fix. I don’t think it happens overnight. If you look at Canada where things are federally legal, they still don’t have banking figured out there. So that doesn’t make me feel good. I, I know that our banking system is so big and so complex that, you know, even if they were to pass a safe banking, it’s not like the next day, you know, FDIC insured institutions are just gonna start opening up cannabis accounts and start lending out money to cannabis operators.

26:41 William McKenzie
But, you know, the continual, you know, the, the increase that, that I am seeing from banks getting involved in the space state, charter banks, credit unions, the more banks that get involved, the better. And so I am seeing more of that coming out right now. So I’d love to see safe banking get passed. I’d love to see more states continue to come online with rec, with rec ordinances and just keep pushing the industry forward.

27:13 Eric Schneider
Absolutely speak. Speaking about more states coming online, you know, Ohio, just past recreational, do, do you think that’ll have an impact on the Michigan market? I know, you know, a lot of, a lot of people from Ohio were just hopping over the border and, and purchasing cannabis from the Michigan market. Obviously as Ohio becomes wreck, that that may not be the case. Is that, you know, something that you guys are thinking about as well, or retailers thinking about?

27:41 William McKenzie
I mean, I’m sure I don’t have any retail stores on the border, so for me personally, it doesn’t affect me. I, I think that the, the operators of the border stores are probably a little bit nervous to me. I don’t think it’s gonna have as big of an effect as some people think because Michigan is so far ahead of Ohio in terms of the brands that we have, the quality that we have, the pricing that we have, the taxes. You know, if you live within an hour or two of the border, I think you’re still gonna drive to Michigan because you’re gonna buy better products for cheaper price and you’re gonna have a shit load of options versus, you know, this kind of stumbling along Ohio market that’s probably not gonna be producing the same caliber of product as Michigan and it’s gonna be more expensive.

28:30 William McKenzie
So I think it will have some effect. I don’t think it’s gonna be as bad as people think.

28:39 Eric Schneider
Awesome. Well this has been, this has been a great conversation Will, and, and we really appreciate it. We’ll get into just some fun, you know, kind of non, non-industry related questions in here in a second. But before we do that, is there anything else that, you know, you kind wanna give your perspective on or something that we didn’t touch on either as an industry or at Left Coast Holdings?

29:09 William McKenzie
You know, one of the other things that I’m, you know, kind of passionate about and pushing is, you know, the fact that we are overregulated and under enforced at the state level. I heard recently from a very reliable source that 34% of the products on the shelves in the Michigan retail stores are derived from hemp conversion oil. So not THC distillate that’s, that’s grown by licensed operators in the state of Michigan, but oil that is chemically synthesized from CBD that is being brought into the system.

29:49 William McKenzie
And so I am gonna continue to push the CRA myself and a bunch of other operators so that people in the state of Michigan have access to what they voted on, which is regulated tested product that’s grown by licensed operators. And I think that hopefully operators within the state of Michigan and within other states also stand up and do the same thing because the people of the state deserve better. The operators of the state deserve better

30:22 Eric Schneider
Center. Absolutely. No. And shifting gears a little bit, we like to just, you know, have some fun questions at the end, just try to get, get your perspective on a few things. I know you’re a big, big workout guy, big health and fitness. What’s the, the one artist or song that you’re listening to to before you get up on the bench press, <laugh>, what’s the, what’s your go-to song

30:51 William McKenzie
Recently I’ve been playing, there’s a Red Man and Royce five nine song that I’ve been listening to a lot. Also, you know, a lot of the old school Lil Wayne is something that’s kind of on repeat on my workout mix. Yeah,

31:10 Isaac Bock
I love the Carter albums, especially the earlier, early ones.

31:14 Eric Schneider
Love that.

31:16 William McKenzie

31:17 Isaac Bock
Yeah. And I know you

31:19 Eric Schneider
And then last thing, just what’s one book? Oh no, go ahead. Sorry. Oh, sorry I be No, I was just gonna say one book that you’ve, you know, read or kind of, you know, turned back to periodically that you’ve found to be, you know, inspirational or, or helpful at a personal level or, or business level.

31:40 William McKenzie
Sure. There’s a book called Your Next Five Moves by Patrick, be David. He is somebody who I look up to a lot. I had the opportunity to work with him last year on some consulting stuff in my business. You know, I think a lot of us spend a lot of time working really hard, but we’re not always thinking strategically and thinking, you know, like a chess player would, you know, 5, 10, 15 moves ahead. And once I started thinking five moves ahead, 10 moves ahead, I now feel like, and I can look back and see myself like moving chess pieces in the game of life.

32:24 William McKenzie
And I see myself moving towards my goals much faster than I ever have before. And it’s through that strategic thinking. So anybody who’s interested in business, your Next Five moves by Patrick be David is just a phenomenal book.

32:42 Eric Schneider
That’s awesome. Well, we’ll have to definitely jot that one down and, and well this has been a, a great episode and, and really appreciate your perspective not only on the Michigan market, but at, at the industry as a whole and love what you’re doing and helping build community amongst operators. I think a lot of times, you know, in the, the cannabis space you kind of hear, you know, community, but to your point, there’s not a lot of execution and you are executing, you know, and, and I think it’s awesome to see and and love what you guys are building both at the operator level as well as with the, the community.

33:17 Eric Schneider
It’s much needed and excited to see what you guys accomplish in 2024.

33:22 William McKenzie
Thank you brother. I appreciate that.

33:25 Eric Schneider
Another great one. It was really awesome to hear like his, his candid perspective, like even on the stuff that they had to do as an organization to be profitable and, and to be, you know, continuing to operate. I think, you know, like he mentioned, every new market goes through those certain cycles and you know, it’s a testament to what they’ve built to withstand the challenges in the Michigan market and to come out on the other side, you know, doing well and staying true to his roots.

34:00 Eric Schneider
Right? I think being authentic and staying in their lane quality, outdoor and grown cannabis. Right. And I think that’s really important too. ’cause you know, sometimes we see Isaac, a lot of operators, you know, trying to do a lot of different things, create a lot of different products, and I’m a believer if you’re the master of everything, you’re the master of nothing. And I think, I think Willie definitely embodies that in, in trying to stick to what they do well and, and double down on that.

34:29 Isaac Bock
Yeah, for sure. I think, you know, his advice and insight and the, the lessons he learned from, you know, the community he helped start as well as the, the non-cannabis one where he met some people that seemed to have had an impact on his life is very, you know, good insight. And also just like their view on to what you just said, you know, sticking to what they’re having success with and leaning into that rather than trying to spread themselves too thin and take a risk on something that may end up not working out, which we’ve seen backfire a lot of times in this space.

35:00 Isaac Bock
So definitely a lot of good information from from Willie on that.

35:06 Eric Schneider
Yeah. And, and just a genuine, authentic dude.

35:09 Isaac Bock

35:10 Eric Schneider
You know,

35:11 Isaac Bock
Very comfortable being who he is

35:13 Eric Schneider
And Yeah. And, and I think it’s awesome what he’s doing and how he’s building community and, and you know, like I said, you know, a lot of people kind of talk about it and, but he’s actually executing on it, which is the, the biggest difference. And I thought that was a great one. Appreciate having him on and, and always excited for the next one.

35:34 Isaac Bock
Absolutely, man.


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