Cannabis Confidential: Inside the Exciting (and Sometimes Scary) World of Cannabis Startups

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Cannabis confidential: inside the exciting (and sometimes scary) world of cannabis startups Four industry insiders offer honest insight and tips for starting your own cannabis business

Launching a business is daunting. The line that separates “work time” from “personal time” disintegrates almost immediately, and the logistical challenges of hiring and managing the right employees – and making money all the while – can stress even the coolest of cucumbers.

Imagine then, launching a business that focuses on marijuana, a highly regulated commodity in legal markets, and a product still frequently associated with grey and black markets. Then imagine pitching your cannabis business idea to a panel of judges, including Dragons’ Den’s W. Brett Wilson and Tweed founder Chuck Rifici, at the largest cannabis expo in Canada.

The pressure for the 2017 Lift Pitch at the Lift Expo in Toronto (May 26 – 28) is, as they say, on.

This year, startup businesses in the cannabis space will have the opportunity to pitch their cannabis startup ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win up to $20,000 in prizes, including advertising from Lift, a booth at the 2018 Expo, legal services from Bennett Jones LLP, free onboarding consultation from Stoic Advisory and potential financial investment from the judges.

Being an entrepreneur in this space takes brains, tenacity and a ton of planning and research. In anticipation of the pitch contest, we rounded up our own panel of experts, including Hugo Alves, a legal pioneer in Canada’s medical cannabis space and Aaron Salz, the first financial analyst in Canada to cover the industry – both will also serve as Lift Pitch judges. We also spoke to two cannabis business owners currently in the thick of it all, for some honest industry-insider advice.

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