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Is this the beginning of the end of vertical integration in the N. America Cannabis sector ?

Remember the glory days of 2017 and 2018 where the phrase “vertical integration” ruled supreme and every cannabis company CEO had it roll off his or her tongue in a fashion remiscent of Broccoli creation, Blofeld.

This week Med Men’s umpteenth quarterly report showing thinly disguised catastrophe has obviously made their new (some described as “interim”) management team sit up and realise that they are actually in the retail game and that world domination isn’t as easy as they may have initially imagined.

A few viewings of classic Bond movies 18 months ago, we suggest, might have been the best way to spend an executive retreat in Tahoe.


Any Bond fan will know that in the game of world domination however many henchmen you have, the quality of the technology you employ and the apparant security of your overcomplicated lair it only takes one man in a suit and an underdressed woman to bring the whole thing tumbling down.

As CNN reports MedMen’s nemesis was their belief that they could do everything, retail, production, control the media and all from tip top LA premises. If that doesn’t sound like a Bond movie I don’t know what does.

But as we all know this is what happens

They aren’t the only ones to have painted themselves into this corner but they appear to have suffered the most from the approach. Will other big players in the North American cannabis space look at their vertical integration plays and decide it was all for naught ?

This is only the beginning of this chapter of big end of town  cannabis industy but we know one thing for sure, just like a Bond movie there’s always another one in play and the conclusion is determined before anything hits the screen. Different players same game when it comes to the tricky business of world domination.


In case i have digressed too much as i am wont to do here’s the CNN piece on MedMen

“While vertical integration has been a big focus for the industry, our growing belief is that cannabis is evolving like every other consumer vertical: with a fragmented value chain and specialists at each layer,” Ryan Lissack, MedMen’s newly appointed interim CEO said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday.

In addition to outsourcing cultivation and production operations, MedMen plans to put each existing store under a microscope to ensure they will generate cash. If that’s not the case, then stores might be temporarily or permanently shut down.
“We cannot continue to invest in assets that are not producing near-term cash returns,” said Zeeshan Hyder, MedMen’s chief financial officer.
The retail-first focus is one part of an effort from a new management team — and new board leadership — to salvage a cannabis company that is running low on cash and is deeply in debt after a lengthy bout of growing too big, too fast.
    “The board is acutely aware of the importance of raising additional capital,” Executive Chairman Ben Rose said during the call.

    Full story at