Marijuana Business Magazine - May-June 2018

RETA¬L BUS¬NESS STRATEG¬ES W hen it comes to Pennsyl- vania’s newly launched medical cannabis industry, Cresco Labs warrants bragging rights. In February, the company’s dispen- sary – about 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh – was the first in the state to begin sales. Moreover, Illinois-based Cresco, operating in Pennsylvania as Cresco Yeltrah, started as the only licensed medical marijuana business with an operational grow. Rival dispensaries, once they opened, were forced to stock Cresco supplies. To get up and running in Pennsyl- vania, Cresco relied on the experience gained establishing medical marijuana operations in Illinois. The company also participated in the public rule- making process, garnering intimate knowledge of the regulations set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. And Cresco teamed with local partners to get its cultivation and retail facilities located and built, so the com- pany could start growing its crop and hit the ground running. “We were the first grow processor to have products available Feb. 15,” said Charles Bachtell, CEO and co- founder of Cresco Labs. “We ended up doing this a month to a month- and-a-half faster than anybody else.” In Pennsylvania, Cresco Yeltrah started out with capsules, topical lotions, vaporizing pens, concen- trates and Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. As of Feb. 15, the company delivered product from its cultivation and manufacturing center in Brookville to six dispensaries, including CY+, its location in Butler, Pennsylvania. In addition to its roughly 4,000-square-foot dispensary in Butler, Cresco Yeltrah is plan- ning to build a dispensary in Pitts- burgh and another in southwestern Pennsylvania. Getting Approved Cresco opened its first medi- cal marijuana facilities in Illinois in 2015. Since then, the company has expanded to Nevada and is working By Adrian D. Garcia Front-end work, local partners and previous experience allowed Cresco to launch before competitors in Pennsylvania Getting a Head Start EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Cresco Yeltrah started medical marijuana sales in Pennsylvania on Feb. 15. Front-end work, local partners and previous experience allowed the company to start harvesting and manufacturing before its competitors. Here’s how the company beat its competition to market: • Staffers met with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and provided feedback and input on proposed rules, when possible. • The company partnered with a local family to help win permit approval and get facilities ready. • Cresco Yeltrah split construction of its Pennsylvania cultivation center into phases and got approval to start growing plants before its competitors. • Cresco formed a team from its Illinois headquarters to hire and train new staffers in Pennsylvania. Cresco Yeltrah partner Ean Seeb (from left), CEO and co-founder Kent Hartley and regional dispensary manager Jesse Worsk work the official opening of CY+ dispensary in Butler, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Cresco Yeltrah 110 • Marijuana Business Magazine • May-June 2018