August 2018

¬NFUSED BUS¬NESS STRATEG¬ES ¬ nfused product makers eager to expand their brand can heed a doc- tor’s advice. Dr. Norm’s, a Southern California cannabis-infused cookie pro- ducer, started by selling its products in three Los Angeles dispensaries in 2017 and, in just a year, has begun distribut- ing to more than 110 retail shops across California. When the Koz siblings – Dr. Norm’s co-founders Jeff Koz and Roberta Koz Wilson – started selling Dr. Norm’s Chocolate Chip Therapy Cookies to stores in January 2017, they were bak- ing 2,800-5,600 cookies every three to four weeks. Now, they’re baking 12,000-20,000 cookies twice per week to meet increased demand. For infused product makers eye- ing rapid growth, the Koz siblings prescribed leveraging relationships with key retailers and online delivery platforms, being flexible with minimum order amounts, anticipating market changes and carefully vetting distribu- tion partners. They also emphasized the importance of relationship building. “There are all kinds of ways to (expand), and the way we’ve done it is the way we do things as a fam- ily: in a direct and really personal way,” Koz Wilson said. “These aren’t A Prescription for Growth Owners of a California infused-product company cultivate relationships with retailers and delivery companies and anticipate market trends to expand their brand By Joey Peña EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Infused product makers eyeing rapid growth can take a page from Dr. Norm’s book. The co-founders of Dr. Norm’s – a family-owned, Southern California cannabis- infused cookie producer – shared these tips for getting your products on more store shelves: • Leverage relationships with key retailers and online delivery platforms; relationship building is critical. • Be flexible with minimum order amounts; they can lead to larger orders later. • Anticipate market changes – including regulations that limit product potency – and develop new products that appeal to consumers, using feedback from retailers about in-demand items. • Carefully vet distribution partners; communication, product exclusivity and terms of an agreement are important. marketing techniques, they’re personal relationships.” Identify Critical Retail Partners The Kozes suggest companies look- ing to expand their brand identify popu- lar retail partners that will give their products much-needed exposure. Through their Weedmaps sales repre- sentative, networking at the 420 Games athletic events and online research, the Dr. Norm’s co-founders identified a handful of dispensaries After discussions with budtenders about in-demand products, the founders of Dr. Norm’s launched a new line of cookies containing pure CBD and 1-to-1 THC-to-CBD ratios. Photo courtesy of Dr. Norm’s 86 • Marijuana Business Magazine • August 2018