MJBizConNEXT keynoter Simms urges marijuana industry to ‘be audacious’

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MJBizConNEXT Direct and Hemp Industry Daily Direct kicked off Monday with a virtual keynote speech from Dia Simms, an award-winning entrepreneur and member of The BRN Group, a New York-based cannabis tech company.

Simms called on the cannabis industry to move in unison to overcome over a century of stigma, to think bigger and to consider innovation and creativity.

She mentioned the virtual conference as an example of the industry creating a new product that required “a ton of work” but could create lasting value for business owners in the cannabis space.

“During unusual and trying times, you shift, have an opportunity to learn – even if the backdrop is more difficult than what we’re accustomed to,” Simms said.

Her talk was themed around “leaning into audacity.”

Among other points, she challenged the industry to think creatively about distribution points – including how and where products are sold, because “historically over 50% of customer decisions are made at the point of purchase.”

“If your company is glossing over what happens at that point of purchase, you’re doing yourself a disservice,” Simms said. “When you think about building brands and being audacious you need to think through … what are some unique distribution places besides dispensaries and grocery stores and drug stores?”

She encouraged the industry to recognize that this is a “once in a millennium” opportunity to change the global economy.

“There’s no reason that this industry couldn’t be a trillion dollar industry,” she said.

Business owners have a chance to build it from scratch “in the proper way,” Simms added.

“In the way that science and data shows us work,” she said, “we know for a fact that companies that are more diverse make more cold, hard cash. If you’re not doing it for your heart, you should be doing it for your wallet. Countless studies reiterate that point.”

More information about MJBizConNEXT Direct is available here.

– Bart Schaneman