Podcast Episode: Fitness trainer gets off the corporate treadmill to thrive in Arkansas’ cannabis industry

Arkansas wasn’t on many people’s radars a few years ago in terms of marijuana legalization. But since legal medical marijuana sales started there in May 2019, Arkansas has proved to be a robust market, albeit with its challenges.

One cannabis entrepreneur making a go at it is Matt Shansky, who was climbing the corporate latter in the fitness space when his family queried him about breaking into the industry. Before long, he was converting a barn in Bentonville into the dispensary that Shansky runs today – The Releaf Center.

In this episode of “Seed to CEO,” Shansky will talk about:

  • How he and his team educated themselves about this new industry.
  • Why he and his team chose to pursue retail business instead of cultivation or manufacturing.
  • Choosing the right location for your store.
  • How to compete against MSOs.
  • Serving a rural community.

Who is Matt Shansky?

Matt Shansky is a co-founder and CEO of The Releaf Center, a medical cannabis dispensary in Bentonville, Arkansas, near the Missouri and Oklahoma borders. A personal trainer by profession, Shansky once lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and was climbing the corporate ladder at a nationally known fitness company where there was “room to grow.” When family members came to him with the idea of breaking into the cannabis industry, he initially had reservations. But he was intrigued by the opportunity and motivated by the mission to provide medicine. He and his team scouted other markets, hired consultants and submitted a successful application that helped them launch The Releaf Center.

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