THIS AIN’T THE GOOD OLD DAYS CANNABIS ISN’T CHEAP AND IT STILL ISN’T LEGAL. WHAT ARE YOUR DOLLARS FUNDING?
Back in the day? 2018-now? No man, “chaos back in the day” was CAMP raids in NorCal in the 80s and 90s and DEA doorkicks in SoCal throughout the new millennium… and for those that still have a passion for the plant but cannot afford to get licensed to compete with multi-state operators and “burn rates” of investor funds, that chaos still exists today due in no small part to the self-serving lobbying efforts made for years by people like Bierman and Modlin.
The good ol’ days everybody wants to go back to the good ol’ days, right? When you could walk into a strip mall pot shop with a backpack full of weed and walk out with $3-4k without ever catching anyone’s real name.
When custies could stick their face into massive glass jars and watch the budtender chopstick each choice nug into a plastic pop-top, the readout on the digital scale on display for all to see. When the people actually doing the farming and extracting were the brands.
No, it wasn’t all good in the good ol’ days, as anyone who ran into the wrong end of law enforcement or a shady deal can attest to, but for the most part – here in Cali, at least – the market policed itself and we definitely miss that.
‘Talk shit, get hit’… ‘Snitches get stitches’… there is no shortage of such useful colloquialisms from that bygone era we call BTC (Before Taxed Cannabis), but most of the self-cleaning that those early markets utilized had less to do with violence or threats and more to do with reputation and character. If you were doing things the right way for the right reasons your reputation would precede you, and you probably flourished in good vibes and success.
For the scumbags who burnt bridges, talked to cops, and ripped people off, likewise, their reputation would precede them and the karma surrounding the cannabis plant usually ripped them up by the roots sooner or later. Ah… the good ol’ days… are over it seems.
Though there is certainly some competition for the claim, it’s hard to argue that there is a less popular cannabis brand these days than MedMen.
From their inception, the company has perfectly represented everything wrong with heavily regulated cannabis markets to the point where even the Comedy Central series South Park got into the animated weed game just to highlight exactly how fake, greedy, and unsustainable MedMen’s “business model” truly is – from the top, down.
Until around the middle of last year, the head honchos at MedMen were two men named Adam Bierman (former CEO) and Andrew Modlin (ex-President), co-Founders of the flagship of corporate cannabis. How’s that other old saying go? Do the captains take the only lifeboat from the sinking ship?
ALWAYS BET ON BLACK… AND RED… FUCK IT, BET ON EVERYTHING IT’S NOT OUR MONEY LOL
Back in those good ol’ days, if you screwed up badly enough in cannabis you were either blacklisted from the culture, or locked up, or worse. When Bierman and Modlin stepped down from their roles in the multimillion-dollar meme known as MedMen, it felt less like any sort of justice being served, and more like just another move on some corporate chessboard.
Sure enough, last week MJBizDaily reported on the recently ousted execs saying that they had both landed on their feet back in the California cannabis industry. Apparently, Bierman, Modlin, and a select handful of MedMen castaways have re-shined their shoes and changed polo shirts and now represent a Santa Barbara-based brand called Coastal Dispensary.
Coastal is co-owned by the Denver-based founder of Native Roots and holds multiple licenses in California covering manufacturing, delivery, and retail operations.
Meanwhile, many of the so-called legacy operators who blazed the trail for so-called legal weed in California cannot afford even one license.
A failing brand may not be enough to land someone on the unfuckwithable list, but when you look at the way in which those two lavishly spent other people’s money to enrich themselves while firing hundreds of employees, stringing out payments for countless distributors, facing allegations of workplace harassment, and literally making a mockery of regulated cannabis, it is remarkable that Coastal Dispensary would even let them in the front doors, let alone into their board room.
According to the report by MJBizDaily, however, it appears that both Bierman and Modlin have been actively working with Coastal for at least the past six months and that Bierman, in particular, appears to have been financially invested in the brand dating back even longer meaning he was possibly pulling the Pete Rose of pot, betting on alleged competitors. Again, not illegal, just sort of gross. The sort of thing that would have put some stink on your name in the good ol’ days.
MARKETING THE MEDMEN MODEL
Reports indicate that the two have been brought on by Coastal to help the brand expand and to make its retail experience emulate whatever the hell it was that they created at MedMen. This, of course, is to then be used as a real-world pitch deck for them to throw at every dispensary from coast-to-coast as their new service, which is a lot like their old service, except now it’s all your money, brand, and risk on the line. Want to know the best way to staff an “Apple Store of Weed”? Act now and for just an extra $9.99 they’ll tell you how to lay them off, too! Looking to lobby local lawmakers to ensure that nobody ever gets to grow their own cannabis at home, ensuring more profit for your dispensary? Adam and Andrew’s potential ‘Hell No to HomeGrow’ seminar might be just what you’re looking for. Ok, seriously though, who would bring these guys in, given their baggage in the cannabis culture and industry? Well, on their website Coastal claims to have 12 retail locations in California. According to the Bureau of Cannabis Control, they only have four retail licenses and two of them are for delivery only.
(WTF are those lines of text at the bottom about? So weird…)
Perhaps they plan to parlay Bierman’s new biz model to open the rest someday… or pay a webdev to make their site read more accurately in the meantime. The MJBizDaily piece quotes Jared Kiloh, president of the United Cannabis Business Association, who says that the two deserve a chance to make amends in the cannabis industry, saying, “We’re all looking to redefine ourselves in the current market. If Adam and Andrew find a way to redefine themselves and bring value to a new company, then more power to them… I think we should all allow people to adjust to a new market because it was chaos back in the day. It was the wild, wild west.”EDITORS NOTE: If you’re interested in reading more about the MEDMEN founders and rapid decline check out this POLITICO Article from last year that goes into greater detail on what actually went down. It’s a page-turner.
LAVISH PARTIES, GREEDY POLS AND PANIC ROOMS: HOW THE ‘APPLE OF POT’ COLLAPSED
MedMen was the country’s hottest pot startup—until it flamed out. Its fall has exposed the gap between the “green rush” hype and the realities of a troubled industry.