Founder and CEO
Mr. Waggoner began his career as an owner and operator of medical marijuana dispensaries when Colorado’s medical marijuana program was in its infancy, with patient roles in the mere thousands and very few grows and stores in operation statewide. From 2010-2012 he oversaw Options Wellness Centers’ evolution into one of the largest, most efficient medical marijuana cultivation operations in the state as Colorado’s patient roles topped 100,000, expanding two cultivation facilities from 2,800 square feet to more than 32,000 square feet total space in just 15 months.
Waggoner founded C&C Consulting in 2011 to share his passion for cultivation optimization with Colorado’s growing number of medical marijuana dispensaries, improving operations for Lincoln Herbal and Good Humor, both vertically integrated medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver and Boulder. Cory oversaw the sale of both dispensaries and cultivation facilites to new investors and assumed responsibility for Lincoln’s daily operations after its transition to new ownership.
In 2015 Waggoner founded Higher Yields Consulting (“HYC”) – shortly after recreational marijuana was first legalized in Colorado – in response to investors’ and business owners’ growing need for expertise beyond cultivation design and optimization. With his four-step “Higher Enlightenment” process, Waggoner and HYC provide “seed-to-scale” guidance for the start-up and operation of cannabusinesses in the U.S. and internationally, helping entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of real estate development, permitting, financing, mergers, and hemp and cannabis product sales/distribution.
Through HYC, Waggoner has overseen the design or optimization of nearly 2 million square feet of cannabis cultivation and extraction facilities worldwide. Projects include an initial assessment and report to optimize Copperstate Farms, the largest indoor cannabis cultivation facility in the United States; design of THC crude refining operations in the European Union; development of 100 hectare CBD/THC hemp farm in Argentina; and design of a multi-phased facility in Portugal that, when fully realized, would be one of the largest cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facilities in the world.
Waggoner and the HYC team are helping lawmakers draft federal regulations for Mexico’s burgeoning federal medical marijuana program, including guidelines for importing CBD products for sale in pharmacies, and they are guiding a $200 million capital raise for a team of entrepreneurs who seek to acquire, optimize, and resell struggling U.S. cannabusinesses and establish hemp cultivation and CBD manufacturing operations abroad.
Waggoner’s team has guided the development and completion of more than 100 successful cannabis licensing and permitting applications, including merit-based licensing applications in 13 U.S. states. HYC currently serves as third party auditors for The Safe Harbor Program (Safe Harbor), the nation’s first and only service-based program that specializes in connecting cannabis-related businesses with financial institutions. Safe Harbor provides due diligence, monitoring, and assistance with financial reporting to enable cannabusinesses to have banking relationships that follow FinCEN guidelines, and HYC ensures Safe Harbor’s services are delivered in full compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and all other applicable regulations.
HYC have been third party auditors to Safe Harbor since 2017, beginning with projects in Colorado from and expanding to audit Safe Harbor operations across the United States. Waggoner’s team combines for more than 50 years of experience implementing and auditing Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance (METRC) and BioTrack, inventory and point-of-sale systems that ensures cannabusiness owners operate lawfully and meet each state’s myriad of reporting requirements.
In early 2019 Waggoner founded the Higher Yields Hemp Collective (HYC Hemp Co), which uses investor proceeds to provide contracted farmers with the supplies and support they need to grow industrial high-quality hemp for CBD production. HYC Hemp Co then coordinates the market sale of harvests, reaping profits for small farmers across the U.S. and investors worldwide. As HYC Hemp Co Executive Director, Cory oversees strategy and partnership development, supply sourcing, and contract negotiations with investors, farmers, co-op vendors, and crop buyers. He is currently helping farmers, CBD extractors, and hemp products distributors address their needs by building and maintaining a qualified team of professionals to support the collective and its farmers while seeking investors globally.
Waggoner continues to place strong emphasis on customer service and client retention at HYC, just as he has since founding his first start up – after graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2008. He is also committed to educating and mentoring fellow entrepreneurs to help them succeed in the cannabis space. Through HYC, Waggoner curates and hosts tours of cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facilities in Denver for aspiring business owners, and he is a frequent speaker at industry events, including Elevator Nights Los Angeles, “Smoke and Grow Rich Tour,” New West Summit, NCIA, ACAMS California, Berkeley University HAAS MBA Program and other events around the country.