Episode 50

Announcing Higher Yields Capital Partners

Now in our 50th episode of the Higher Enlightenment Podcast, Higher Yields Consulting is announcing new initiatives, new innovations, and new ways to help elevate the cannabis industry to all facets of higher yields! In this episode, we speak with our CEO Cory Waggoner, our CRO Anthony Adkins, and our COO Tom Waggoner about what “higher yields” really means and what you can leverage from us to maximize your yields, revenue, and growth.

Adam Kulbach  00:07

Hello and welcome to the Higher Enlightenment Podcast brought to you by Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting, your seed to sale business solutions team. My name is Adam, and today’s episode, number 50, is all about Higher Yields-future of Higher Yields and the future of the cannabis industry. Our special guests are Cory Waggoner, Anthony Adkins, and Tom Waggoner, all from Higher Yields Consulting. So let’s get on with the show. Let’s start by having you guys introduce yourselves. Let’s start with you, Cory, could you give us a little introduction? Tell us about yourself?

 

Cory Waggoner  00:44

Yep. Cory Waggoner, founder and CEO here at Higher Yields Consulting, started Higher Yields about eight years ago, after being an operator in the industry for about seven and just really dedicated to creating growth opportunities and helping new businesses understand what they’re really getting into when they start into the cannabis and hemp industry.

 

Adam Kulbach  01:08

Okay, well, thank you. And how about you, Tom, could you give us a little introduction to yourself?

 

Tom Waggoner  01:13

Yeah, my name is Tom Wagner. So I’m the Chief Operating Officer at Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting. And so my role is really working across the teams and help us to make sure that we not only continue delivering excellence, but we build on that and we create this culture of continuous improvement. So, you know, for me, it’s an honor to be part of such a great team. And, you know, it’s great things ahead.

 

Adam Kulbach  01:42

Well, thanks for being here. How about you, Anthony, could you give us a little introduction?

 

Anthony Adkins  01:46

Absolutely. I’m Anthony Atkins, Chief Revenue Officer here at Higher Yields, been on board with the organization for three years. And my role responsibility within the organization is really, you know, all revenue, client acquisition, strategic partnership, development, market development, both nationally and internationally. And really pulling it all together and creating those strategic initiatives that are going to really sustain revenue aspects of Higher Yields.

 

Adam Kulbach  02:15

Okay, first question, what is the Higher Yields brand? And how did it become what it is today?

 

Cory Waggoner  02:22

The Higher Yields brand is really dedicated to excellence, and transparency in professional services. And, you know, we really started as, you know, as a cannabis consulting company, and a lot of our early efforts were dedicated towards the cultivation side of the industry. But as the industry is evolved, we found additional needs for additional support through our different verticals. And through some of the developments we have here at Higher Yields. But we’ve always been dedicated to creating customized solutions and supporting our clients, big and small, in all areas of the industry and really acting as advocates, you know, for the global acceptance of the plant in creating sustainable programs that make sense from a business perspective, and are also safe for the end consumers who utilize these products.

 

Adam Kulbach  03:14

Okay, how is HYC been able to pivot with the industry?

 

Anthony Adkins  03:24

The aspect of HYC being able to move and grow with the industry is not only is our anchored experience into what the industry was, or, you know, what it became, in terms of, you know, the proliferation of legalization, you know, in the country, so really been on the forefront and rode that road, that initial wave. So, you know, the deep understanding of where the industry has been, you know, what it went through, and where, of course, where it is today gives us some pretty deep insight into direction that it’s going. So we’re keeping our fingers on the pulse of, of the industry, of the changes that are happening, you know, both on a national domestic level here in the US, but also the international piece of things and the legislation that, of course, affects us all. Because, you know, truly, it’s going to be a global economy as it relates to cannabis and hemp. And we’re seeing other things like psilocybin, psychedelic industries and how that industry is burgeoning, as well. So our projects range, you know, from conceptual startups, you know, where individuals or small organizations are really looking at getting their foothold in the industry and helping them navigate and bring feasibility to their projects, meaning clarity and certainty, but also to the high end, you know, publicly traded MSOs certain operators and those sorts of things that are looking to increase your profitability because a lot of those organizations have been struggling, you know, in order to be able to, you know, how do they solidify and be efficient in what they’re doing. And, you know, crafting a strategic environment rather than sort of a shotgun approach to the industry in the market. So we see so many different things, and so many different aspects of the value chain and the supply chain, that it really allows us to, you know, to engage, to discover, to qualify, to develop and really work to apply the right resource, the right value, at the right time, and also for the right reason. So, Tom, anything you want to add to that?

 

Tom Waggoner  05:31

Yeah, no, I think that’s, that’s an awesome synopsis of, you know, how we’ve been able to pivot. And, you know, we, as Anthony said, as we keep our finger on the pulse, what we’re seeing is, you know, this-the next steps in the industry, right, and the development of that bigger picture items like technology, vertical farming outside of cannabis, due to the links with general agriculture, right. So as, as these methods have been perfected within cannabis, and now they’re starting to be shared in that vertical farming space. And we see that there’s this, there’s this need, because the people that are not adapting, they’re falling out, right. And then when they fall out, that creates opportunities for other stressed assets and technologies, you know, that we can help stand up as well. So, you know, that pivot is this thing that is continuous, right? So we can’t stop looking at the industry. And, you know, the team is really hyper focused on what’s next in all times, right? So you know, one of the other issues is we did stand up this thing called HYCP. So Higher Yields Capital Partners, and that’s why we created it, right? Because there’s this need for cash, and this, this need for access to investors so that people can take advantage of the distressed assets. And that people can grow-the people that are in the industry, they need to be able to have some outlet to reach to, to help them get funding that just is extremely difficult to get for cannabis business due to the federal regulations that are still in place today.

 

Cory Waggoner  07:09

And I think something else that’s really helped us is just kind of the continuity of what we’ve set up. Like, we’re not siloed, like a lot of the consulting firms that we’ve worked with, or competed against, where we only do applications and startup or we only do marketing and branding, that continuity has really helped us be nimble, you know, as things have changed, and it was really intended to kind of do that, because there’s different times where startup services really like lead the way for Higher Yields. And there’s times where system design has has been the kind of the bigger vertical for us, and marketing and branding. So that ability to you know, we’re not a very large team, we’re a decent sized team, I guess, but we’re very efficient team. And when we are kind of small and nimble, it makes a lot easier for us to be able to, move and mold with the industry versus trying to continue to take what was working five years ago, and keep reapplying and hoping to get the same results when this industry is a lot different than it was five years ago, three years ago, even two years ago. So I think that’s, that’s been a big help to us and being able to pivot and, you know, thrive in the industry for the last eight years.

 

Adam Kulbach  08:22

Okay, with so many regulatory and market changes in the cannabis industry, how was HYC able to survive and thrive?

 

Tom Waggoner  08:32

I think that, you know, kind of touched on a lot of that, and, you know, kind of that previous part of our conversation here, right? So innovation lessons learned, the experience, you know, from starting as growers and in moving into what HYC is today kind of creates this multiple perspectives, federal, state and local governments, right, and how things like design and construction fall in place, and then branding, the importance of branding and proper marketing of products and services. You know, in this whole, this whole idea of MSOs being too big to fail. So, right, so all of those things have helped us to continue to thrive. And as Cory was talking about, you know, understand that you can’t just simply continue to apply things, you know, that are five years old and expect that you’re gonna get the same results that the entire industry has evolved. And so with that, when we start thinking about things like compliance. HYC started putting together what’s called the Data Suite, right? So we have this compilation of data points from across the nation with different, you know, around different things like the regulatory compliance issues as well as performance of different products. And we build on that with this partnership program that we have. And so we have this entire network of extremely well positioned partners that have excellent products and services, and we partner with them. And we work together to try to, you know, not just build business together, but to continue to take the cannabis industry into the next level and to-into support that idea that we can, we can take these things into these adjacent industries, like the vertical farming in general, or agricultural things. And then you think about cash. And we touched on that with HYCP. So Higher Yields Capital Partners, whose sole mission in life is to is to find funding for the members of the cannabis industry right now that need to grow, right? So they need, they need access to the cash. So those are just three very, I guess, solid reasons and things that have allowed us to continue to thrive.

 

Anthony Adkins  10:53

Yeah, in addition to that, I mean, it really is steeped in our key differentiators of Higher Yields in the industry, in the marketplace. You know, so you know, the customization aspect, you know, we’re paying attention. You know, we’re not a linear company. It’s very dynamic in our approach to our clients. So we’re paying attention, we’re listening to their end game end goal, their vision, understanding their current reality, as it exists, and we’re working to move them across a very dynamic process, that’s helped them reach their end game end goal, no matter what their vision is. So you know, with that key customization comes cost control. And when you’re controlling costs from the beginning of a project or beginning of engagement, it makes a lot of sense, and therefore the project becomes sustainable. The second element, of course, our experience, so we don’t base things on hope. We don’t base things on theory, you know, it’s really a creative and innovative approach that we take, you know, really pay attention and collaborate with our clients. And then of course, number three, the third key differentiator, you know, is the fact that we do operate in a phased approach to help organizations and individuals pivot, if they run into a regulatory snag, or if they do run into legislation that has been changing, you know, in a particular state or in a particular country, you know, from that standpoint, so always looking, you know, of course, to be able to pivot pivot, which mitigates risk, and, of course, helps protect investment. You think those key, you know, those key values have always been a learning organization, always helping organizations, so control costs, bringing creative, innovative, you know, approaches and platforms, you know, to our client projects, that sustainability, you know, really elevates and goes to the top. We’re not complacent with what we do. You know, we’re always challenging ourselves to constant and never ending improvement, as a key organizational value with us so-

 

Cory Waggoner  12:57

And we think from a regulatory perspective, regulatory changes have been good for us, because we’re a very proactive organization. And, you know, probably our greatest core competency has always been compliance. And because it is such a necessary need, and it’s the first thing you really need when you get into this industry, because it is highly regulated. And for us, it’s been fairly easy to stay ahead of those things, because we’ve been spearheading a lot of those things with hundreds of local governments, state governments, federal governments around the world. So we’ve been able to guide and develop those while also observing, you know, these other programs that we haven’t been a part of, and how that those markets look different, you know, in a few years, five years, 10 years down the road. And that really gives us a lot of good feedback of how we create these these different programs and how we continue to develop ourselves with regulatory changes. And as those impacts the markets, we have a better insight of what to expect in those markets. Because some of the more strict markets like Florida, or in early New York, we operated and we approach those a lot different than we did a Colorado or we’re a California which are a lot more progressive. So for us, you know, at the end of the day, we see all these regulations eventually will align. And right now, you know, last five years have been a lot of like ideas of what states and local and federal governments thought would work. A lot of it being in theory, but for us, like we come from practice, so it’s always-we’ve come from a hands on perspective, that’s really allowed us to kind of ride the right wave versus you know, watching what was going to happen or jumping on board with other programs.

 

Adam Kulbach  14:43

Okay, what is it that allowed HYC to develop and continue to create?

 

Tom Waggoner  14:48

I think it all just kind of rolls up, right. So the experience, we’re different-we’re built differently than others, as Anthony was talking about earlier, and you know, not just structurally but with the diversification and the actual hands on experience that’s found throughout our team. And we don’t base things on theory, we base things on practice. And that’s really, really important. That’s an important message, right. So there’s a lot of people out there that have a lot of theories on a lot of different things. But when it comes right down to it, in practice, they don’t generally work. And so we combine practice with science, and we come up with the solutions that are going to work and we help our and we help our customers thrive. And this focus on never ending improvements is, you know, that’s a key, right, so we have this culture of continuous improvement, what was good enough, today isn’t going to be good enough tomorrow, and everybody in our team accepts that, and we continue to try to improve everything that we do, you know, right down to the just the most minute detail. And just to make sure that next time we, you know, we make that look just a little bit different, and leverage that for an improvement, right, and so, you know, or leadership, we’re willing to take some strategic risks. And that’s, you know, that’s something that everybody looks at to say, hey, you know, we’re not afraid to take a risk. It’s measured, right? But there’s-there are strategic risks, and we’re not afraid to do that. And with all of that, it adds up to just, you know, having a full team of people that are willing to challenge themselves day in and day out. And all of that is essential to the continued ability to innovate in and improve upon yourself on a daily basis.

 

Anthony Adkins  16:49

No doubt, and when you take a look at that, and encompass it into sort of something we have internally an internal saying, called, you know, slow down to go fast. The aspect of that, or what that actually means is that, you know, we do spend time in assessment mode, we do spend time with analysis and evaluation. And, you know, that development, you know, from that we’re, we’re working in a parallel universe of strategy and action, strategy and implementation. So strategy doesn’t become empty. So strategy always has a forward motion moving out element that’s talking about in terms of project-project management, project development, actionable items that lead to implementation, you know, in the testing and tuning. So it has a pathway, not only are we can have that continuous, as Cory mentioned, that continuity over projects, but internally, we have the continuity that’s moving, you know, an opportunity that’s moving, that piece of strategy into an actionable, implementable-if that’s a word, you know, item, so, pretty good stuff, for sure.

 

Cory Waggoner  18:04

Yeah, and I think, you know, Tom kind of hit on it, I think it starts with leadership. For us, you know, we build leaders here at Higher Yields. And one thing we always look for is, you know, people, we can’t have egos, we understand where this industry is, it’s constantly changing, we kind of operate, you know, Anthony says, it’s not broken, break it, which has served us well, you know, in knowing like, and being able to see what’s coming and figuring out what the market is going to need. But I think also, you know, our front end and the clients we have, like, we listen, and not a lot of organizations listen to what the operator is saying what the clients are saying, and what the markets saying and where it’s going, and what it looks like it’s going to do, or being able to base it on previous performance. So I think, you know, being able to listen, you know, being open minded, being able to think different, being able to think outside of the box, and having a team of individuals who, you know, are willing to do that. And as the other guys mentioned, you know, willing to stay in this constant state of never ending improvements and always seeking to do better next time to be better tomorrow is huge. And you see it, you know, on our kickoff calls, and our client calls and our team calls, you know, how people kind of grow and how they kind of feel those things and how they bring those things about and how we develop those strategies to move forward.

 

Adam Kulbach  19:32

Okay, so what’s to come for HYC in the future?

 

Tom Waggoner  19:37

Man, we got so many things going on. Right. So, you know, when we look at the future, and we have this long term roadmap, but we have things that a little more, more near term, and you know, we’ve mentioned it a couple of times, but we start looking into that General Ag right. So we want to look at these adjacent industries and we’re starting to, right? we’re starting and do some work in the vertical farming space and in take some of these lessons learned into that General Ag space. And with that there’s a whole lot of Ag Technology. So there’s people just the general public doesn’t understand the level of technology that’s out there in growing cannabis, right, this isn’t, you know, the old hippie days where you throw some seeds out behind this garage, right? There’s, there’s some serious technology in here in the way that plants or plants are being fed and monitored, and environmental controls that are in place to make sure that you can grow the, you know, the perfect plant, you know, to really, to bring out the genetics, the desired genetics, you know, for that plant, and, you know, those are things that are just very, you know, very, very similar to many, many Ag products. Just had a conversation with a master grower, about two weeks ago, we were in his facility. And it was amazing, right? So when he started in the industry, and he was wanting to build their first grow, you know, what he’s done is pretty amazing. It’s, you know, it needs to be built on with some new technology. But when he was learning, he said, Hey, what grows what grows like cannabis, and you know what it is, it’s tomatoes, right now, there’s some tweaking that needs to happen and things like that. And he’s moving forward, and we’re talking about some new technology and some things that are going to greatly increases. You know, his yield, his output of each one was grow facilities. And so it’s really important that we start to leverage that, Ag tech, and then, you know, really pushing hard on Capital Partners. And in finishing that process, get that stood up and to be even more active in helping folks in the cannabis industry find that funding that really difficult funding question has to be answered. Right, and then, you know, we get the partnership program, and I’ll let Anthony and Cory can speak more on that. And then, you know, Anthony’s gonna be this well known face as he’s speaking, you know, all over the world, right? Because HYC has grown to be recognized as a leader in this industry, not just in the US, but on an international level.

 

Anthony Adkins  22:19

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s one of the things that these cooperative environments, we understand are very powerful and very important in the industry. So we’ve taken the time and really been, you know, intuitively developing, you know, partner ecosystems, where it may look like on the surface as a competitive environment, but they’re really not, I mean, they’re actually turned into a very powerful collaborative environment, you know, where you can use the term coopetition, in whatever that is, but these ecosystems ride very deep on, you know, raising the bar and raising the standards in the industry and delivering platforms and systems, you know, connected systems, because it’s like a massive puzzle piece puzzle of you throw out on the table, and then you’re trying to put the puzzle back together. And in order to show clear, the picture that you know, the client organization wants to achieve, or what they have, you know, in their visionary alignment. So, you know, those partnership ecosystems are very important in the industry, we understand and know this and have actually developed the program, you know, to elevate the “partnership,” it’s almost like a formalized handshake, if you will, but it’s a commitment level of communication, collaboration, you know, and working to elevate, you know, opportunity with always the client at the forefront, and in the importance of you know, that delivering that experience of working with a with a Higher Yields, or any one of our partners.

 

Cory Waggoner  23:58

Yeah, so I guess just kind of reiterate what the guys said, you know, more of an international presence, like we’ve-think we’ve completed work in about 30 different countries and anything from creating regulations to designing and building facilities, creating brands, products. But I think for you know, Andy and I on kind of the front end of Higher Yields, it’s, it’s really getting out there and getting ahead of things we just got back from Berlin a couple of weeks ago from ICBC, and kind of catching up on what’s been going on in Europe and what’s going on in Africa. And it was, it was really informative, and it just allows us again, to kind of better understand where to position ourselves to have the greatest impact on those programs. And, you know, a big part of that is one, the leadership team we have but also it’s time and Anthony mentioned our partnership program and being able to bring well established brands together and to kind of work through problems and understand what others are seeing. It just-it creates kind of an exponential network for us. In a very like niche information and education from the industry, and when we start bringing like that kind of rich education together and surrounding it with others who kind of connected different parts of the supply and value chain, we have just an amazing outcome and really cool developments that we start to see opportunities for. And, you know, whether it’s in a kind of a startup new phase, or in sometimes kind of a corrective phase, but, you know, nonetheless, we just continue to do what we do. And that’s trying to make things better for for the industry and for the world.

 

Adam Kulbach  25:41

Okay, um, does anybody have any final thoughts? Or anything they’d like to add?

 

Tom Waggoner  25:48

So I think it’s an important message from a Higher Yields’ perspective is that, you know, cannabis is business, right. And a lot of people forget that. A lot of people come into it, and or look at cannabis as something that’s, you know, is a no way to lose type of proposition and everyone’s gonna be a millionaire. And it’s easy, but it’s not easy, right? It’s business businesses-small businesses fail everyday small cannabis businesses fail every day. And when Higher Yields is positioned to do is to help people understand how to run it like a business. And it’s all of the different service offerings, as you know, from design build into branding and marketing. And, you know, right down to the details on what does the sign look like? And how do you drive traffic in, right? And then, you know, how do you keep customers coming back? And what are the products that you should have in your store? And all of these questions that are out there that every small business owner has to answer, every cannabis member has to answer the same questions. And so we’re just applying  that focus in that approach that cannabis is a business, Higher Yields has always approached cannabis as a business. And we want to, you know, we want to bring that and just push that forward, so that it becomes a common understanding.

 

Anthony Adkins  27:21

Yeah, absolutely. And that breeds that constant and never ending improvement. I mean, we’re working with our clients to help bring clarity help bring certainty, understand the feasibility of their projects, you know, understand, you know, in terms of evaluation and assessments, analysis, to use the power that in the sense in that technology, of understanding that in order to be able to navigate the complexity, you know, you can’t just isolate in terms of, you know, just growing the plant, there’s a process that occurs, you know, before the plant goes into the ground before the seed goes into the ground after it’s harvested, you know, what are the harvest times and then moving through an efficient element where I’ve heard, this said, you know, many times by quarry is that we’re trying to recreate you’re trying to recreate Mother Nature, most likely indoors, you know, and then even when it’s outdoors, Mother Nature provides a whole bunch of different complex, you know, environments for us to help our clients navigate. So it’s that assessment, it’s that elevated experience, it’s understanding and knowing that this is a process in within the context of a business. And so you know, revenues are important, profit and loss are important, margins are important. There’s so many different elements that go into it. And if you don’t have an organization, like Higher Yields, that is investing into that evaluating that assessment period of time in order to help understand and know the gaps, and then we work to close those gaps. So it’s Higher Yields. I’ve never seen an organization like it, and you know, honestly, it’s pretty amazing. The opportunities that we’ve had, you know, over the years.

 

Cory Waggoner  29:01

Yeah, we’re excited to be here, you know, we’re excited-we know that we’re very uniquely positioned in the industry, and, you know, really honored to be able to lead and kind of guide this industry into, you know, this kind of next generation of what it looks like we’re, you know, coming up on almost 10 years of adult use here in Colorado, and, you know, since was first legalized the United States, and I think, you know, the way that we’re built and the things that we’ve experienced, and the way that, you know, we kind of have our hands on the industry, from operators, to ancillary businesses, to governments. It just creates a lot of excitement for us to be able to, to be here and to be able to guide and lead this industry.

 

Adam Kulbach  29:49

Okay, and how do people get in contact and get started with you guys?

 

Anthony Adkins  29:53

One of the easiest things to do of course, is going to higheryieldsconsulting.com. Our website is navigationally sound and really-you know, what we’re involved in our leadership team, and the individuals who are part of the organization. And really in terms of that guidance, some information and education, not only of what we do but also some of the podcasts and blogs that we’ve done. Signing up to our newsletter is key. And then going through the process of connecting with especially in terms of, you know, getting involved in starting the qualification or discovery process, you know, with with Higher Yields. And so, I highly recommend that for questions you’re- that are aching projects that need to be begun, or corrective elements that you’re looking to raise, you know, your standards, your bars, your profitability, you know, in with your business in the industry.

 

Tom Waggoner  30:57

For some of the old school folks that like to pick up a phone and dial they can always do the (844) HI-YIELD

 

Adam Kulbach  31:10

Call today! Anyway, thank you so much, guys for being on. Really appreciate it.

 

Tom Waggoner  31:22

Thanks for having me

 

Cory Waggoner  31:23

Thanks, Adam.

 

Anthony Adkins  31:26

Cheers.