Episode 4

How Higher Yields Cannabis is Adjusting to COVID-19

How Higher Yields Cannabis is Adjusting to COVID-19

On this episode of the podcast our host, Adam, presents a round table discussion with the Higher Yields Cannabis Team. They discuss the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on both their personal and work lives. They also touch on what they are experiencing in the industry and how they keep sane.

Guests include:

Cory Waggoner – Founder and CEO
John Valdez – Vice President & Real Estate Director
Marissa Cortes – Compliance Director
Jay Fentress – Director of Business Development
Kris Teegardin – Director of Government Relations
Adam P. Kolbach – Podcast Host & Creative Design Team
Keith Gigliotti – Marketing & Creative Design Teams


Cory Waggoner, Jay Fentress, John Valdez, Chris Teegarden, Marissa Cortes, Adam Kulbach, Keith


Adam Kulbach  00:15

Hello and welcome to the higher enlightenment podcast brought to you by higher yields cannabis consulting your seed to scale Cannabis Business Solutions team and the creators of the innovative cannabis consulting business solutions system higher in life. My name is Adam and I am part of the creative design team here at higher yields. And I’m here to introduce and give a little background on the higher enlightenment podcast. So what are these podcasts about? The higher enlightenment podcast was created to discuss everything cannabis. Whether it be cannabis, industry news, cannabis industry insider insights, advice and tips to establish your own successful cannabis business and cannabis pop culture in general. We’ll also be discussing Cannabis News from around the globe. A new episode of the higher enlightenment podcast will be released every two weeks. In this episode, we will be discussing the COVID 19 outbreak with the H yc. Staff and how it has affected the cannabis industry, including higher yields, who are still open for business. We will be discussing personal life changes of the H YC staff and the changes that they’re seeing in the industry. We encourage listeners to seek out education on the COVID 19 outbreak at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website@cdc.gov. So now let’s get enlightened in episode four of the higher enlightenment podcast series. We appreciate your choosing our theater, and to make this experience more enjoyable for everyone. We hope you’ll refrain from talking during the show. Thank you. So Chris, could you introduce yourself a little bit and tell us what you do for each yc?


Chris Teegarden  02:17

Absolutely. My name is Chris Teegarden. I am Director of Governmental Affairs. My background is I was a former mayor of Edgewater, Colorado, the first municipality in the United States to codify and regulate marijuana and a local jurisdiction.


Adam Kulbach  02:33

How’s the COVID-19 thing affected both your personal life and your business life?


Chris Teegarden  02:41

Well, it’s you know, a double edged sword I’m I’m assuming for every buddy, one of the really nice things is I get to stay home with my 14 month old son. Conversely, that can be quite a challenge. And I was working part time at a restaurant doing the other half with H yc. But I’m not working waiting tables right now. So I’ve been able to focus a little bit more on this job. And my wife works from home, as well. So we just kind of spent a lot of time trying to just manage schedules and getting through just necessities of life, trying to pay bills, finding how what we can pay and what we can pay. And looking forward to getting over this hill and and opening up the open up the state’s backup


Adam Kulbach  03:40

anything special you do to keep sane during this period.


Chris Teegarden  03:48

Walk my three dogs, watch movies, pick up the guitar when I can. And that’s about it. It’s basically a 12 hour day with the kid.


Adam Kulbach  03:59

Alright, well, thanks a lot. John. Could you introduce yourself and tell us what you do for a try see,


John Valdez  04:06

John Valdez president with H yc. And also a real estate broker and state of coalescence state of Colorado. I did run the national real estate network group and do business transactions and all that good stuff that live results are revolves around real estate.


Adam Kulbach  04:26

What do you see as like the major impact on your business because of COVID-19


John Valdez  04:32

I think that we’re gonna see a big market change in the commercial sector. So it’s going to create great opportunities for the cannabis industry. Being able to buy see person buildings at a discounted price because of the market is going to drop down and also possibly purchasing licenses that are in states like Colorado that you can’t there’s no more licenses available. But think it’s definitely going to be an option. already for many people,


Adam Kulbach  05:02

how do you how do you see going into the future as far as the amount of business you’re getting, and when it’s going to pick up,


John Valdez  05:11

I have slowed down there is quite a bit of drop in sales that are happening throughout the country right now. I believe there was $21 million worth of real estate that fell out of contract last month in Colorado, which is quite a bit. The trend I think, is going to be slowing down dropping values. And then for the cannabis industry, you’re able to purchase properties that have already been set up in the cannabis industry, or set up facilities, cultivation, extract, dispensaries, being able to move into those facilities are already built out, I think we’re gonna see a lot of lot of that happening.


Adam Kulbach  05:50

When do when do you expect that to happen?


John Valdez  05:53

I’m thinking in the next two to three months, is almost that downturn.


Adam Kulbach  05:59

And how are you staying sane during this period?


John Valdez  06:04

Spending a lot of time with the family, which is great. So I have two teenage daughters, and my wife has been nice to build every night, make dinner with them and play board games and just be with my family. And we have a new puppy. She’s insane. Trying to teach her how to not be so crazy.


Adam Kulbach  06:22

Thank you, John. Cory.


Cory Waggoner  06:26

Yeah, my name is Corey Wagner, I’m the CEO of higher yields. My job is to kind of help organize everything that we’re doing here and keep the ship moving. It’s been kind of tough here with COVID-19. And some of the hardships we’ve had to overcome with with working remotely and being an essential business, trying to put in some process and procedure to make sure that, you know, anybody who does have to go on site is being safe. And both the employees and contractors on our side understand what it means to be safe and making sure our clients understand what it means to be safe and creating a safe work environment for everyone.


Adam Kulbach  07:05

Overall, do you feel more positive or more negative about where things are headed right now about the with the industry.


Cory Waggoner  07:16

I think the industry’s hit a little bit of a bump. But it’s it, I think we’re going to come out just fine. As an industry. It’s kind of scary, because over the last 10 years of seeing how far the industry has really come and how much it’s evolved. And the following that it has and the jobs it’s created. And the opportunities for people that it’s created, has been really, really cool. But as you know, with this stuff that’s going on now, it’s, you know, I think it’s freaked a lot of people out and they’re kind of wondering what’s going to happen next. But I do believe we’re going to be one of the big industries that comes out of this, that I think a lot of other states and governments around the world are going to be looking to cannabis to create tax revenue and create new jobs.


Adam Kulbach  08:01

How have you changed your business? And in dealing with the crisis? What were the major changes that you’ve had to implement?


Cory Waggoner  08:13

We brought in a lot more new technology, we, you know, it’s something we’ve been looking to do anyways. And this has really kind of forced our hand to do it. Just trying to streamline communication and make sure things don’t get dropped and trying to help different parts of the team still be able to work as if you know, they were still sitting in front of each other. So they can either whiteboard things, organize or review pipelines or whatever it might be. But I think a lot of it is just helping people kind of get used to having to work at home. And that’s been a big challenge for me. Like it’s easy for me to work from home because I’ve done it off and on for so long. But it’s a lot harder when the option you don’t have the option to go sit at a coffee shop or go sit at the office with a team.


Adam Kulbach  08:57

Do you think that’s working though? Basically, with with the whole team?


Cory Waggoner  09:04

Yeah, yeah, I think some people have had more of a struggle with it than others. But overall, we’ve supported one another and we’ve put some of the software in place to help with those things. And slowly but surely, you know, we’re every week we get a little bit better, a little bit smarter, a little bit more efficient. And so I think as long as we continue to see progress, then we’ll continue to be okay.


Adam Kulbach  09:27

Okay, and how are you staying sane and doing right now stay insane.


Cory Waggoner  09:32

I into doing a lot of cooking, been doing a lot of running and just doing a lot of work. You know, trying to kind of stay focused try not to let it distract us too much. And try not to not to set us off course from from all that we’ve accomplished. So really been diving deep into work and for exercise have been running a couple miles every day and doing some push ups with some Friends and doing a lot of cooking and playing chess games on an app with some of my friends around the country as well to keep challenging the mind when when I’m not trying to work.


Adam Kulbach  10:12

Okay, well, thank thank you very much, Marissa.


Marissa Cortes  10:18

Hi. So my name is Marissa Cortez and I am the director of compliance for higher yields consulting. I handle all things compliance. So this can be anything from inventory, tracking reconciliations, audits. Licensing within the cannabis industry, as well as doing audits, compliance audits for financial institutions throughout the country.


Adam Kulbach  10:44

How is the crisis affected your end of the business?


Marissa Cortes  10:48

So it’s been a little bit challenging. We’ve we’ve seen a small influx of inventory tracking jobs coming in. So that’s audits and reconciliations. And typically, I’ll be on site throughout this entire process. So I can actually have my hands and eyes on everything. And we’ve had to readjust obviously, because I have not been on site for this. So trying to hone in our communication with these different companies and their team members has been a little bit of a challenge, but we’re getting through it. So


Adam Kulbach  11:20

do you find it’s hard? Because other businesses might not be all together and to deal with them?


Marissa Cortes  11:29

Yes, it’s been it’s been a challenge. It’s definitely, you know, we’re making it work. I will say that first and foremost, but it has been a challenge, especially when, you know, I’m not just working with one license for these types of cleanups, we call them cleanups, inventory tracking cleanups, I’m working with six different licenses. So that’s six different sets of teams, that I’m trying to navigate using technology right now. So it’s been a challenge. But you know, coming out of it, I think I’ve learned a lot and will be able to apply that to future jobs with future clients. So all in all, it’s it’s working out.


Adam Kulbach  12:03

Great. And so what do you do to keep saying?


Marissa Cortes  12:07

Well, most recently, I have gotten back into yoga. So that’s, that’s honestly one of the only things that’s keeping me sane. I’m also driving my partner crazy with redecorating our home. So that’s, it’s been fun. It’s been fun having those little projects. I’ve taken up hand knitting, which is a new thing I don’t know if anyone’s heard of, but it’s been. It’s been nice. I have a three month old son so getting to spend time with him. And also balancing you know, being a full time stay at home mom right now while being a full time. Director of compliance for higher yields. Consulting has been interesting to say the least.


Adam Kulbach  12:47

We’ll return to the higher enlightenment podcast in a moment. Do you need help in applying for a cannabis business license? Do you have questions about the process? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Good news. higher yields cannabis consulting can help. Our cannabis licensing experts offer industry leading support for all cannabis related businesses. Our team of experienced application writers has worked on over 100 cannabis license applications. higher yields has worked on regulations in cannabis licensing in over 25 states across the USA, and internationally in more than 10 countries. We’ve also helped our clients be awarded licenses 13 Plus merit based states. If you need assistance with cannabis licensing process, don’t hesitate to call us. Our initial consultation is free. Please call 844 high yield for visit our website at WWW dot higher yields consulting.com. We now return to the higher enlightenment podcast brought to you by higher yields cannabis consulting. So Keith, could you tell us give us a little introduction about what you do for higher yields.


Keith  14:05

My name is Keith, I work on the marketing team and also the creative design team. Creative Design team also deals with branding. So you know, I’m in a pretty special position right now. I’m not as affected as much as a lot of other people that are, you know, adjusting to a new way of working. As you know, a lot of the work we do is remote. And, you know, at times we’re pretty isolated. So it’s been strange to kind of see, you know, everybody adjusting to this. And that’s essentially what we’re looking at here. I think the special part about marketing and branding for the cannabis industry right now is we’re considered an essential business. So your community, local communities all across America that have legal or medical cannabis, they’re looking to the businesses now to be helpful to provide a safe service safe products to bring revenue and jobs into communities right now that are getting devastated. So a lot of cannabis businesses have no choice. But to adjust their branding and how they’re marketing. We’re looking at three phases here. People are adjusting to a new reality, including the dispensaries, the growth facilities, everybody that’s out there with a cannabis business that is open. Their brand is up out front right now, you know that we’re gonna go through another phase, what happens when we were at our peak, you know, when people are no longer adjusting and able to accept, this is the way things are. This is our new reality right now. The third is really recovery. What happens is as we start to recover from this pandemic, you know, where is the marijuana business? At that point? Are there more open minds? Are there more states that are now going to open up markets, realizing that during a time of crisis, a lot of cannabis brands companies, we pull together, we help communities, and in the future, perhaps they will finally communities and people across across the world might start to look at us, like other brands, leaders of a community. So we have no choice but to go through this right now. So you know, it hasn’t affected me as much as some of the other team members and specific niches in the industry. And, you know, I feel for everybody, it’s a new experience for all of us. So yeah, and as you know,


Adam Kulbach  16:53

I understand that, you know, me, me, like you, you know, we’re both sequestered basically, as artists. So, anyway, but still, it’s frustrating for me. And I understand that, you know, it must be really horrible for some people, you know, who were normally out and about, and not just staring at a screen all day. So. Yeah, so anyway, what do you do to stay sane? Through all this?


Keith  17:19

Um, you know, keep saying, I’m working, started playing Dungeons and Dragons, again, with my old elementary school buddies. We’ve been playing some of us together for almost 40 years. So it’s been good to connect with people. You know, it. It’s been good to, you know, pick up my guitar. I think some of Sergei and I will probably start a band and the higher yields band at this point.


Adam Kulbach  17:47

Yeah, the three people so far. Yeah. Yeah. Unfortunately, we


Keith  17:52

all play the same instrument. So


Adam Kulbach  17:55

why play bass too? So there Yes, drummer. So we need a


Keith  18:00

drummer. He’s got He’s been practicing his keyboards a lot lately. I knew that. So, yeah. You know, reading a lot, read a lot, both for enjoyment, and also trying to wrap my head around what’s going on and where this leads, and, and, you know, to put it put this into the context of, you know, historical events I learned about in school, you know, you know, experience leads to, I think, a better brand and a better marketing, but, you know, my life, keeping sane, it hasn’t changed too much. I’m still keeping up with the same hobbies, and you know, what we do for a living? A lot of the technical stuff, I have time now to really dig deep and learn more. And I’m hoping that I come out of this, as does our culture in general that we, we adjust and we learn from this. So I think that’s important.


Adam Kulbach  19:01

Okay, well, thanks a lot, Keith. J. So J, could you introduce yourself a little bit and tell us what you do for H yc?


Jay Fentress  19:09

Sure. J. Fentress, director of business development. I just tried to help keep, keep the new business going through the pipeline and just helping helping to connect opportunities to people’s wants, make connections and help people get get things accomplished or solve their problems.


Adam Kulbach  19:30

What’s the major impacts that COVID-19 has had on your business


Jay Fentress  19:34

wise? Yeah, you’re seeing a lot of folks that that are doing a lot of things that they did before they’re still inquiring. They’re still curious. They’re still wondering how they could enter into the business. I think there’s a lot of lot of time that people are getting to read and really explore, you know, what their passion is. And we’re hearing a lot of those types of things, but we’re also coming across a lot of folks that are saying, You know what, Now’s the time. If I’m going to do something in this industry, this is what I want to do. And they’re coming to us with those, those open books and saying, how can you help me get from here to there? So it’s really exciting to keep on hearing the enthusiasm and the passion, it’s been in the industry, it might my experience, that you hear a lot of people come back and are definitive and saying, I’m ready to march forward. Now, that’s not to say that there’s not, you know, there’s a lot of nervousness, and a lot of a lot of wait and see attitudes as well. But from our standpoint, we’re still getting a lot of interest and a lot of curiosity about what could what could be.


Adam Kulbach  20:42

So has the business been increasing or decreasing? on your end?


Jay Fentress  20:47

Yeah, I would say it’s increasing. You know, I think we’ve also taken this time to work work on some internal infrastructure in process, that we were that we’ve been thinking about adding for a while, and it’s allowing our experiences to grow, it’s allowing our human resources to grow, and keep us organized and still be able to deliver the quality that we delivered before. So So that’s taking a bit of my time. I’m not the not the sharpest guy learning technology, but I’m learning stuff that I’ve never learned before. So that’s a positive. But then, as we continue to add more of those streamline automated opportunities, the flow of somebody coming into us and making it to the right person that can handle that project. We’re getting, we’re getting better than than we were before, which is really exciting. So it’s, yeah, it’s picked up a little bit, as you add some internal personal projects, along with the business, it’s still kind of moving forward.


Adam Kulbach  21:59

How have you been staying sane in recent times?


Jay Fentress  22:02

There’s a big assumption there, Adam?


Adam Kulbach  22:05

Or how have you? Yeah, yeah.


Jay Fentress  22:12

I think I’ve been lucky myself for 20 years working remotely, that the the idea of sheltering in place could be at times kind of kind of how I do things anyway, maybe not to this extreme. I know, I’ve been walking a lot more, I put a goal of at least 10,000 steps a day. And I’ve been hitting that now for a better part of a month. And one time I do that with my dog, and the other time I don’t. So I’m able to that time that I don’t take my dog, I just give myself some time to reflect. Because you can’t do that with with a dog. I started a push up challenge about 10 days ago. And the key word is challenge. I realize there’s muscles in my body that I haven’t used before. So that’s a good thing are used in a long time. And then we have college kids and high school kid that one college kid is 14 hours away. And that that presents itself. You know, you think about that? And how do you unload that another one that’s headed into another state, right in direct line of the nursing industry. So we’re trying to be as good at parents as we can and good role models. Always doesn’t work out that way. So still try to be mindful and be a good parent, trying to take care of yourself and do things that you haven’t done before. And just really reflect on what you want out of, you know, the next chapter, because I think I was running around in a circle all the time. Sometimes you just want to get off that ferris wheel and this are Ferris wheels, has been put on pause for a while. So I get to think about what seat I want to go onto the Ferris wheel next.


Adam Kulbach  24:02

Well put so I guess there’s a question I could put out to everybody and feel free to jump in is what advice do you have to other people in the industry on how to deal with this?


John Valdez  24:19

There is there is light at the end of the tunnel. Always look out for the future. It may not look the best right now but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.


Chris Teegarden  24:29

You know pull them together as an industry and and showing we are a legitimate business and we’re helpful and we’re compassionate. And you know, we’re all gonna get through this one day and hopefully learn from the experience.


Jay Fentress  24:44

And this is Jay. This is part of your story. This is part of your personal brand. This is part of your brand’s brand. This is just a part of the story of who you and your business and your opportunity is And how do you weave that story into into your, how you respond to that? How were you always brought to this? You know, are we going to are we going to continue to wave to more people as we drive by in the neighborhood? Are we going to go back to old ways. But this is part of your story. This was part of higher yield story, this was part of everyone in the industries story.


Marissa Cortes  25:26

I completely agree with that. And I just want to take a moment to thank all the dispensary workers, the people working in cultivations and at the manufacturing facilities for being out there on the front lines every day, and, you know, continuing to provide legal cannabis to those who need it and, you know, medically and those who might need it right now to stay sane through all that’s going on. And then of course, you know, this is a little out of range from what we’re discussing, but I really just don’t want to thank the health care workers, that I cannot express my gratitude to them, and we just appreciate it tenfold.


Adam Kulbach  26:02

Absolutely, even just all the service workers out there who suddenly have become really big heroes.


Marissa Cortes  26:12

Yeah, the grocery store. Workers that, um, delivery drivers that there’s


John Valdez  26:17

bashment, the, anybody that’s out there, the mail carriers, it’s, there’s a lot of people that are putting themselves on the line, which, in turn, they’re putting their family on the line, or they’re out there, just kicking butt, which is awesome that our country’s doing this together, that we can come together as a group like that.


Marissa Cortes  26:38

It’s definitely a new normal, when we come out of this one way or another, but we’ll come out of it together.


Keith  26:45

Adam, can you tell us who you are and what you do in the industry? And what you do for us here? higher yields.


Adam Kulbach  26:51

Yeah, I’m part of the branding and design team for higher yields. And my name is Adam P Kobach. And I do the podcasts and, and videos and some other ancillary stuff.


Keith  27:09

Can you give us some background on how COVID-19 has affected your personal life and your work life?


Adam Kulbach  27:15

Probably a lot less than other people, I almost feel guilty about that, because I’m normally kind of sheltered at home. Because part of my job is to stare at screens all day. And, and I work all crazy hours anyway. So he, I do miss the times I do have the opportunity to go outside. And I also feel kind of guilty, because it hasn’t really changed my, my amount of work to do, you know, and I see a lot of people around me, you know, they’re sheltering in place, and they have nothing to do, and because I can’t go to work. So I feel really sorry for those people and feel for him. And I feel kind of helpless, that I can’t really help them. You know?


Keith  28:11

So, yeah, I think that’s, that’s a common feeling. And you and I go back almost 20 years, and, you know, we’re not a family or anything, but to think, you know, we’re 1800 miles apart right now. You know, a lot of people that are apart from their families, Jay had mentioned, you know, his, he’s got children’s child away at school, and then another one about to go away and enter the nursing industry. So I know that you have, you know, you take care of some family members, and you’re pretty close with your family.


Adam Kulbach  28:45

Yeah, I have a 92 year old mother, who has dementia, and so I have to take care of her. So and that’s like an extra concern, you know, because she’s really vulnerable to the virus more than other people. So I really have to watch my step and make sure that she’s safe. So what do you


Keith  29:05

hope to see from our culture and our industry? You know, as we go through this, this experience together, where do you where do you hope to see us come out at the end?


Adam Kulbach  29:17

I’m hoping that we learn some lessons after we come out of this, that the little people are important, sometimes more important than, you know, the people on top. And you know that we appreciate each other a lot more. You know, I just hope that that’s a cultural change. And it’s been a long time coming, but I think maybe this might force the our culture to actually appreciate each other a little more. Marissa, any parting message to everybody?


Marissa Cortes  29:55

Thank you again, to everyone out there that is, has been deemed an essential worker under central business. We appreciate you all. And we will get through this one day to time. Thank you. Bye. Okay.


Jay Fentress  30:11

Stay healthy. Stay safe. Take care.


Adam Kulbach  30:15

Thank you. How about Chris? Party message.


Chris Teegarden  30:21

Stay safe, hug your loved ones. And this situation has really shown how civilization is fragile and making sure that we individually do our part to make it stronger.


Adam Kulbach  30:37

Thank you, Cory. I


Cory Waggoner  30:40

just want to say thank you to all of our essential workers, health care professionals. And I hope everybody’s staying safe.


Adam Kulbach  30:48

Okay, John,


John Valdez  30:50

once everybody be safe, thank you, for everybody that’s working out. They’re putting themselves on the line for everybody else. And he safe.


Adam Kulbach  31:01

Thank you. And how about you, Keith?


Keith  31:05

I just like to wish everybody well. Stay safe. Love your family, love your friends. I’d also like to thank the essential workers. I’d like to thank the health care professionals help people stay safe. You know, we’re very thankful for that. And I want to wish everyone well start to appreciate what we do have a little bit more when we come out of this. And thanks for having me on.


Cory Waggoner  31:33

I mean, you basically invited yourself, Keith, but


Adam Kulbach  31:37

yeah, you’re on everything. So


Keith  31:39

this is actually this is actually my first appearance on anything.


Marissa Cortes  31:44

I was just gonna say, Adam, do you have any parting words?


Adam Kulbach  31:47

Oh, yeah, I just, I just think everybody should do whatever they can to stay safe and do whatever they can to stay sane, because we will get through this. And hopefully, when we come out the other side, will have more appreciation for each other and more respect for the important things, you know, that we have the health care workers that are just doing amazing super human things. And also all the service workers, you know, we would all be dead in the water without them and I hope we have a new appreciation for just just everyday working people. That’s all the time we have for now. Thanks for listening. And please stay tuned for some parting announcements. For information on how to follow the higher enlightenment podcasts, please be sure to check out the description below. You’ll receive all the latest and greatest podcasts, news and announcements. We’ll also let you know when we release new episodes. If you’d like to be a guest on the higher enlightenment podcasts, or have ideas about upcoming episodes, please be sure to check out the description below. For information about sponsorship or advertising on the higher enlightenment podcast, please call us 844 high yield 844, HSI WWII ELD or visit our website at WWW dot ATT yields consulting.com. Please join us in two weeks for Episode Five. As we talked about cannabis brands and the COVID 19 outbreak. Thanks so much for joining us. Have a great day. Be safe and be well.