As 2020 comes to a close, the cannabis industry buzzes with excitement and embraces a hopeful 2021, one longing to see the legalization of cannabis across the US.
On December 4th, 2020, history was made in Cannabis on a global, national, and corporate level. The United Nations removed cannabis from Schedule IV, acknowledging its medical benefits in doing so. The House passed a bill to federally legalize marijuana in the United States and while symbolic in nature, (given the Senates’ position on legalization) this would have been unheard of – even a year ago. This symbolic gesture was profound – because this vote would never have received the widespread political support it did if the politicians who supported it felt their constituents were unsupportive. Yet, despite this widespread political and citizen support for legalization, there is still a reluctance by the mainstream consumer to unabashedly embrace cannabis consumption.
But why is this? The reluctance flows from the inability of many cannabis retailers to quickly adopt practices that standardize the consumer experience, specifically serving the broader emerging demographic. Storefronts with cumbersome admissions procedures, out of the way industrial locations, inexperienced staff, and awkward merchandising are overall features of the retail experience that are uncomfortable for many consumers. GABY Inc. and Mankind Dispensary are about to change that.
On the eve of these historic decisions, GABY Inc. announced its $36.5 million merger with Mankind Dispensary, one of the oldest dispensaries in California, expanding GABY Inc.’s infrastructure strategy to include cannabis retail and launching the brand’s next major growth strategy – cannabis retail consolidation.
The transaction will establish a foundation, and strong cash flow, from which GABY Inc. will help normalize the retail experience and thereby help grow the industry as a whole by creating a scalable and inviting environment for that elusive mainstream consumer. All this while continuing to cater to the traditional and historic consumer that has made this industry what it is today. That traditional consumer continues to be the main driver of revenue in the space – and one of the many reasons why others have failed is partially due to the reluctance to cater to them. Ultimately, there is a balance needed to make both groups comfortable – something GABY Inc. is taking heed of as it recognizes the importance of such to the companies’ long-term success – and the success of our industry as a whole.
The GABY Inc. team has already proven their ability to lead in the evolution of retail, completing $15 billion in acquisitions over the last three decades spanning in the retail channel in multiple industries. With a strong track record in bringing high-quality brands to market in the cannabis space and beyond, the team has quickly amassed strong presence in the California retail market. The company has further demonstrated its commitment to using its prior experience to incorporate efficiencies across the retail platform that the mainstream consumer is seeking, having managed over $500 million in chain-wide revenue prior to moving into cannabis. Furthermore, the GABY Inc. team has over 75 years of combined cannabis wisdom guiding them in order to remain true to the traditional cannabis consumer. In partnership with Mankind, GABY Inc. will use their prowess and this proven track record to cultivate a powerful approach to elevating the retail cannabis space so that it is a comfortable meeting ground for all consumers.
With these historical milestones as the backdrop, we can expect to see new investors and new consumers enter the Cannabis space, especially in California. There is a different tone this time, however, one that is founded in reality. Investors are looking at markets that matter and at companies that can execute – and with consumers are looking for a normalized, consistent and convenient shopping experience, in both instances that means California and GABY Inc. will be in the spotlight.