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CannaInsider hosted Michael Mayes, CEO of Quantum 9, a leading cannabis consulting firm for an interview. The interviewer, Matthew Kind, wanted to pick Michael’s brain about the cannabis industry and see if Mayes had any cannabis business advice to offer. Kind noted that he chose Michael because of his level of experience and the level of success that Quantum 9 has already reached.

The information for this article came from this transcript from the CannaInsider interview with Matt Kind:

Michael Mayes, Cannabis Business Advice:

Background in the Industry

Michael began his exploration of the cannabis industry as a simple investor. In fact, he actually called himself a “passive investor”. For Mayes, this meant that he never really intended to operate the business and gain the rewards of doing so.

However, when he started investing in 2009, this passive investment wasn’t really allowed. So, this is how he dove headfirst into the world of cannabis. He started out overseeing operations in Colorado. Mayes notes that that was what really set the groundwork for what Quantum 9 would become.

The biggest piece of cannabis business advice Mayes could give? Well, Michael’s advice is to make mistakes! You’re going to anyway. Mayes notes that Quantum 9 made every mistake in the book at first. That’s how you learn and grow as a business!

A Strategy to the Madness?

Mayes’ Cannabis Business Advice on Licensing and Consulting

Matt Kind pointed out how complex and detailed consulting is, and how much work cannabis consulting firms have to put in. Mayes agrees that the work is tedious and detail-oriented. He notes that many of the companies seeking business consulting with Quantum 9 want to build large facilities.

In other words, this means they need access to a lot of money. Another thing that is really important about building a large cannabis business like this is assembling the right team. This is especially important for medical-based companies. This means having experts in research, medical, growing, etc.

Basically, there can potentially be a lot of competition, because it’s not legal everywhere yet. This also means there are limited licenses available in a lot of places, and people have invested a good amount of money into making a profitable business. This drives a lot of the competition, so having a really strong team is pretty much essential for success in this industry.

Michael Mayes Cannabis Business Advice

What the Heck is up with the market in Michigan?

Michael Mayes cannabis business advice: an expert opinion on market trends

Mayes opens by saying this: Michigan’s marketis dysfunctional, to say the least. But, he does note that it had a lot of promise. The market there really started in ’08, but a lot of people didn’t know about this at first. Basically, Mayes says that there was sort of a “gray market” that started up in Michigan before medical cannabis was fully legal.

There were loopholes in the law, so there were possibly up to 40,000 caregivers producing 12 or more plants themselves. Essentially, what Mayes is saying is that there were a lot of people developing a lot of products during a time when legality was somewhat questionable.

Michigan’s Provisional Licenses

In Michigan, there was a grace period before the actual legalization. So, this grace period required a provisional license that allowed you to operate as a dispensary. Similarly, this is called a provisional center in Michigan.

Basically, the state-mandated that there would be steps one and two of approval. Step two approval was a local license and step one was centered more around the background of the principals (or the main people) basically running the business. And, of course, there were financial requirements as well.

Essentially, Michigan is a bit of a mess right now, but it’s expected to clear up sooner than later.


As the founder of a globally renowned cannabis consulting firm, Maye’s loves to offer business advice for those trying to break into the industry. This Is exactly why he does Interviews just like this one! Check out the rest of the transcript here.

Cannabis Consulting Firm


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Morgan Forte

Author Morgan Forte

Hello! My name is Morgan Forte. I am currently in the 2020 class of Quantum 9 Digital Marketing interns, and I recently graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Animal Science. My undergraduate research included childhood development and animal nutrition. I am passionate about environmental awareness and global animal welfare/preservation. I am also a writer currently working on my second fiction novel!

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