Women Leaders of the Cannabis Industry With Laura A. Bianchi, Esq.
As a part of my series about strong women leaders in the cannabis industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Laura A. Bianchi, Esq.
Laura is one of the nation’s foremost experts in cannabis business law and financing. Having begun her work in the discipline with the 2010 passage of Arizona’s medical marijuana law, She was among the first business/corporate transaction attorneys in the country to specialize in the nascent legal cannabis market and has represented clients in more than $100 million in transactions in the industry.
Laura’s cannabis business expertise supports the success of her clients at every stage of development, from startup, through operations, to exit. Having worked closely with state regulators on the development of Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Program and rulemaking processes in more than a dozen states nationwide, she is deeply familiar with all aspects of the regulatory and licensing process. Her meticulous attention to detail and holistic, top-down approach to client relations has led to precedent-setting legal wins and among the largest cannabis-related financial transactions in the country.
You are a “Cannabis Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the cannabis industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each.
1. If you have a background in a more traditional sector like law, you need to train yourself to stop, breathe and look at each client matter from various perspectives. This is an out-of-the-box industry and you need to be creative. It still requires a legal perspective, but a creative legal perspective. Shortcuts and tunnel vision won’t get you anywhere.
2. People often see other industry professionals as competition, but I think it’s essential to surround yourself with other smart and competent individuals in this space. I have found that different perspectives, experience and knowledge only strengthens our position on behalf of our clients and actually allows us to get more deals done. By working together and complementing each other with our individual strengths and experience we accomplish far more and benefit more people.
3. There are a wide-range of backgrounds and personalities in this industry and there is certainly no cookie cutter client. Understanding how to read, work, and communicate with a wide variety of people and perspectives is extremely important. Never judge a book by its cover.
4. Adaptation is key. Just when you have it figured out, I promise you don’t. You need to be comfortable in unfamiliar situations, there will be complications, changes and sharp turns, your success is all in how you deal with them.
5. There is so much opportunity beyond winning a cannabis license. The Industry requires every single profession and expertise. Cannabis businesses are like any other business, they need real estate, insurance, CPAs, bookkeepers, accountants and marketing professionals. A lot of people assume they need to own a license, but given the significant capital requirements, focusing on your individual skills, experience and knowledge and applying them to the industry is the better option.
Source: Authority Magazine