September 11, 2019

GGB’s Retail Experience: 10 Lessons from Leadership

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Green Growth Brands may seem like an overnight success, but the rapid growth of the company is thanks to its leaders’ decades of hard-earned of experience and retail expertise. After three months of speaking to managers across Green Growth Brands, here are 10 lessons we’ve learned about what’s made this company so successful in the cannabis industry

  1. Foster an environment of ideas

Like many startups, Green Growth Brands has an open floor plan that encourages collaboration and real-time decision making. “One of the great things about having an open workspace is that everyone is invited to every meeting, so you’re getting opinions outside of traditional retail,” says Jennifer Allhusen-Worsley, Director of Store Design and Visual Merchandising. The result: GGB teams share expertise across functional domains and quickly develop solutions to some of the company’s most complex challenges, from store design to supply chain.

  1. Appeal to a broad range of consumers

GGB knows that cannabis customers want what all consumers want: high-quality products, attractive environments and guidance from in-store experts who care. Drawing from their decades of retail experience, GGB’s team is creating a shopping experience that’s very different from the typical dispensary — one that’s as welcoming to new customers as it is to long-time fans of cannabis. In other words, best practices from other industry leaders.

  1. Build the brand through trust

In a nascent industry with legal hurdles that vary from state to state, Green Growth Brands adheres to all regulations, even it if forces it to be more restrictive than other cannabis companies. GGB’s rapid growth is due in part to its exceptional relationships with other companies like Simon Malls, DSW, Abercrombie & Fitch and others who know GGB has done its homework in terms of safety and compliance. “We’re a very public brand with a lot of business expertise behind us,” says Kathy Milette, Director of eCommerce at GGB, “we want to be in a position where we are protecting both ourselves and our partners.”

  1. Be listeners (and doers)

For a company that’s growing as quickly as Green Growth Brands, consumer feedback is vital. By digging into analytics and customer reviews, GGB is able to react and create products, experiences and brands that consumers love. “We want to ensure everyone gets exactly what they need. It’s what sets us apart, says Courtney Jones, Senior Purchasing Manager for GGB’s Nevada The Source dispensaries.

  1. Respond to trends across all industries

Green Growth Brands pulls inspiration from multiple sectors, including food, cosmetics and more. And it strives to react to events and trends that have potential for retail success, even outside of the cannabis industry. “The more we’re involved in everyday holidays, not just cannabis holidays, the more we’ll improve acceptance everywhere,” says Jones of The Source. 

  1. Be original

The cannabis industry is heavily regulated and presents challenges for companies when it comes to digital advertising, marketing and social media. Cannabis companies must be clever, creative and think outside the box. And that’s what GGB has done by keeping marketing efforts local and focusing heavily on combining marketing efforts with traditional public relations.

  1. Focus on inclusion

The cannabis industry hasn’t always been inclusive. That’s why GGB is creating brands that speak to all genders, races and income levels, and GGB has hired a purposefully diverse management team to ensure representation of consumer thoughts and attitudes.

  1. Diversify the business

Many cannabis companies focus on either THC or CBD products, but GGB is doing both well. Chief Administrative Officer Ed Kistner says this diversification will allow GGB to be part of the substantial growth both sides of the industry are expecting in the coming years. Likewise, offering quality retail and e-commerce experiences will give customers choice and convenience. Exponential growth in both industries is expected.

  1. Support the brands

GGB’s exceptional cannabis and CBD brands aren’t accidents. The products are carefully curated to give consumers experiences they seek, often at price points lower than they’re used to. Cannabis Brand Merchant Luke Ferenc said it best: “When you take your time and support a brand through merchandising, store marketing, and proper product selection, the customer is going to gravitate towards it.”

  1. Hire experts in retail (and cannabis)

And let them do what they do best: Innovate, move quickly and leverage their established professional networks. GGB’s leadership has decades of combined retail experience, from store design to packaing to sourcing the logistics. The company focuses on hiring people from a variety of retail backgrounds, and this expertise allows them to create products and experiences that are more than just cannabis-infused.

Bloomberg Business

"Cannabis Company Backed by Retail Fortune Eyes East Coast Expansion"

The Province

"Opinion: The future of cannabis retail is simple, integrated, and welcoming"

CBC Business

“Unlike big names in production at centre of cannabis frenzy, company plans to focus on retail side of things”

Tech Startups

"Former Victoria Secret executive raises $85 million for cannabis startup…"

The Growthop

"Green Growth Brands completes upsized raise of $85 million to satisfy investor demand."


"Green Growth Brands announced it has completed a raise of C$85 million ($65.7 million) in a private placement…"


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