Matthew Huron never went to business school. He never ran a company. He never worked as an executive. But he’s now the owner and CEO of Good Chemistry, one of the most successful cannabis producers and retailers in Colorado. While much of the cannabis market slowed near the end of 2015, Good Chemistry saw its sales go up. Between its two Colorado dispensary locations, one in Denver (which sells to the medical and recreational markets) and one in Aurora (which sells recreational only), the brand does more than 30,000 transactions each month. The two cultivation operations that Huron currently operates, which total more than 30,000 square feet, are not enough to answer the demand for his product, and a third facility that will add another 20,000 square feet of grow space is set to open in April.
Huron’s story is one, you might say, of a green thumb, a passion for helping people and a natural business sense. He’s the epitome of the successful cultivator, who is navigating the challenging cannabis marketplace, donning the Good Chemistry CEO boots to the tune of continual, but careful expansion, including across state lines.
“My father and his partner both had HIV, and they found therapeutic benefits from cannabis,” Huron says.
Cannabis increasingly was becoming an alternative treatment for HIV patients. So, in 2000, Huron and his father set up a small, non-profit medical marijuana co-op in San Francisco that served AIDS patients and the assisted-living and hospice facilities that treated them.
Over the next eight years, Huron learned to perfect his cultivation skills in the competitive California marijuana industry. Vertical integration (a system in which a person can have licenses to grow, process and sell cannabis) is not allowed in California. “What that creates,” he says, “is a highly competitive cultivation market where people really have to get good at what they’re doing in order to get on the shelves of these stores.” Read the full story here.