Three Crucial Issues for New Cannabis Businesses

Guest Blog by John Mancuso

Authentic Communication Matters

New business owners often wear multiple hats during the scramble to get things “going,” especially in the cannabis industry. The most fundamental of needs (e.g. resources, facilities, capital, staffing) become the trees through which they rarely see the forest. Because of this, few rarely consider the second-level of demands for success: strategic organizational development and adequate employee training. These things are not icing on the cake; they’re essential. 

Even the most stressed out leaders can make strides to lock in organizational health by focusing on three crucial issues that many of their established counterparts still struggle to practice:

  1. Create and disseminate a mission and vision for each of the company’s functional areasThe mission says who you are and what you do; the vision tells us where you want to go. These things help establish processes, but, more importantly, they’re fundamental engagement tools. Even though many leaders refuse to believe it: research overwhelmingly finds that employees are motivated by purpose, not money. The more employees know how their individual contributions serve the collective mission, the more vested they are in their company’s procedures and institutional culture. Additionally, the more employees understand how they will add value on the journey into the future, the more ownership they will take in their company’s path toward realizing its vision.
  1. Acknowledge growing pains. This is especially true in emerging industries. As many businesses (such as cannabis where I have the privilege of spending time) become more mainstream, early pioneers may resent the “corporatizing” of their environments. Sure, organizations change as they face new regulatory demands, but they also discover more dynamic and effective ways of communicating with their customers in the process. Not acknowledging these cultural movements can cause great schisms that get harder to heal over time.
  1. Help employees understand performance measurements. Abstract terms like “professional” and “inclusive” appear in job descriptions and annual reviews with little concern about how they are interpreted. Employees should understand which actionable behaviors anchor such descriptors; otherwise, they’re just words.

Could your managers and leaders use a refresher on leadership skills? Whether they are brand new to the industry or old hats, freshening up skills is always a great idea. Join Cannabis Trainers and John Mancuso, the author of this blog, in the coming months for our Fundamentals of Supervision Training. Just visit and bookmark this page for details and registration.


Author Insights

John Mancuso, Owner/Founder of Authentic Communication Matters, has written and facilitated learning experiences for executives, managers, administrators, hourly contributors, college professors and students in a variety of industries, both public and private. John has served as keynote speaker, garnered numerous creative and academic publications–including textbooks, ancillary teaching resources and creative prose in both fiction and nonfiction. Additionally, John taught English for many years at the post-secondary level. In his last in-house position, he served as Director of Curriculum and Programs (and internal training consultant) for North America’s largest transportation agency, the New York City Transit Authority (MTA).

John has a certificate in Adult Learning Transfer from the City University of New York; a BS in Mass Communications from Emerson College in Boston, Mass.; an MA in English from Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT; and an MA in fiction writing from the University of Texas at Austin.

Learn more about John and his organization by visiting


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