How to Run a Cannabis Co-op
“How to run a cannabis co-op?” is a great question to ask yourself if you’re interested in a more equitable model of running your cannabis business. Cannabis cooperatives and collectives are gaining popularity – and for good reason! They’re worker-owned, equity-focused, and champion cooperation and collaboration which usually yields a higher quality product. Chicago’s Mayor is even trying to start one. But how do you start one? This week we’re joined by Tomasz Gliszewski from Chicago Cannabis Company to discuss their cannabis co-op and what ownership truly means in the cannabis industry.
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What is the Chicago Cannabis Company?
Chicago Cannabis Company is a worker-owned cannabis co-op located on the Southside of Chicago. Within the Chicago Cannabis Company, the business is owned by the workers and each worker shares the same voting rights and contributes their labor and skills.
- All members of Chicago Cannabis Company contribute their talents, time, and recourses to the company
- At least 50% of Chicago Cannabis Company members are people from disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs
- Founded in 2019
- Headquartered in Chicago
Why Form a Cannabis Co-op?
“I see where US capitalism is leading us in the first place. The 40 hour workweek is kind of going out the window. You also have this unproportional extrapolation of profit meaning speculators and shareholders and people at the top are making much more relative to employee wages. This is a cultural shift of how to run a company in the first place. It makes sense to offer more control to the people contributing to the overall growth of the company.” – Tomasz Gliszewski, Founding Member, Chicago Cannabis Company
How to Run a Cannabis Co-op
Written by: TRprabs
“How to run a cannabis co-op?” is not a new question to ask. Co-operative and collective ownership of a business, as a concept, is not new. There have been stories of workers of enterprises forming co-operatives to run their businesses, even in the 18th and 19th centuries. The underlying idea is that the employer-employee relationship vanishes and a sense of equity is brought in. In a co-operative, all members are co-owners of the business. When the business earns profits, it is equally shared and if there is a loss, everyone gets impacted. Cannabis business also has its share of co-operatives, like the Chicago Cannabis Company. How to Run a Cannabis Co-Op? What are the key elements that hold them all together in the business?
The Basic Principles of a Co-operative Venture
There are a few principles or objectives that bind the members in any co-operative movement to run a business venture. The cannabis business is no different. It has farmers who cultivate and grow the hemp. Then there are those who process the hemp to extract the CBD oil. Finally, there are members who market the products and the cycle goes on. Each has a role to play and no entity can feel he or she is superior to the others. The principles on which a co-operative works start with self-responsibility. If each member thinks it is his or her responsibility too, to contribute to the business, things turn positive all round. With that comes solidarity, equity and equality.
How Does the Chicago Cannabis Company Handle it?
None of these elements are found missing in the way things are handled at the Chicago Cannabis Company. Members join on their own volition and start working. There is a settled process through which their credentials are vetted and they are recognized as members and co-owners of the enterprise.
There are some provisions made in the constitution of the company to make sure at least 50% of the members of the venture are picked from some of the disadvantaged sections of the community. There many marginalized communities and they have continued to suffer. They are generally ignored and have remained on the edges of society for centuries. These people should be offered the opportunity to join the mainstream and play their part. They also have the right to own a part of the company and feel proud of it.
Members have to signup on the website by providing the answers in a questionnaire. While collecting the applicant’s name and contact details, some simple questions are asked. These include questions on the skills the candidate brings into the cannabis business. Then the prospective member must respond to the question if he or she knows the principles employed in a co-operative business.
The Highlights of the Business
The Chicago Cannabis Company says it is committed to making cannabis-based products that conform to the highest quality. The products made and sold by the company include CBD oil, Vape oils, Hemp Teas among others. There are also THC products made and sold. Beyond just manufacturing and marketing, CCC is also engaged in imparting education in the field through holding workshops. The topics in these workshops are chosen from around the cultivation and processing of cannabis.
Customers can order a custom formulation of the CBD oil. This helps with the customers reducing the expense on the products.
The Benefits of Running a Co-operative
The first and foremost benefit of running a co-operative business is there is no single owner and therefore wealth does not accumulate with one individual. When everyone connected to the business is also a part-owner of the business, there is a sense of commitment. More than the other factors, no one would think of cheating as it often happens with many businesses. There will be no short-circuits employed to cut corners and bring down on quality.
The costs of running the business in a co-operative environment are kept to the bare minimum. This is because each one wants to see the business make more profits so that he or she can gain a part of that.
The Chicago Cannabis Company is providing a service to the community through its various actions. These include having a broader base of membership from the community, imparting education and making everyone earn a share of the profit the business is making.
- Chicago Cannabis Company
- Maine Cannabis Business Owners No Longer Required To Be State Residents
- Marijuana Banking Access Included In House Leadership’s Coronavirus Relief Bill
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants Chicago to open a city-owned marijuana cultivation co-op that would let entrepreneurs invest
- Tom Howard at CannabisIndustryLawyer.com
- Miggy at Cannabis Legalization News
Interested in coming on as a guest? Email our producer at [email protected].