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Worth Magazine: “The High End”

"...Shift Cannabis does two things: It partners with high net worth clients interested in starting cannabis businesses, and it co-owns and manages cultivation and retail operations in New Mexico, Maryland, Alaska and Hawaii. It works closely with [Travis ] Howard’s other company, Green Dream, a marijuana grower and retailer that targets the high end of the cannabis market. (For industry types, “cannabis” is the preferred nomenclature; it refers to the plant rather than the drug, and it sounds more clinical than marijuana slang.) Green Dream sells its hand-tended cannabis for about $300 an ounce, almost three times the average wholesale price of an ounce of pot in Colorado, which, according to the state’s Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, is about $117 per ounce. Green Dream is succeeding by focusing on characteristics similar to those emphasized by other luxury goods makers: quality, craftsmanship, scarcity and a carefully cultivated image of authenticity.

It’s big business, and likely to get much more so in the near future. For Howard, though, Green Dream and Shift aren’t just about profits. He says that he’s also driven by a desire for social justice. Growing up, he witnessed the lives of friends and his own brother steamrolled by a national drug policy that targeted pot smokers as if they were heroin dealers. Now, he wants to legitimize the industry by rebranding cannabis as a luxury good and converting the nation’s elites, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, into cannabis users. “I’m talking serious, traditionally powerful, financially powerful men and women,” he says."

 

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