Cannabusiness in Washington D.C.

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The cannabusiness case study focuses on entrepreneur Corey Barnette, owner of cultivation center District Growers and dispensary Metropolitan Wellness Center, two partially vertically integrated cannabis businesses. The case study examines the challenges facing a business owner in a new and highly regulated market, including finding access to capital, making compliance investments, and building political connections. The case also explores the history of cannabis in the United States, and how the “War on Drugs” gave rise to an uneven playing ground for minorities wishing to be a part of the legal cannabis industry – one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Barnette, an African-American, was able to overcome many of the barriers to entry facing minorities due to his MBA degree and background as an investment banker. As Barnette considers his growth strategy, he must evaluate how to leverage his influence as a visible figure in the DC community, whether vertical integration is advantageous and which segments of his businesses are value drivers, and how to more effectively compete within DC and beyond.

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