Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE:TRUL) (OTCQX:TCNNF) was a keynote speaker at the opening of Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, which returned this week (Oct. 14-15) to New York’s Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. Moderating the panel was Debra Borchardt, CEO and editor-in-chief at Green Market Report.
River told the full house at the conference that having strategy and “very identified targets with very specifically measurable results,” as well as developing the business around key regions, “is what it takes to become and stay a big player in the cannabis industry.
Rivers said that leaning into research, physicians and advocacy was particularly instrumental for Trulieve in Florida. Trulieve controls about 50% of the state’s MMJ market, Rivers pointed out on Thursday.
“We think that the southeast is really the next new frontier of cannabis reform in this country,” Rivers said, adding that she is expecting the Florida scenario to happen in Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina as well.
“It’s not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when,” cannabis legalization will happen nationwide, Rivers said, adding that conversation and advocacy can turn some of the “initial opponents to the biggest proponents” over time.
Strategy As Key Factor To Success
And now that the billion-dollar merger with Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. is wrapped up, Trulieve is poised to contribute to that change on a national level.
The cannabis industry has grown exponentially over the last year, Rivers and Borchardt agreed. The shift in political preferences toward cannabis legalization is more evident than ever.
And, even though the Democrats hold the gavels, conservative groups in the southern parts of the U.S. are turning cannabis into a political issue putting federal legalization of the plant on hold.
Still, several of the southern states, like Florida, have some of the country’s most successful (medical) cannabis programs.
“It was really about focusing on the medical benefits of cannabis which are, becoming more and more indisputable,” Rivers said.