Entrepreneurs

5 Concise Questions With Brady Cobb, CEO Of Bluma Wellness/One Plant

A medical marijuana pioneer who uses his legal background to address marijuana policy reform as both an attorney and lobbyist, Brady Cobb cultivated his passion for the industry to found One Plant (formerly 3 Boys Farm, LLC) in October of 2018. The publicly-held One Plant, is a boutique-style medical marijuana company and that holds one of the fourteen medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) licenses in the State of Florida. In building One Plant, Brady and his team of authentic cannabis enthusiasts and experienced industry insiders took a much different, and harder, path than its competitors, namely instead of focusing on opening up retail stores, they focused on building out and scaling up their cultivation facilities. They recognized that they were only as good as the cannabis flower they could grow, and truly live and die by a line from their mission statement; One Plant’s cannabis is grown, not made.

Warren Bobrow=WB: Why Cannabis? What was your path to the plant? Who were you with when you first got high? *if you use for medical, when did you discover the healing benefits? Who picks the strains? 

 Brady Cobb=BC: I have had a relationship with and a love for cannabis for a lot longer than I should have. I have been surfing since I was a young kid and at 16 years old, on an up-coast surf trip, I smoked my first joint. I don’t remember how terrible it tasted, although that was probably the case. What I do remember is that I loved the way it made me feel. I can also say that being in the cannabis industry runs in my blood. My father, Bill Cobb, orchestrated what is still considered the largest marijuana smuggling operation in U.S. history, according to the Department of Justice. The old man moved 1.5 million pounds from Colombia to the Florida panhandle from 1977-1983. He was eventually arrested, indicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Growing up, I learned about his operations and, the older I got, the initial contempt from missed birthdays and Christmases gave way to intrigue and understanding. I was born and raised in South Florida, where the folklore of smugglers is woven into the fabric of this state, so that coupled with what felt like a calling to honor my father pushed me toward the plant and the marketplace. My father was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2007 and passed away in 2010. Throughout the tough years in between, I found cannabis for him on the black market. He refused to take opiates. When he was too weak or in too much pain, I would happily roll joints for him. His teasing about my rolling technique was relentless the entire damned time. It was the only medicine that truly gave him relief from the terrible cancer treatments that many of us have come to know and hate. I learned how legal addictive opiates ripped through the state of Florida while witnessing what illegal non-addictive cannabis did for the old man. My father thought the best way to get cannabis into the hands of consumers was by bringing shrimp boats with 70,000 pounds of grass at a time into Florida. I knew the best route was through the State Capitol and D.C. He did it his way, God love him. I’m doing it my way.

WB: Please tell me about your dispensaries? What do you do which is different, therefore better than your competition? What is your 6 & 12 month goals? What markets do you want to penetrate? Why? 

BC: As far as dispensaries, what we did differently at One Plant was to deliberately not open dispensaries. While our competitors raced to quickly pop open locations all over the state, with their grow as an afterthought, we did the exact opposite. When we assembled our grow and operations team from across the country, our initial radical focus was to grow the best cannabis in the state of Florida, period. Everything else came secondary, including opening stores and, especially, splitting our focus among multiple states like our competitors. Our focus is Florida. We’re headquartered here and almost all of us at the executive level were born, raised and live here. At our stores, we’ve endeavored to create an atmosphere that is inviting, unassuming and fun. We also focus on becoming valued members of each community where we do business, not just being another store that is open for business. Our retail team members take pride in learning about the local residents and their individual stories. Cannabis is relatively new to Florida, so we want our store focus to be simplifying cannabis for consumers while also helping them understand what makes our good cannabis good. We take immense pride in the part of our mission statement that reads: “Our cannabis is grown, not made.”

Every single thing we do as a company starts and ends with the quality and authenticity of our cannabis flower and the team that grows it. In a sea of very average cannabis churned out in large, soulless facilities by some others in the space, our patients notice the difference. We also hand-trim all of our flower, instead of cramming it through a machine trimmer, which destroys the integrity of the flower. Some may say that is too time- or labor-intensive. We say that if we are going to sell a premium product to our patients, it is the only way to do things. Over the next six months, we’re excited to see our flower production quadruple as a result of our new Nexus Greenhouse currently coming online. We will open seven additional retail stores and expand our innovative next-day, door-to-door, e-commerce home-delivery service. Our goal is to be among the top 4 MMTCs in Florida by the end of 2020. Most importantly, when hitting these milestones, is to remain true to our culture as cannabis enthusiasts who honor the fullest expression of each seed we cultivate. 

WB: Do you have a mentor? What about stigmas? Do your family or friends ask you what you do in a positive light? Where do you see cannabis in Florida in five years? 

 BC: I was very lucky to have Ed Pozzuoli and Jim Scott, both of whom are exceptional lawyers/lobbyists and strategists, as mentors early on in my legal career. They really helped me develop the ability to see the angles, namely to always position myself in the zone where business, politics and the law intersect. I’ve also been lucky to have a great team around me, both in my time as CEO of Sol as well as with my team at Bluma Wellness/One Plant, and I learn from each of them every single day. I have absolutely encountered and have had to deal with the cannabis stigma from both family and friends. I don’t fault people for having that negative feeling, but I enjoy seeing the stigma fade away as they learn more about the plant and what it can do to effect positive change in people’s lives. I see Florida as being the No. 1 cannabis market in the United States in five years. We’re one of the largest states in the U.S. and second in tourism with over 100 million visitors per year. The demographics are tremendously positive for the state, and when an adult use amendment makes the ballot and passes, the market here will explode. 

WB: Do you cook? Who taught you? Do you have a food memory you’d like to share? Favorite (pre-covid 19) restaurant, where? 

 BC: Yes, I love to cook and, while my parents and my mother-in-law really helped me learn to cook, a lot of it has just been trial and error and trying different recipes in the kitchen. As far as a food memory, I recently cooked some fresh yellowfin tuna that my buddy caught for my family, searing it on our Green Egg. Watching the kids try it and devour it was pretty special. Favorite restaurant, tough one, but one of my favorite days of the year is a Christmas break sojourn as a family across Alligator Alley to Everglades City, Florida, to have stone crabs (and a few beers) on the dock at Triad Seafood. They serve the freshest stone crabs you could ever have, and the history of Everglades City as a smugglers’ haven lends to the atmosphere. Doesn’t hurt that the kids love the stone crabs and the airboat ride through the mangroves just as much as I do.

WB: What is your passion? 

BC: Outside of being a dad and husband, my passion is surfing. I have been addicted to being in the ocean and surfing since I caught my first wave at 8 years old at lifeguard camp, and I have gotten to travel to some amazing places chasing waves. As most of my team knows, when cold fronts are pushing through Florida in our tamer version of winter, I can get caught checking offshore buoys and marine forecasts and, when it all lines up and the swell shows up, I have been known to be the first guy in the water super-early or to take a lunch at the beach. Surfing and being in the ocean ground me and keep me centered, as the ocean is always changing, and positioning is everything. It takes a lot of work to end up in the right place at the right time, but when it happens, one good wave can change an entire day. Most importantly, it helps me decompress. As soon as I hit the water, I go back to feeling like that carefree kid on an upcoast surf trip…Only nowadays, before paddling out, the joint tastes a hell of a lot better.

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Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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