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Anyone who’s paying even a little attention knows that the cannabis industry is as hot as a glowing dab nail right now. And not only is the business of marijuana booming; the public is behind the change, as well.

Industry knowledge

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A poll from Quinnipiac University found that a stratospheric 93 percent of Americans support medical cannabis when recommended by a doctor. It’s no secret that the smell of money is in the air, along with the aroma of all that weed, of course. Experts predict $20 billion in annual sales by 2021. Entrepreneurs and investors are definitely getting the idea.

The cannabis space in the economy has now reached the level of market maturity where it has its own leadership coaches and marketing mentors. Meet Michael Zaytsev, better known as Mike Z, founder of High NY and author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Cannabis.

Mike Z has reached a level of prominence that includes writing for Forbes Magazine. According to Mike, there are five things that separate those who find success in the cannabis industry, from those who don’t.

1. Passion for the plant

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According to Mike Z, “The most accomplished and ambitious cannabis entrepreneurs I’ve encountered practically worship the plant on a metaphysical level.”

They view it as a vehicle for global transformation and healing. Passion for the plant is what drives them to endure the hard work and many challenges of cannabis entrepreneurship.

2. Cannabis curiosity

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If you expect to run with the big dogs in an exploding, cutting-edge industry, you’d better arm yourself with information. You can be sure your competitors will.

Educate yourself on a daily basis, and never let yourself become convinced that almost every other person in this business knows a thing or two that you don’t.

According to Mike Z, a few of the things of which you’d better stay abreast include the history of cannabis prohibition; the properties of the plant; growth, extraction and infusion basics; product quality and safe consumption; the lexicon of cannabis; regulatory frameworks; the political landscape; and cannabis culture.

And, of course, you’d better be prepared to, you know, run a business.

3. Always activism

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“This industry was born out of countercultural social movement,” Mike Z points out. “Activism is absolutely mandatory for cannabis entrepreneurs.”

Honor those who paved the way and do your part for the sake of human liberty and social justice.

As Mike points out, you don’t need a cannabis business to be a cannabis activist, but you really need to support activism if you want to succeed in the business.

4. Pot professionalism

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More and more mainstream companies are, some more confidently than others, entering the cannabis sphere. These include big investors, deep-pocketed corporations, and seasoned professionals who don’t have time for shenanigans.

Today’s cannabis entrepreneurs can stand out “just by being professional,” according to Mike Z.

“[T]he fact is, once you enter the industry, you become an agent of the plant, and as such, you must represent your business in the highest light possible.”

5. Cannabis and community

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Mike Z notes that the cannabis business is even more difficult than most. This is because of advertising restrictions, lack of proper banking services, and a shifting legal landscape. And making your way through that challenging landscape means you could use all the help you can get.

Cultivating a network of other passionate, curious, professionals is a way to get that help, according to Mike Z, and one of the best ways to do that is through community service.

Many cannabis entrepreneurs find great joy and renewal by engaging with local communities. Whether it be through volunteer projects, social events, political fundraisers, there is undoubtedly a communal spirit in the cannabis industry.

You can learn more about Mike Z’s cannabis industry-focused leadership training at www.HiMikeZ.com

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