There are so many exciting businesses in the cannabis industry, each addressing a unique need. In this series, CUE Cannabis is speaking to Founders and owners within our network of partners. We are highlighting not only what their business does, but what they are excited about for the future of the cannabis industry.
Today, CUE Cannabis speaks with MJ Hybrid Solutions Founder, MJ Stapley. MJ is passionate about sales training and customer loyalty in the cannabis industry. She has created online training for cannabis sales professionals and it is her personal mission to legitimize this industry through proper education and training. Fun fact–MJ stands for her full name “Melissa Jane,” how perfect is that?
CUE Cannabis: What problem were you excited to solve with MJHybrid Solutions?
MJ Stapely: I’m really focused on the consumer, the consumer experience and how to create customer loyalty. For a business owner, it is not only how can we sell and increase sales, but how can we educate the consumer and help end the stigma of cannabis. Every first experience matters in this time when the mainstream is so ‘iffy’ about cannabis. If somebody walks into a dispensary, especially in a state where cannabis is newly legalized, they might not know anything about the products. If that customer has a good experience, they’ll go talk about it to 10 other people. When I got into the industry, I was blown away by the benefits of the product, and I want to take what I’ve learned and share it. My longterm plan is to develop a corporate training program that is accessible to all industries so they can understand how to talk about the cannabis industry.
CUE Cannabis: How did you get started in this industry?
MJ Stapley: It was happenstance. About 5 years ago, I met somebody at a happy hour in California and we started talking about CBD since I used to have sleeping problems. He was looking for a sales rep for a CBD product from a Hemp medical supplier. This was back before the legal industry and nobody really understood what CBD was or the difference between CBD hemp and marijuana so small shops would still get raided. That job was such a learning experience for me because I had to educate myself about the product, and also teach people what the product could do for them.
It was later working for another THC/ CBD company that I started to see how valuable this experience was because dispensaries needed something to bridge that knowledge gap. I actually had the business idea on a vacation to Hawaii, on the plane home I started furiously writing my business plan.
CUE Cannabis: What is your advice for new business owners?
MJ: It is all about getting out there and trying it. We get stuck thinking we have to have everything together 100% and that everything needs to be perfect. See if there is a need for your idea and then build as you go.
CC: What most excites you about this industry?
MJ: Being part of an industry that is changing history, specifically what is happening with how cannabis is viewed. Ending prohibition, ending the stigma, and seeing how the products have helped so many. It is also a really diverse industry, and there is a lot to do with bridging the gap between the ‘old school’ and ‘new school.’
Finally, I feel like there is a lot to be done with social equity in this industry, For example, providing skills training for people in prison for cannabis-related offenses so that they have training when they get out of jail. Education and training are important, and this is a way I can contribute to the knowledge and experience I have.
MJ Hybrid Solutions offers online sales training and cannabis education platform for dispensaries, product companies, and all cannabis sales professionals. Check out their page for more information.