Interviews

Published on September 5th, 2019 | by Jerry Doby

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The Founders of “My Green Network” Discuss Coworking Opportunities Within the Cannabis Community

A lot of us are following the WeWork IPO and seeing the impact of coworking across the globe. Juxtaposed next to that is the vibrant emergence of cannabis and its projected $40 billion industry by 2021. The synergy between co-working and cannabis is a natural fit, but no companies offer such an intuitively valuable platform.  

About a week ago a business partner introduced me to “My Green Network” (MyGN) which will launch the “First True Cannabis Coworking” facility in Southern California. The founders of My Green Network, Ken Hwang and James Shih, are internationally recognized attorneys and intend to disrupt the cannabis industry by offering a unique high touch cannabis platform that brings people together, empowers them, and spurs innovation.  This completely blew my mind. I immediately fell in love with their philosophy and the opportunity they provide to anyone in the world looking to either start a new cannabis business or expand their existing one. 

What inspired “My Green Network?”

MyGN is the culmination of 6 years of hard work, sweat, tears, and spending millions of dollars to secure 8 cannabis licenses throughout California and Colorado while building our professional cannabis network. During this time a lot of friends, family, and business associates struggled and ultimately failed because they didn’t have a million dollars, a trustworthy network, and/or the experience. We realized an inefficiency in the marketplace and understood  “the cannabis industry needs to change.” That’s why we created MyGN. We want to bring leaders together, empower them, and create a unique community centered on leading change in the industry. Our ethos is Leaders. Empower. Community.  Just think of us as the WeWork for Weed. 

What are the problems facing someone wanting to start or expand a cannabis business in California?

There’s a ton. We broke it down into 6 main problems (1) Money (2) Compliance (3) Property (4) Time (5) Experience (6) Uncertainty. Using ourselves as an example, to fully build out MyGN we went through over $1.5 million, 11 different compliance entities, 43 properties, and almost 16 months. We’re fortunate that we have a lot of experience as both lawyers and cannabis operators – and even still the process is uncertain. For example, if someone in Colorado wanted to come to California and start selling their product – they would have to understand a completely new set of laws and throw bricks of money at the process. Likewise, even if you already own a California license and wanted to get into manufacturing for the first time or make something you can’t in your current space – you would have to get a brand-new facility, get it licensed, and go through the same process. As far as entrepreneurs, it’s like walking into a dark jungle with predators, disasters, and risks at every corner. Let’s not forget if you screw up – California could even just ban you from the cannabis industry permanently. 

You guys say that My Green Network makes it easy for anyone to start or expand their cannabis business – how is that possible when all those problems exist?

That’s the beauty of what we do. We have an extensive cannabis network, experience, and knowledge and through the MyGN community – anyone can get that benefit. California allows us to create a platform for other businesses to create and sell their own branded products in California. We provide a fully compliant cannabis coworking suite and overall facility, we guide and supervise them to make sure they follow California laws, and they get to do all the fun stuff without any of the headaches. Our current facilities, experience, and network allow us to do a lot of things that make us uniquely suited to provide a platform making it easy for newcomers to veterans to start selling cannabis products. We can source any THC/CBD ingredients, help with formulation, distribute anywhere in California, deliver directly to consumers, and even provide an incubator seed accelerator program. For example, Hype could literally get one of their artists to come into our facility, get licensed, and just start making a “Hype” branded product within 1 month to sell on California’s legal market.  “Jerry’s Joints” has a nice ring to it.  There’s a whole lot more we offer too that people can check out on our website.

I’m sure you get this question a lot, but isn’t this just a “white labeling” service?

We’re completely different. At My Green Network, people own their cannabis license, control their branding and marketing, and own their business independently. We just do all the heavy lifting so you get to focus on the fun stuff. With white labeling, you literally put your formula, brand, and product in someone else’s hands to make or do something that’s risky aka “grey-area” workarounds – like being hired as an “employee” of their company. We always tell people – Coca-Cola didn’t sell their recipe – so why should you?

So, your facility is in Orange County, why there? and how would someone get started?

We select each of our facilities with a focus on (1) direct access to the most profitable cannabis markets and (2) lifestyle options for our community. Orange County is a hidden gem that just so happens to have both. OC has a great history of innovative cannabis companies like WeedMaps, KushBottles, and MedMen. We’re 20 minutes from Los Angeles, 15 minutes from the beach, and less than 10 minutes from hundreds of options for dining, shopping, and bars. 

To get started, it’s pretty simple. (1) Select a membership (2) have an onboarding call with us; and (3) start creating/selling your cannabis products on the legal market. This means you can even start to “Hype” your product now and establish your business in California. 

Haha, very funny, thanks for that. So, what’s the actual cost and time benefits for someone who joins as a member?

Basically, we reduce costs by 90% both for time and money while completely eliminating uncertainty because we guarantee your license or your money back. It’s a $10,000 commitment now to secure a spot and you can expect to get your California license within 1 month when we open. We have flexible memberships for any business size. An entrepreneur starting out is going to have very different needs from an established cannabis enterprise coming from Colorado or even California. Compared to the $1,000,000 average price that typical businesses and entrepreneurs need to pay… well, people always ask “what’s the catch?”. The main “catch” is that we can’t just allow everyone in, there’s limited space due to state law so we can only help license about 50 businesses for now. We intend to open a lot more in the future. 

Any last words?

America is currently in the “cannabis prohibition” era, just like alcohol was in the 1920s. We’ve always viewed this as a once in a lifetime opportunity as anyone can be the next Budweiser, Nestle, or Coca Cola as the industry is still wide open. We’re thankful to be leaders in the industry and our mission is to empower you so you can achieve success – after all the better you do the better we do. So we hope to see you at MyGN and “Go Green the Way you Want.”

About the My Green Network Facility Design

The overall design by GTC (www.gtcdesign.studio) sought to merge the existing unfinished and unattractive warehouse space with the creative and collaborative culture of Green Network.  The overall aesthetic focuses on a “Creative Industrial” design intent highlighting open concept floor plans, transparent storefronts, communal kitchens, and open ceilings.

Connect with My Green Network 

Website (must be 21 to enter): www.mygreennetwork.com 

Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @officialgreennetwork


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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