Marc Lustig is CEO of CannaRoyalty (OTC: CNNRF, CNSX: CRZ), a strategic investment company focused on the cannabis industry. He talked to us about the opportunities and lessons learned from the ever-evolving cannabis industry.

How did you get into the cannabis space?
The opportunity to build something myself – instead of as a bystander – was too great to ignore and made possible by the generational groundswell of positive attitudes and understanding towards cannabis. I have a background in health science and capital markets both of which have helped.

Walk us through a normal day.
I live in Vancouver but our head office is on the east coast. So I get up every day at obscene hours and work on things with my east coast-based partners. The “problem” is I work right through on Pacific time hours with our west coast partners and invested companies so I pull a lot of hours in all 7 days. Scattered amidst that is time parenting my five very active kids.

What has been your biggest lesson about working in cannabis, and in business in general?
Within cannabis it would be saying NO to pretenders early and often. Within business in general, don’t be afraid to go ‘all in’ for something you know you want to build.

What do you see as your biggest opportunity?
The explosive growth and support for cannabis as an alternative to alcohol and tobacco on the recreational side with the added (and probably more significant) upside of cannabis as a replacement to a lot of other therapeutics including nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals including opioids.

What sets you apart to make you a potential leader in cannabis?
Our model is completely unique whereby we deploy strategic capital as part of building a diversified platform of intellectual property including products, brands, devices and other high value assets.

What is the most frustrating aspect of the cannabis industry today?
Banking.

What would you say to those who are considering investing in your company?
Welcome to a diversified cannabis company with assets in an array of areas and markets.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into the cannabis space?
Don’t let the allure of a quick buck get in the way of building a long-term, sustainable, valuable brand or business.

What are your biggest tips for branding cannabis?
Great design is capable of not only inspiring a purchase from the targeted consumer but also moving a product from a commodity sold at commodity prices to a brand consumers seek out and are willing to pay more to have. Think Apple. The cannabis industry does not yet have any Walmart or major alcohol brands in the space. This means that small scale producers have an opportunity now to build their brand so that they will have a head start with a loyal customer base and consumer recognition.

Do you see any big changes coming in the future of cannabis?
New markets in new places, banking, technology, formulations, devices, therapeutic advances will be the biggest drivers of change.

Do you consume cannabis? And if so, what's your favorite way to consume?
Yes. Our branded cartridge GreenRock Botanicals.