Silicon Valley Dispensary CEO Leverages Tech and Brand Loyalty

dennis omalley caliva

Dennis O’Malley is CEO of Caliva Dispensary in San Jose California. Listen in as Dennis shares how difficult but rewarding it is to run a thriving vertically integrated cannabis company.

Key Takeaways:

– The price of wholesale cannabis in California vs Oregon
– How to successfully navigate regulatory changes
– Creating in-house technology
– Why delivery app Eaze is a dominating force in California Cannabis
– Building a brand
– Staying competitive
– What the future holds for cannabis operators in California

Learn More:
https://caliva.com/

Read Full Transcript

Matthew: How do you create a thriving cannabis brand in California given the immense amount of red tape and market competition? We're going to find out today in our interview with Dennis O'Malley, CEO of Caliva. Dennis, welcome to CannaInsider.

Dennis: Matt, thanks so much for having me. I'm excited.

Matthew: Give us a sense of geography. Where are you in the world today?

Dennis: Sure. I am right in the heart of Silicon Valley, so right in San Jose, California, which is just south of San Francisco in the middle of the state. What most people don't know about Silicon Valley before it was known for high tech and internet and before that Silicon semi-conductors, it was called the valley of the heart's delight and it was known for the best fruit and growing region of things like prunes and strawberries and other things, so.

Matthew: Almonds too, right?

Dennis: Almonds. Absolutely, we are right in the valley of the heart's delight.

Matthew: Yeah, that's Central Valley in California. I didn't know about it until I drove through it and I was like, oh my gosh, there's just tons of produce and things grown out there and you can actually see it from like satellite imagery, like how this huge valley, how big it is. It's pretty amazing.

Dennis: Absolutely. We've checked all around us. We're back to the farming roots

Matthew: And I'm in Paris, France today.

Dennis: Wonderful.

Matthew: Now, give us a sense of what Caliva is at a high level.

Dennis: Sure. So we are a large vertically-integrated cannabis company. We exist to make very high-quality innovative products for our consumers, and our consumers are mainly adult use consumers. And we seek to certainly be the most trusted brand in cannabis. And we really pride ourselves on a brand promise of consistency, transparency and accessibility of our products. Most people know us for our product portfolio and most people also have seen, experienced our dispensary in San Jose as well.

Matthew: Okay. Can you share a little bit about your background and journey and how you came to start Caliva?

Dennis: Sure. The easiest part about that is I definitely did not start Caliva. Caliva's a little over three years old. And I came on board a little over a year and a half ago. I always credit people from incubating and starting thing with...that it's the hardest thing in the world to give birth to anything. And those who did that I have immense respect for in any part of the industry, certainly as the founders of Caliva. I knew one of the investors in Caliva. I've had a 25-plus year relationship with them. And as I got to know more about the business, I was just intrigued with the mission that Caliva had and which was to do business the right way and have higher standards and provide a great way for, you know, newer consumers to get access to natural health and wellness options. And I really couldn't think of more of a mission-based purpose.

And so I came on board as president in early 2017 and took on the CEO role earlier this year and we're growing like mad and I wouldn't want to spend time with anybody else or you know, have any other mission. So we're thrilled about what we're doing.

Matthew: Okay. And how would you describe the California cannabis market right now for people that really don't have a sense?

Dennis: Yeah, I think there is an overabundance of press around our industry for a whole variety of different reasons. I believe that most people believe that everybody in cannabis is making money hand over fist and no one really is. You know, the adage that I've heard used in tech is it takes a long time to turn money into knowledge and that's exactly where the industry is at today. And hopefully soon we will be turning that knowledge into money.

So it is very much still in the investment mode for almost everybody within the industry. There are large billion dollar figures thrown out there, but then when you look at 35% taxes in the case of where we're at in San Jose to the expense of regulations and the cost of doing business, it is a very capital-intensive business that requires precision operations in somewhat large scale growth to be successful and we're certainly committed to it for the long term. But I also think that it's just extremely difficult to get long-term investment, longer term decisions based on uncertainty around regulations, you know, financial services challenges. So what most people don't see is the difficulty of how hard it is to run a business. But what I think we enjoy and we'd love to see is such as the new Gallup poll where a record amount of, you know, folks in the U.S. really are supportive for cannabis being illegal throughout the U.S.

Matthew: Yeah. And just so people get a sense of what the whole operation looks like, it's a vertically-integrated, grow dispensary, and then brands. Correct? Around your own brands inside your dispensary. Is that correct?

Dennis: Yeah. The easiest way to think about it is we create really great high-quality raw materials, so we have a 22,000 square foot canopy of grow. So we're producing thousands of pounds of high-quality indoor flower a year. We produce our own oil, so both crude and distillate oil that is mainly used in our own products, but also used in third-party products. So that's the first component of it in terms of grow and manufacturing. The second component of it is we produce a line of packaged flower, packaged pre-rolls, packaged vape pens. So we do a lot of our own in-house manufacturing, branding, packaging. And then lastly is we really control and manage our own distribution channels. So we have a large wholesale sales team.

Caliva brands are in about 350 dispensaries in California, and those are adult-use dispensaries. So we're in about 80% of dispensaries in California. We have our one retail store in San Jose as well, and we also enable both consumers to order online through caliva.menu and we have great relationships with other third-party distributors and online platforms such as Eaze. So that's the easiest way to think about our business. And we have other locations that we're opening up, we'll have a location in closer to San Francisco opening up next month. And then we'll have a location down in LA opening in February 1st.

Matthew: And what's the current cost per pound of cannabis in California at a wholesale basis roughly?

Dennis: Yeah. In terms of price per pound, if a wholesale buyer was looking to buy a pound or two from us, the average price per pound is anywhere between $2300 to $2,500. It goes up if there's a strain that's more exotic or higher THC or higher quality, and it drops if there's volume discounts. What we've seen at least for indoor flower is that there is still a shortage of consistent flower and consistent suppliers out there. So the price points have remained pretty stable since July 1st.

Matthew: Okay. And off the top of your head, do you know how that compares to your neighbor to the North Oregon and how much a wholesale pound of cannabis is going for there?

Dennis: Yeah. I don't have empirical evidence around this. Anecdotally, I've heard the same horror stories that most other people I've heard of a flower being sent to auctions and per pound price is wholesale going for hundreds of dollars. The worst anecdote I heard was that somebody had auctioned off their flower for $25 a pound, but that is unsubstantiated. Maybe urban legend, but I know that there has been certainly issues with wholesale flower, mainly outdoor and greenhouse I believe in Oregon. Certainly, a different market right now.

Matthew: Wow, that's crazy. If you think about us having a...if we had a national... It was prohibition ended nationally, how there will be a free flow and it would come to some equilibrium, you know, supplementing California supply. I guess since California likes to control everything, they'll probably not allow that, I would imagine. But that's a tremendous difference. That's almost, you know, what are we talking about here? That's 10 times more. Well, I mean, excluding that $25 like outlier, you know, more than 10 times in California. What do you attribute that to?

Dennis: Well, I think Oregon, from what my understanding is had an unlimited cultivation licensing structure, so the oversupply of flower, I believe, was a just unforecasted or poorly forecasted in terms of the regulatory bodies, one. Number two is given that the infrastructure it takes to, you know, to build for flower and then to be able to produce flower once you're actually invested in and it's very hard to deviate from it. So if you have a cultivation facility, you cultivate flower, it's very difficult to pivot. So I think California had learned from that and certainly try to limit some of the license is one. I think two, some of the operators still understood that in the market that that might be a tougher area. However, our forecast at least at Caliva is that there's 10 times more legal supply that will come online in 2018, then there is legal demand. So we certainly see cultivation as an area that will have excess capacity very quickly. The amount of infrastructure and large-scale projects throughout the state is just massive and we actually see majority of consumers turning to other products outside of flower.

Matthew: Interesting. So if that's the case, then to stay alive and prosper, you have to lower your production costs. And also, to maintain your margins you really need loyal customers that see a unique value in your product. How do you respond to those two dynamics?

Dennis: Yeah, great question. For us, it's always been about vertical integration and vertical integration for us meant controlling the supply and demand chain. And really the number one driver for us was to ensure quality. So we're obsessed about the quality and the customer experience. So our primary objective is how do we get the very best tested consistent product into the hands of the consumer in a very easy manner? And vertical integration for us means that we can deliver the freshest product at the lowest cost with the highest quality and the most convenient way to as many consumers as possible. Now, does that also provide some opportunity for cost optimization and driving down costs and increasing efficiency? Absolutely. And we have a ton, we have a ways to go to be doing that, but our guiding principle has always been quality first customer first and we really built Caliva around that and have tried to deliver against that promise.

So have been customer-obsessed and we still believe that if we're producing very good raw materials that go into innovative products and we have a great experience in terms of how they buy their products and whatever way that they wanna buy, whether it's through our dispensary, somebody else's dispensary, on eaze.com, on caliva.menu, they choose in terms of how to purchase the products and that it's a very convenient way for them to be able to do that. You know, that will equal happy customers. But of course, they wanna pay less versus more and will continue to try to drive, you know, cost optimizations around that.

Matthew: Give us a little background on what changed on July first and why that's important for the California market.

Dennis: Yeah. Great, great question. I was blindsided by the demand that we received 8:00 a.m. on July 1st, and I remember this just vividly. It was one of the, you know, the biggest aha moments for us. I was sitting at my computer and we had an email come in from Humboldt that said, we would like to see if you delivered a Humboldt because we are short on flower. And I immediately knew something was different. So I never thought that a dispensary in Humboldt would reach out to an indoor grower in San Jose, and that they would be short of flowers. So 8:00 a.m. on from July2 first our world changed in what we saw was that there was a complete shortage of providers that were able to provide tested product in childproof packaging through a distributor in economical and timely manner.

And so we were able to do that and there's different infrastructure type of things that we built in advance so that we could be consistent and reliable to our dispensary partners, but we complete all. I completely underestimated the amount of demand that would come into our facility for all of our products, including flower. And what that resulted in was a certainly backlog of orders that we just dug out of a couple of weeks ago. So we had been on back order for every product we've had for July through, you know, early October.

Matthew: Wow, that's crazy. And you know, speaking of Humboldt, there's a lot of black market trade and that has an effect obviously on the regulated market. How do you view that? Do you think that's a big impact, small impact, and how do you feel about in general?

Dennis: Well, I think there's two ways to answer that. One is just my personal feelings on this. My personal feelings are that we as an industry should do whatever we can to allow as many people into the legal industry as we can. So I don't believe there's been enough help, guidance, flexibility to be able to convert, especially farmers, but also manufacturers and distributors from a quasi legal market into a illegal market. So I wish as an industry we did more on that.

The second part about that is indoor flower, that there's not a large black market for indoor flower. So the most competitive market out there for black market flowers is greenhouse and outdoor. So for discerning consumers who are looking for top quality flower we haven't seen that it's been a large issue. Would we like the black market to go away? I think every industry would always say that and we and certainly we would. But we probably have less exposure at it at Caliva given that majority of our revenue is coming from indoor flower and then packaged products than outdoor flower and greenhouse flower.

Matthew: Okay. One thing I've noticed about Caliva and talking with you, maybe it's where you're situated in the world in Silicon Valley, is that you've put a lot into developing your own technology, a lot of effort and time o optimize your business. Can you talk a little bit about why you decided to invest in your own technology versus buying off the shelf and what that experience has been like?

Dennis: Sure. Well, I think a good example of that is our wholesale portal. We're in a very unique position as a wholesaler to, you know, again, you know, hundreds of dispensaries in the state is that we run a dispensary too. And we know how hard it is to maintain accurate inventory of product on our shelves. And we were certainly affected by it as a dispensary on July 1st when we didn't have edibles on our shelves for two weeks. And we didn't have really visibility in terms of when those edibles would be back up on the shelves. So we built a wholesale portal because we didn't see that there was an existing application that was out there that met our needs, that was, you know, very unique to Caliva not a marketplace. And so are, you know, hundreds of dispensary customers are able to see real-time inventory of all of our flower, not just what is on in inventory today, but also what's being harvested as well as the inventory of our products. So they can place orders online for immediate delivery. They can place orders ahead of time.

So what we've heard from our dispensary partners is it allows them to have a really good, you know, forecasting of products because we are reliable, dependable partner that we have products in stock and inventory. And then when they actually order them, we deliver them on time in a seamless process where they're getting updates and those types of things. So we've spent a lot of time and a lot of investment to develop the wholesale portal, but hopefully, it's paying off for our dispensary customers.

Matthew: And then for your menu, I mean there's a menu that's required, not required, but there's a menu that most dispensaries keep for their...just for themselves, their dispensary, for their customers, but they also want to cascade to Weedmaps or other platforms so that they can get as many potential eyeballs looking at their goods. How have you done the menu? How does that work?

Dennis: Yeah, really great, great question. So just as much as we have developed innovative technology for our wholesale business, we've developed the same type of innovative technology for our consumer business. So caliva.menu, which is, you know, our online ordering platform today has all been built in house and it's really kind of modeled after Google Express, which is a very kind of easy mobile application to be able to order products quickly. But what we saw was when I came into Caliva, Caliva and most other dispensaries, they spent a lot of time manually updating all of their menus and their specials and online and then going to third parties like Weedmaps and other places and uploading pictures and product descriptions and prices. And nobody else in any other retail industry does that.

What everybody else in retail does is they invest in a product information management system. They have one system of record for all of their products. That system of record for all their products syndicates that information to all of the end points of which, whether it's a wholesale marketplace or your consumer site and you make one change and you have the visibility to those changes and everything else is up-to-date. It's the only way to manage channel conflict and updated pricing and inventory. So we early on invested in product information management systems, brought in people who could manage APIs, Application Program Interfaces, to make sure that we could talk to other third parties.

And then we have, you know, had a pretty discerning process in terms of what third-party technologies that we work with and they all have to have open or rest APIs, so that our technology can connect into it. But it's made a world of difference for us to have great consumer experience because whatever our consumer see online, they know that we have it in stock. It's the actual accurate pricing. So we no longer have customers either ordering online and saying, whoops, we're out of the product or coming in and say, whoops, you know, the menu wasn't updated. That doesn't exist at Caliva. And that took a long time to get to, but that's why we made the investment in the technology.

Matthew: Okay. And for people that don't know API is Application Programming Interface and that essentially is a way for systems to talk to each other in a way that's universally understood by all and pass information back and forth. So did you try anything off the shelf and were unhappy with the experience there? Is there anything you can say about that?

Dennis: Yes. We've tried and kicked the tires with many different applications. Unfortunately, the amount of investment I would say going into a technology is created for complex vertically integrated cannabis companies just as light. Most technology applications are optimized for dispensaries which aren't vertically-integrated because it's a larger market share and there's just not a lot of people developing applications for large vertically-integrated businesses. So we've kicked the tires on a lot of them and we continue to build our own tech platforms. But we've, you know, we failed at a bunch of different tech platforms and applications too. So the caliva.menu and the wholesale portal are shiny stars, but we feel we've got our share of failed attempts of other things as well.

Matthew: And what about creating an ideal dispensary experience? I mean, there's some objective things you can look at like square footage, but then there's kind of soft subjective things like lighting, the general vibe and the mood and how a dispensary welcomes you. What can you say about creating a dispensary experience?

Dennis: Yeah, our dispensary experience has the same guiding principles as we do for how we think about our company and our role to consumers. So as we position ourselves, as you know, aspirationally, to be the most trusted brand in cannabis, trust is critical. Trust comes from consumer confidence. So consumer confidence really comes from education. And we know this is a highly considered purchase for most consumers, that they're gonna shop online a couple times. They're gonna ask a couple of friends, they're gonna do their research. And in this day and age for the new curious consumer, they spend about 12 to 15 minutes with our wellness consultants. We used to call them budtenders, we now call them wellness consultants, asking questions about what's right for them. So for us the, you know, the guiding principle is how do we have our consumers trust the experience within Caliva and then trust the product and the brands that they buy.

So we certainly believe that those coming into the store, spending that 12 to 15 minutes with our wellness consultants, they wanna be able to have credible people provide expertise around what their issues are and how to solve them. We have 30,000 consumers come in, you know, to our stores in a year and they're generally asking for help with pain, sleep and anxiety. And so our wellness consultants should be able to ask questions, listen and provide some recommendations on that. After they come into the store, their next order is usually a delivery or pickup order given they have found something that's worked for them, we need to have a very seamless, easy experience to be able to order any products and Caliva products on our online menu. And it has to be, you know, somewhat fun and we think we've been able to deliver that.

Matthew: Okay. When you look at the budtenders you've worked with or wellness consultants, are there any things that stand out and what makes a good a wellness consultant? Is it empathy or energy or knowledge? What are kind of the few things that stick out?

Dennis: Yeah, it's 100% confidence and knowledge. So we are obsessed with polling our consumers and getting feedback on our consumers. We have a online chat on our website and our web app that we have real-time chats from our wellness consultants and we get real-time reviews from them. But the overwhelming feedback on our wellness consultants is how knowledgeable that they are on the products, how helpful they are in terms of the products and their success in terms of recommendations.

So there's a lot of different types of personalities. There's a lot of different styles. There's some people who spend way more time than they probably should with customers. There's some people who just get to the point. There's some people who are curious and happy. There's some people who are more introverted. But in the end, we look for people who are very naturally curious, who are empathetic, but most of all, have accurate and factual knowledge for consumers and ensure that that consumer is getting, walking away with, you know, confidence and trust in the process. But it's been amazing to us to see the consumer feedback after we survey them both on our online chats and then our either retail store experience.

Matthew: Now let's talk about delivery apps a little bit. I can see why these are so popular, especially in California. People come home after a long day or they're up late at night and they got their shoes off and they're chilling, they don't wanna go out and deal with California traffic. So they pop open their smartphone and they make an order online. Which apps are they turning to the most right now? What has the largest market share in California?

Dennis: Yeah, just, even before that, you know, if you look at the economy, it's a convenience-based economy, especially with people who are 21 to 30 and Millennials. If you look at Netflix and GrubHub and Domino's and Amazon Prime, everybody is seeking delivery. So when they look at cannabis, it's no different if you know what you're doing. So I would say for us, what we see in certainly in Northern California, there's really no competition in terms of market share to Eaze. Eaze is the default, I would say, you know, platform for most of the Northern California consumers. There's a lot of other great players that provide, I'd say, connoisseur type of deliveries and have built a good niche in terms of, you know, especially around San Francisco and those types of places. But for large market share, it's definitely been Eaze and we see Eaze also making big strides down in Southern California.

There's an app called Stony App that is getting great traction down in Southern California too. And those apps are generally for people who really know what they're doing and who, you know, really know what they want and they want their cannabis pretty quickly and they wanted a great value. What we found at Caliva is our consumers are a little bit different than that on a majority of time. So our consumers, when they use caliva.menu to order, they're okay waiting a couple hours. They actually have a bunch of questions when they ask.

And so, you know, we have about a thousand online chats a month when we're doing delivery orders because people are asking questions, you know, in real time to our wellness consultants on the app before they order. And it's just a very different consumer. And we, you know, we find certainly within the Bay Area, so south of San Francisco through just south of San Jose that our own delivery service is probably increasing about 20%, 25% month over month. But I would say those are the three. Eaze, we've certainly seen some increase in ours. And then Eaze and Stony App and in Southern California, and we're a great partner with Eaze. Our products are on their menu and we support them in a number of different ways. But they're a fantastic service.

Matthew: Now, when people use an app to have a delivery made to their house, can you talk about the difference between the current revenue in store versus on an app?

Dennis: Yeah, I certainly can give a perspective on it. Again, you can't find better deals in cannabis than you can on Eaze. So they have incredible promotions and we, you know, we see incredible delivery times from that. So in general, you would generally see, I would say, you know, lower AOS from that type of delivery platform. In terms of, you know, in-store purchases at least in our experience, our in-store purchases from new consumers that they're putting their toes in the water. So their initial purchase isn't that high. What we do see is that, you know, after that, at least from in-store to our delivery is once they found something that works for them, they feel much more comfortable and confident and they're ordering, you know, multiple of those items in two weeks later or three weeks later. So I think it's just a little bit different. It's, again, Eaze has a very, I'd say, a regular consumer that takes advantage of great deals and, you know, at least for Caliva at a much smaller scale than Eaze obviously. We see our consumer trying first deciding what works for them and then really getting on a good routine of products that they would use over and over again.

Matthew: Okay. Now, if you were to wave a magic wand and change one thing about the California market, what would it be?

Dennis: Gosh, I don't know if my answer would be different than anybody else's in the industry. But, you know, we try to look at what's best for the consumer versus what's best for Caliva. So if I'm a consumer, here's what I want. Number one, I wanna be able to pay for my candidates with a credit card. So where and how can I can do that? And it's not always easy to do. For instance, you can do that with eaze.com today. You can't do that on, you know, caliva.menu today. So if I'm a consumer, I want to pay on credit card. Number two, if I'm a consumer, I want to be able to talk to experts around cannabis and I don't wanna have to drive to, you know, an industrial area to do so. So I'd like more dispensaries. I like dispensaries, you know, zone in areas that are accessible to me.

So in, at least in our area, there's not one dispensary from San Francisco to San Jose, which is a highly populated area, but that's, you know, that's an hour from, you know, having a dispensary. So in more rural areas, it's even worse. So the number two thing as a consumer, I'd like to have more dispensaries. And then number three, I'd say, I'd like to have a better assurance of, you know, tested and quality products. And if I'm a consumer, I'd wanna know if my CBD is... Is industrial hemp CBD from China or if it's, you know, cannabis-based CBD from Caliva. I'd like more visibility and transparency of what's going into the products and I like more of official rubber stamp of, you know, saying that this product was tested under these results and to have more consistent testing. So we always try to look at what the consumer wants and if I had a one or maybe that's three wishes versus one, those are the three things that I'd look for.

Matthew: Is the market changing at all in a way that you think most business owners don't really understand, you know, there's a change that's happening that you maybe see that you think they don't appreciate quite in the same context at all?

Dennis: Yeah. Yes and no. One is I think there is no harder business in the world than to run a cannabis business. And most business owners that I know are working 7 days a week, 20 hours a day, and they are passionate about their employees and their consumers. It's just it's an amazing mission for most of these folks. So I think, one, they have their nose to the grindstone so they see every single day what's happening. But I think if you look up and, you know, pick your head up out of the trees and see the forest, there is this groundswell of a consumers who are demanding natural health and wellness options and the situation today is just not working for them. They're not looking for high THC products that they have to go in and buy from a dispensary and pay up to 35% taxes on. They want to integrate cannabis into their daily lives. They would like to, you know, micro dose as needed, have a lot of confidence in the products and they'd like to be able to receive it in a very convenient manner.

So it's difficult for, I'd say, many smaller business owners to go after where the market is going versus where it's at today. But the challenge with that is that when the market gets there, where will you be? And we certainly work and try to help our partners be able to get there and to see what we're seeing, but that's where we're headed. We're headed to not the 500,000 people that are shopping in dispensaries in California today, but we're going after the, you know, the 24 million consumers in California voted for cannabis legalization to be able to try to integrate, you know, cannabis into their lives and give them a very easy, convenient way to be able to choose cannabis to whether it's alleviate pain, sleep and anxiety or whether it's, you know, good for you products around energy and recovery or whether it's just recreational products to be social.

Matthew: Okay. Dennis, I like to ask some personal development questions to help listeners get a better sense of who you are personally. Is there a book that's had a big impact on your life or way of thinking that you'd like to share?

Dennis: Yeah, it's certainly nerdy, but it's been helpful, and I've listened. I've read the book and both listened to the podcast, but it's what...it's called "What Matters" by John Doerr. And it's really about a management methodology that is aligning your business to objective and key results. And they're called OKRs and they're pretty popular now and Google has made them popular. But what I found is, is that it just translates over into life, which is what I used to call the big rocks, which is, you know, what are the big things that you have to get done and what do you need to get right. And it was really a good framework for me that we've started to implement at Caliva. So we all get visibility in terms of what we're working on, but most importantly, what's most important to us. And I thought that, you know, for me, that translated really well to life as well and it's a good system of thinking for me. So that's been my latest book and it's on audible.com and it's a fun read too.

Matthew: Oh, great. For people who don't know John Doerr's one of the founders or principles of Kleiner Perkins, a big venture capital firm right there in your neck of the woods there.

Dennis: Absolutely. Yeah, he does a good job.

Matthew: Okay. And is there a tool that helps you or your team with productivity at all that you'd suggest?

Dennis: Yeah. And my team would get tired of hearing about this from me. And they would all be rolling my eyes, but I am a Slack addict. So Slack is an internal messaging tool and I have a wonderful team of young engineers that humors me and in all of my asks to be able to get real-time information. So Slack is it's an APP on my phone that I get real-time notifications in terms of what our hourly sales are in a retail dispensary. I get out of stock alerts if we're out of stock and any products. It's a check-in basis, so I know where all of the team is at all times for location and I get, you know, real-time status updates on it. So the integrations that we've had into Slack and the notifications that I get, I geek out on that. And that has at least allowed me anywhere I'm at to really have a good pulse of what's going on in the organization.

Matthew: Okay. So you have different channels that allow you to have team members that are involved in certain details of the business communicate together. So you might have like cultivation on one, your wellness consultants on another and that way you're not bothering people unnecessarily with communications that don't need to be involved.

Dennis: Exactly. It's all about access to real-time information. So the less that I have to actually bother people and randomize them and ask them what's going on and the more that they're able to proactively signal to me about what the updates are as well as just real-time integration with other apps. It's just been a great productivity tool for people to broadcast out what their updates are. So I'm on slack. That's the app that I'm on a more than email and it's, you know, for a company that is now 330 people with multiple locations. It's an app I certainly couldn't live without.

Matthew: And would you say it's reduced your email usage and if so by how much?

Dennis: It absolutely has by 50%. I hate email. I'm terrible at email. It takes too long. It is not a critical form of communication. And you know, bite size, bite size, little updates through Slack have dramatically changed the interactions that we've had. But yes, if I could reduce my email usage by another 90%, I would.

Matthew: I don't know if you've read the study, but there, it was said that for every one email you send you get 1.25 emails back.

Dennis: Self-fulfilling prophecy for sure.

Matthew: So there's definitely an incentive there to find ways to reduce email. So, well said. Dennis, in closing, how can listeners learn more about Caliva? Find your brands, find your menus and visit your dispensary?

Dennis: Yeah, I really appreciate it. One is that if you're in the San Jose or Silicon Valley area, please come by our dispensary, it's right in 7th Street in San Jose, we love to walk you through what we're doing here. We have delivery through caliva.menu in the greater Bay area. But again, we partner with Eaze, so if you're anywhere in any part of California, just eaze.com where we have 14 to 17 products on there. And then on our website of just go caliva.com, you'll see, you know, over 150 dispensaries that we have listed in terms of where you can buy our products and through all of our great retail dispensary customers. So we are very unique to California. We're, you know, very much a California authentic brand with California roots and, you know, we look forward to continuing to expand throughout California.

Matthew: Well, Dennis, thanks so much for coming on the show today and we wish you all the best.

Dennis: Yeah. Thanks so much, Matt. I really enjoyed it.