Podcast: Ben Cook – COO of MedMen

Supply chain veteran Ben Cook on moving iPhones to moving cannabis

Priyanka talks to Ben Cook – COO of MedMen – the largest cannabis company in the US.

He has gone from being the Director of Supply Chain & Logistics at Apple, building the supply chain for iPhones and iPads, to leading the supply chain at Target, then Walmart, and now to shipping weed! How “dope” is that?! How did his former Apple experience helps him in his current role?

Questions Ben answered

  • A quick brief of cannabis rules and regulations – how many states is it legal in – medical vs recreational?
  • From established companies like Apple, Target, and Walmart… to now MedMen! What made you make the jump?
  • Cannabis is an interesting one in that it has a long shelf life just like medicines and is very regulated just like pharma. Yet, it is produced and grown in smaller units like groceries and not in mega factories like in the case of pharmaceuticals. So where exactly is it positioned and what “industry” does it fall closest to in terms of how the operations and supply chain is set up?
  • Can you describe the MedMen operational set up and distribution nodes? What are the biggest challenges in your supply chain?
  • MedMen stores are touted to be the Apple stores of weed. Was it a conscious decision to decision the stores as such, and why? What effect does this have on your brand? How does your Apple background help?
  • Since cannabis is not legal in all states in the US, how does this impact your inter-state logistics? Or do you always have to end up producing right in the state it is expected to be consumed?
  • Unlike most other retail products that are openly marketed through various channels, cannabis doesn’t have that luxury (yet). How do you market MedMen/how is the demand growing so quickly?
  • Paint me a picture. It’s 2028… what is MedMen up to and what does the cannabis industry look like?

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