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What do you get when you combine a Logistics Company, a Technology Company and a Medical Marijuana Distributor? SpeedWeed

speedweed_partners AJ, Jen and Gene Gentile

 

Company Name: SpeedWeed Medical Marijuana Delivery

Brand: SpeedWeed

Ownership Structure: Non-profit Collective Corporation

CEO/Management Team: AJ Gentile, General Management, and Jen Gentile, Operations & Marketing, AJ’s brother Gene Gentile is the     company’s front man on the LA scene.

Headquarters: Agoura Hills, CA

Industry Segment/Category: Medical Marijuana Cooperative/Medical Cannabis Delivery Service

Current Markets served: California (L.A. (six current/opening two more) and Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Fresno and Palm Springs in 2015.

Number of employees: 50 plus

Market Strategy/Goal: SpeedWeed is California’s largest on-demand medical marijuana delivery service. Unlike other delivery services and “Uber for weed” type apps, SpeedWeed serves the upscale consumer by providing a consistent customer experience by employing committed, well-trained, staff dedicated to client satisfaction. SpeedWeed deploys a robust menu of flowers, concentrates, edibles and gear including the most respected, trusted product brands in the industry.

2014 Revenues: $2.5 million (L.A.)

Current # of patients:  24,000

Current Product Mix:  Broad mix of edibles, oils, concentrates; weed strains, gear & accessories

Some 60 products a day sweet spot:   15-20 flowers, 5-10 oils, concentrates & consumption gear, the rest in ancillary products

Key Suppliers: Kiva Chocolate, Cheeba Chews, Sensi Chews, Running Leaf Baked Bears (gummy bears), Edipure, Loud Pack concentrates, Ed Rosenthal’s Cones & Minis (by Medi-Cone), Honey Vape Vaporizers.

Lab Testing Service Providers:  SC Labs, The Werc Shop

Growth markets:  CA, Washington, Las Vegas, AK, NJ, WI, several Native American Tribes

Expansion Plans: Opening San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Fresno and Palm Springs in 2015

  • Investing in several genetics labs
  • Building multiple grow operations
  • Spinning off their proprietary software platform for resale.

Financing strategy:  To date, from operations and personal capital. They are currently raising money through a private placement offering and plan on going public at some point (hopefully in 2016), and are already preparing for that by self-imposed best practices that mirror SEC requirements.

 

What do you get when you combine a Logistics Company, a Technology Company and a Medical Marijuana Distributor? SpeedWeed

When I was looking into launching a B-to-B website to cover the Cannabis Industry, one of the first things I did was size the market by looking at Weedmaps dispensary listings and literally counting them one by one, state by state. As I reviewed California, I was stunned by the number of dispensaries until I realized that a significant number of them were medical cannabis delivery services.

Fast forward to today and there are some 350 delivery services in Los Angeles and as SpeedWeed CEO AJ Gentile and his wife and partner Jen (she handles operations) told me during the interview for this article, most follow the “Ice Cream Truck model” and are basically illegal. This fact alone, and an ad they saw on Weedmaps promoting a way to make $10,000 a month on three (3) orders a day, led them to launching a legal delivery service in October of 2012 that now grosses more than $2.5 million a year and SpeedWeed has become a company/brand for Medical Marijuana Delivery that is part logistics company, part technology company, and one of the fastest growing businesses in the Cannabis Industry.

SpeedWeed began after the family (AJ’s brother Gene is the social face and front man of the business) started an edibles company in Los Angeles in 2011 based on R&D they did on the extraction business. With a marketing and branding background, the team created the “Baked Bears” gummy bear brand and was able to attain distribution in 60 dispensaries. After seeing the Weedmaps ad, their attention turned to starting a delivery service and AJ built a website. Within a day, they had their first order.

They decided early on at SpeedWeed that their differentiation from the existing competition would be based on:

  • Compliance with all L.A. regulations (i.e.: only serving licensed patients);
  • Setting up a Non-profit Collective Corporation;
  • Attaining the proper business licenses; and,
  • Obtaining their doctor’s card and collective membership.

They also decided early on that they would build their brand and differentiate their service by;

  • Stressing convenience and customer service (more on this below);
  • Only hiring carefully vetted drivers with impeccable records and clean cut appearances;
  • Optimizing their product mix (best practices indicate that 60 products carried by Annex appears to be the optimal mix). SpeedWeed carries 15-20 different flowers, and 5-10 oils and concentrates; the balance of the mix is represented by edibles, consumption gear, and accessories.
  • Providing top brands like Baked Bears (in-house), Cheeba Chews, Kiva, Sensi Chews, Edipure, Loud Pack Concentrates, Ed Rosenthal’s cones & minis (Medi-Cone), and Honey Vape Vaporizers

From a logistics perspective, SpeedWeed decided to house their inventory at a central location and stock each of their market annexes (typically 2000 SF facilities) daily so that they would serve the communities located in concentric circles within each annex’s delivery zone. They maximize the distribution fields in annex markets with their proprietary inventory management and logistics software that they plan on rolling out on its own in the future.

Like many of their peers, SpeedWeed has embraced supporting causes that position the company as a good corporate citizen. Jen pre-emptively started BAAD.org, a non-profit social responsibility group of businesses against altered driving that mirrors the Anheuser Busch program for responsible drinking. In fact, in no way do they advocate smoking driving and have gotten many Southern California businesses involved.

They also believe that their most important asset is the people involved with their service, whether it is customers or their human capital. SpeedWeed also promotes from within and all employees have started out as drivers.

Growth will come by opening up additional annexes and warehouse facilities in California. They are targeting San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Palm Springs and Fresno markets in 2015; are investing in a genetics lab to create new products and formulas; and are looking to enter Southern Oregon and Seattle through partnerships, Las Vegas, AK, NJ, WI, and several sovereign Native American Nations this year.

At a recent Arcview Group event, Steve DeAngelo, CEO of Harborside Health Center, indicated that as much as 20 percent of their annual $30 million in sales came from their delivery service, which bodes well for the Gentile’s strategy to become the FedEx of the marijuana delivery services. At SpeedWeed, they have laid a solid foundation in pursuing that goal and their shared vision.

Rob Meagher

Rob Meagher

Rob Meagher, CBE’s Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief is a 30 year veteran of the media world. His career has spanned from stints representing the Washington Post, USA Weekend, Reader’s Digest, Financial World & Corporate Finance to the technology world where he worked at International Data Group and Ziff Davis where he was part of the launch team for The Web Magazine, Yahoo Internet Life, Smart Business and Expedia Travels before starting his own marketing and Publisher’s Representative Firm. He also ran all print and online media sales and marketing for the Society for Human Resource Management before partnering with Forbes and then Fortune to create Special Sections covering a variety of topics. Rob, who started CBE Press in 2014, can be contacted at [email protected]

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Hi, my name is Natan, currently in training in the US Army(national guard) MOS(Military Occupational Specialty) with automated logistics specialist. My first passion always have been Marijuana and the movement from not just medical perspective but also from a business aspect of it. I have a lot of passion driven ideas to contribute to this growing phenomenal business. Through out my Army training, I have realized how much more there is to explore and grow for the market. I am graduating the 20th of this month, and I would love if I can possibly be a part of this growing field as an automated logistics specialist and work in a field where my passion is. I think I can bring a discipline yet creative way to be a part of your business, also I also think there is a big opportunity with the Armed forces for Medical Marijuana (CBD)for my battle-buddies who are suffering from pain do to war related injuries, mental or physical and the only alternative is pain killer pills, one of the field I think is worth exploring . Thank you for taking the time to read what apparently turned to an essay comments, looking forward to hear from you

  2. Hello, my name is Rico Morales and I am a CDL- Class A truck driver. Of course under federal law, no drivers are to be having THC in their system. I am not a cannibis consumer, I am contacting SpeedWeed to inform you that I am highly interested in the logistics devision and will be highly interested in transporting the product by the load safely and secured. I have a clean cut criminal 100 percent criminal background and will be determined to get the freight delivered from the shipper to the reciever before the appointment time. Contact me at my email if interested in setting up a dedicated account for the future. Thanks!

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