What do you get when you combine payroll management, staffing and HR, accounting, compliance and marketing, construction and maintenance services, lighting, energy, HVAC and security solutions, plus any other service that Producers, Processors and Retailers (PPRs) absolutely need to compete in the Cannabis Industry?
According to Nick Murer, Founder and CEO of Witlon, a rocket ship of a company that is expanding its footprint into a one stop shop of services for revenue producing licensees.
Witlon, an administrative services company based in Denver, has a core competency of payroll, recruiting and staffing. Launched in 2014, they also provide ancillary services supplemented by partnerships or referral agreements with other industry providers. In some cases, Witlon also supplies staffing and payroll services for their partners.
- Green Mountain Solutions (Elevated HR): Provides Human Resource systems, software, training and consulting services;
- Adherence Compliance: A Certified Reseller partnership integrating a full regulatory compliance offering with Witlon’s current services;
- Cloverton Security: The comprehensive security solutions division of CSA with the most advanced technology and procedures designed specifically for the Cannabis Industry;
- Cannabis Clean: Enhances the production of safe cannabis for growers and patients setting the standard for cleanliness in the horticulture industry.;
- Grow Element Technologies: Provides a line of tested, commercial grow light system equipment to fit grows on a customized basis.
Nick spent the bulk of his career in a corporate environment, first with SPEC Group supporting Westinghouse and Siemens Westinghouse after college, where he helped consolidate manpower. SPEC merged with18 companies to form TMP Worldwide, the parent company of Monster.com. He finished his corporate career with Cooling Tower Depot, a utility industry manufacturer in Golden, Colorado where he served as Director of Business Development.
In 2014, Nick hooked up with one of his industry friends to begin working with Witlon, which at that time handled power contracts and recruiting and project management for power providers. Within weeks of joining, Nick acquired the company outright and began planning to enter the cannabis space.
He also managed property and had some tenants from the cannabis space where conversations led him to realizing the need for handling payroll services, 280E issues, and basic banking services. One of his first goals was to simply help PPR licensees get their cash into banks so they could provide W2s to employees.
His service mix began with payroll, staffing, and recruiting, and has since expanded to the mix described above with his outsourced partners.
He came up with a plan to help cannabis clients gain access to these services and be compliant in the tightly regulated industry. He developed the brand and the go-to-market strategy before launching in August 2015. By that September, Witlon had landed its first client, Igadi, a state of the art vertically integrated operation in Tabernash, Colorado, which is also known for the Winter Park ski area.
David Michel, Igadi’s COO and an attorney serving the Cannabis Industry since 2009, told me that in addition to recruiting and staffing, Igadi collaborated with Witlon to build their PEO system which provides the company with payroll administration, benefit services (Health, 401k, Life and Disability insurance), as well as payroll with Witlon on the W2, which allows employees to get bank accounts and loans versus receiving a check from a discriminated against cannabis company. Igadi also benefits from the 280E workforce compliance solution Witlon offers. He has been blown away by Nick’s ability to deliver on his promises.
Steve McMorrow, President of Cannabis Clean, had nothing but good things to say as well. His company uses Witlon to manage recruiting and payroll administration for the staffing requirements of his flexible cleaning services for grows. Witlon has also helped to expand Cannabis Clean’s client base as its footprint of clients expands.
As a result of the pay-it-forward philosophy, their execution, and breadth of product and service offerings, the company has seen its revenues grow rapidly and expects to see their cash flow expand dramatically in 2016. In addition to currently serving clients in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Canada, Nick is in negotiations with clients in California, Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, and expects to enter Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico in the not too distant future.
With a corporate staff currently at six, expect to see Witlon scale up in the next 12 months and to continue to seek partnerships with top tier providers to leverage their rapidly expanding client base. As the title says, here comes Witlon and Nick Murer.
Company Name: Witlon, Inc.
Year Founded: 2014
Ownership structure/operating entities: Corporation
Management Team: Nicholas J. Murer, CEO; Jami Hamilton, Controller; Evan Husney, General Council; Kate Fritz, Director of Business Development; Jeanette Carroll, Marketing Director
Headquarters: Denver, Colorado
Industry Segment/Category: Payroll management, Staffing and HR, Accounting, Compliance and Marketing
Current Markets/States Served: Nationwide
Current Number of employees: Six (6)
Market Strategy/Goal: Witlon’s objective is to help our clients operate and grow their businesses by providing superior payroll administration and benefits for their staff. Witlon will manage the outsourced labor processing from time sheet entry and/or invoice collection to direct deposit so you can perform the functions needed to execute your core business.
2014 Revenues: $400,000
2015 Year-end Revenues: $1.2 million
2016 Projected Year-end Revenues: $5-6 Million
Product mix: A full suite of back office administrative services, including financial and banking solutions
Expansion plans: They plan to enter California, Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, and expects to enter Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico in the not too distant future, with a multi-year plan of being in every emerging market in North America
Financing strategy: N/A