Michael Berk, CEO and founder of Cannabox, has been a business owner and entrepreneur for over 15 years. After successfully exiting his previous company, he founded Cannabox out of frustration that there were no smoking accessory subscription boxes to introduce new users to cannabis

 

Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?

As a daily cannabis user, I found that there were some things I needed the most that I honestly didn’t feel like going to the shop and purchasing once or twice a week. It was time-consuming, and frankly, I wanted a better solution to this problem.

This was in 2013, and as a subscriber to LootCrate (another subscription box), I searched for a subscription box for cannabis products. Turns out, this didn’t exist at all. I was doing insurance then and had free time after work to start doing research on this subscription box. I began by advertising it through my friends and social networks, and from then on it just kept growing and growing in subscribers.

 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Flying out to LA and meeting with Snoop Dogg and his team about investing in our company. We didn’t hear anything back and figured they just weren’t interested as we were still a young company. Within 3 months of the meeting, Snoop Dogg introduces his own subscription box to compete. Within 6 months the Snoop box ceased to exist and he was out of business. I don’t feel any animosity with them as it was my own fault for not having an NDA agreed and signed. Lesson learned.

 

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One month when we shipped a monthly box that had the type of glass pipe that had liquid in it, you know the kind that you would cool it in the refrigerator before smoking and it would make the smoke smoother and cooler. Well, we shipped these pipes in the dead of winter. Our facility is in Arizona so it really didn’t strike us that these pipes might have issues in other parts of the country. So, after shipping we started receiving massive customer support tickets about pipes literally blowing during shipping because they completely froze and ruined the entire box. When its all said and done, it turns out about 50% of the pipes blew up and we had to either reship entire boxes or refund customers. It was a nightmare and we obviously learned to be more conciseness of the products we are sending and where they are going during what time of the year.

 

Are you working on any exciting projects now?

Collabs, collabs, and more collabs.

 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My first boss of the insurance company I worked for taught me everything I know about business, strategies and tactics. He was also a real estate investor and would put me in charge of certain properties; vetting tenants, getting repairs done, helping with remodels, etc….

 

This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?

As a cannabis business, we are 100% not allowed to market through traditional marketing for ecommerce like Google or Facebook ads. SEO and email blasts are our best forms of marketing at the moment. Without those we’d only be allowed to market through billboards, which have an extremely low conversion rate.

 

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?

Excites:

  • Legalization
  • Taxes being used for the better
  • Bringing up smaller artists or influencers with our platform

Concerns:

  • Corporate cannabis
  • Taxes being misused
  • Minorities continued to be underrepresented

 

Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each.

  • Ignore the haters and do what you know is right.
  • Stick to your gut instinct when making decisions.
  • Fix problems and issues before they get out of hand.
  • Review company financial data and analytics daily.
  • Treat your customer like gold, because that’s what they are.

 

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

  • Your employees represent your business. Hire only the best you believe are fit for you.
  • Don’t let your business take over your life, but you should revolve your life around your business.
  • Happy employees = Happy customers. If your employees suggest something, listen to them.

 

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Freeing anyone imprisoned wrongfully for petty marijuana crimes.

 

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Instagram – @cannabox
Facebook – @cannabox
Twitter – @cannabox

Website: Cannabox.com

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