James Hammer is a Las Vegas native who has 5+ years experience in the cannabis industry. After receiving his degree in Marketing and Business Law from Loyola Marymount University he took an offer to head the marketing department of a newly formed banking compliance company, Integrated Compliance Solutions (“ICS”). ICS’s custom compliance banking software was designed to automate the enhanced compliance requirements necessary for banks to work with cannabis-related companies. During his time with the company, James developed key insights to product development and led overall market penetration strategy. The most influential change that occured during his tenure was reorienting the sales model from direct-to-dispensary to direct-to-bank. The decision to make banks the primary customer allowed for increased flexibility, the elimination of equipment costs, reduction in marketing costs, and a more reliable recurring revenue model by leveraging the bank’s existing customer base.
After his time with ICS, James was offered the Co-General Manager position at ShowGrow dispensary located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Initially, his primary role was to revamp the standardized operating procedures and correct the compliance deficiencies resulting from the previous management company. He and his partner worked with a former state auditor and compliance officer to create new SOPs and bring the facility back to compliance. The primary focus of these efforts centered on creating a robust inventory management system that encompassed order in-take management, inventory organization, internal auditing, and inventory data compliance. Since then, he and his partner have continued to retool the compliance-dense operating procedures in an effort to create efficiencies, institute practicality, and redesign the employment structure accounting for new roles and responsibilities. James also oversaw ShowGrow’s transition from a medical-only market to an adult-use recreational market.
As the operation grew, James began developing custom technology pieces to more effectively utilize customer data and improve order management logistics. The system he created centered around a customer-facing mobile application and backend management dashboard. The system was designed to house their internal rewards program, express pick-up ordering, home delivery, and data analytics. Through this platform ShowGrow has been able to build a database of over 100,000 verified phone numbers, 40,000 active app users, and wealth of customer-specific data. The use of this data has resulted in an in-depth targeted marketing platform. Additionally, the accessibility of online ordering has significantly reduced wait times, improved order fulfillment efficiency, increased overall revenue, and led to more complete customer data profiles. Realizing there were broader market applications for this technology, James retooled the backend infrastructure and founded the SaaS product company, Carrot. Carrot is now a service provider for several cannabis retail dispensaries in the Nevada market.
Given his success in dispensary retail operations and ShowGrow’s turnaround experience, James and his partner were contracted to reopen and manage a dispensary asset in receivership. Working with the court-appointed receiver and state legislators, James opened the newly branded, Wallflower Dispensary in June 2020. With limited budget and runway, James and his partner were able to reopen the failed dispensary and realize profitability within the first 6 weeks of operation.