ELLO was founded by consultants and business advisers to be a force for positive, sustainable change in the emerging cannabis industry. ELLO’s services include corporate finance, tax, due diligence, M&A, regulatory compliance, finance effectiveness, operations, strategy consulting, and more.
Q&A with Entrepreneur & Ello
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions cannabis industry?
Both the cannabis industry and the plant have been demonized for decades due to inherent biased stereotypes of the patients, consumers, operators, investors, and service providers. There's a rampant misrepresentation that has been perpetuated through various means about the type of people who smoke or consume, as well as their ambitions in characters that are aloof, unmotivated, slow, and incapable. It extends to the morals and ethics of those who have entered the industry to support its growth as only out for a profit and ignoring the positive societal impact the plant can have.
How is your business innovating?
Our business is predicated on helping others innovate and simplifying operational or financial strains on a business. We also have to develop tools and technologies that support this process. One tool that is being developed is aimed at addressing the complex, labor- and time-intensive burden of regulatory compliance. This is a high hurdle for many to maintain and to ensure their valuable licenses remain intact and this software tool will help companies manage that process efficiently and with transparency for regulators and other stakeholders. We're also developing innovative tax strategies to effectively navigate the complexities of 280E.
What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Very early on in our business we had to overcome an integration issue with a practice and its founder and a large client base that ranged from small lifestyle businesses with very inexperienced business operators to the very complex "enterprise-scale" organizations with strong governance and direction. This created some undue tension in the marketplace as many challenges arose throughout the year in addressing past errors or omissions prior to our on-boarding the clients, the confusion it caused internally, and the negative repercussions it had on our team members and ultimately our clients.
What is your favorite aspect of working in this industry?
The people. There isn't a greater experience we can have than working with honest, caring, dedicated, and passionate professionals out to change the world through a plant. The messages they carry with them have made all the difference in where the industry was and where it is today. Everyone has a tremendously diverse background and we get to explore that on a daily basis. It creates amazing challenges to navigate the intersection of all of these disparate experiences and directions--one that we've never experienced in any other industry.
What inspires you?
Working toward sustainably solving societal challenges through a plant with amazing people around us that not only understand the impact of the economic benefits, they also see the benefits to health and wellness. And in bringing the industry to the fore, knowing that we have a responsibility to address the issues and act with moral guidance and ethical strength; balancing all through perspective, perception and education. The future is in our collective ability to harness a brand new industry to bring forth a more positive future for society.