The finance expert that is captivating the cultivation industry

The finance expert that is captivating the cultivation industry

When one door closes another opens. Finance expert Kelly Carroll lives by those words. “I made the decision to forego attending a top-notch University that my soccer skills got me into, but would have left me in serious financial debt. It didn’t make sense to spend a lot of money when I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I didn’t have the luxury of having my parents foot the bill while I was trying to find out.

I applied for and was hired as a part-time teller job for Wells Fargo and thus began my 15+ year career in banking and finance. Kelly goes on, “There is no greater feeling than knowing you are doing what you were meant to be doing. It has never
been just a job for me. It has also been a source of enjoyment and fulfillment. I love business and the idea behind building businesses from the ground up.”

This entrepreneurial spirit drew Carroll to the cannabis industry. She says, “My first real involvement and interest in the movement was in 2014 when a friend of mine let me know of an investment opportunity with a Pre ICO dispensary. Naturally, because my hard-earned money was involved, I did my due diligence to learn as much about the industry as I could. From that
moment on, I always had a feeling that this was going to be big!.”

In 2017, another opportunity materialized for Carroll. She says, “I crossed paths in 2017 with a gentleman that was operating two pretty large cultivation facilities. They had been in business for almost a year in a half operating as a cash business. They were looking for someone to come on board and get their books together so that they had the numbers and data
to approach investors to raise capital and start the licensing applications. I did accounting, data analytics, built a sales platform, created pitch decks for investors and met with attorneys.”

As Carroll went through her day to day with the cannabis team, she found that questionsstarted to arise. She said often times businesses would, “Become licensed, start paying taxesyet [could not] bank, other illegal operations are going to impact margins, but most importantly the disconnect [was] between State and Fed and how they categorized the industry as a

She continues, “During my employment with the cultivation business, I met with many people who were very knowledgeable about the plant and science behind the cultivation process, but were completely unaware of the financial side of things. The ability to consult and advise these individuals was without question what I needed to be doing.” That’s when she joined forces with fellow finance expert Jonathan Kohanoff. founder of DBL. Carroll says, “I had known Jonathan for a few years, as we had a similar employment background and some mutual clients/friends. I reconnected with him and learned more about
what he and his team had built and what they were doing. We have the same vision of how to help solve the major industry financial pressure points.”

While ancillary businesses have an easier time than plant-touching businesses from a legal standpoint, these restrictions affect how much they are able to market their services to the MJ industry without facing scrutiny from financial institutions. Some businesses have had their funds held for up to 90 days when banks shut down their accounts without any warning due to
their involvement in a business that is not yet federally legal. In the wake of these obstacles, Carroll remains optimistic that she can help cannabis businesses to obtain funding in a straight-forward way that will empower them to build their
businesses. Carroll says, “Through years of research and development, strategic partnerships, and creating a team that has a strong knowledge of both finance and the marijuana industry our team is in a position to consult and mentor our new and existing business owners to successfully secure financing for their MJ businesses as well as banking and merchant services.”

Carroll predicts that in five years only a small percentage of marijuana-related businesses will be left standing. It is difficult enough to survive your first five years as a business in a traditional marketplace, but cannabis entrepreneurs will face even more challenges. Carroll says, “Most will succumb to not only the regular struggles of starting and running a successful
business, but will have to face the countless obstacles that the divide between Fed and State has caused.”

Carroll thinks that the most successful cannabis entrepreneurs will be the ones that have worked an exit strategy into their business plan. She goes on, “All businesses will be bought by big Pharma for as much as 10X IBIDA, and only then the marijuana business will becomemainstream and business as usual.”

Regardless of the industry’s challenges, entrepreneurs who claim their stake in the cannabis world will see an amazing payday upon federal legalization and eventual regulation of the rapidly growing industry. To those who aspire to rise to the top, Carroll suggests that the addition of a financial advisor to your core team is vital.


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