Today we’d like to introduce you to Diane Czarkowski.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Diane. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in the Kansas City area. I moved to Colorado in 1997 as a single mom with two children. At that time, I was in the high tech industry, which was experiencing a boom. That is where I met Jay Czarkowski, my husband and business partner. We were co-workers and quickly became friends. We didn’t start dating until 2001 and in 2003 we were married. We decided to get into real estate development and started our own business together in 2003. We got involved in the cannabis industry first as entrepreneurs in 2009. We were downsizing due to the difficulties in the real estate market. We were already comfortable with cannabis and were just learning of its incredible medical benefits. We realized this would be an opportunity for us to combine our business background and our desire to do something that would truly help people. Instead of shutting down our office, we turned it into a dispensary.
A few months after we opened our dispensary, we built out our first cultivation operation and eventually became one of the first state-licensed, vertically integrated businesses. We sold that business in 2012 and in early 2013, officially launched our consulting firm, Canna Advisors, to help other businesses get into the industry. Now we have a team of around 25 employees and have worked in over 30 markets in the United States. Over the years, I’ve also become very active as an advocate, investor and mentor in the cannabis industry. Supporting women-owned and minority-owned businesses is a passion of mine.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road, and I have expected such. The real estate market collapse really put us in a bind with several projects going in Steamboat when that occurred. We pulled ourselves out of that situation by pivoting into the cannabis industry. That also has been a sometimes perilous road to travel. They say the cannabis industry evolves in “dog years” – what you might experience in a normal business happens at a much faster rate in a rapidly growing and changing industry. So I guess I’ve been in the cannabis industry the equivalent of 77 years! I try to face each challenge by moving forward in any way I can.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Canna Advisors – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Canna Advisors is known for winning competitive license applications for dispensaries, cultivation, and manufacturing operations. Most of the work that we do is in states where there is not yet an existing cannabis marketplace. We really help businesses get started by creating financial models, business plans, and organizational development.
One of the things that I’m really proud of is our company culture. Everyone here is truly passionate about advancing the cannabis industry and giving access to patients and adults who wish to use it. We also love to have fun together and have had some incredible company adventures!
The Canna Advisors bench strength is remarkable and unique. Over the past seven years, we have attracted top talent from inside and outside the industry who have interesting and diverse backgrounds that contribute to making our company stand out. You’ll find team members with degrees ranging from evolutionary biology to law to engineering, economics, and operations management along with direct experience in cultivation and dispensary management and building multi-million dollar world-class production facilities. Because of this deep and broad knowledge and experience that our team delivers, our clients have said they have learned more by spending three days with the Canna Advisors team than in months of research on their own.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I see our work and focus on expanding and shifting as the industry does. We will continue to expand our services. I can see us working more internationally as the world markets begin to develop. I would love to get more involved with hemp and bring more environmentally friendly products to market. There are so many things that can be made with hemp including fuel, plastics, building products, fabrics… and it is very interesting to see its many uses.
I am often asked where I see the cannabis industry going and am always cautious to give an answer. We have seen so many unexpected shifts and changes through the years. I believe we will see federal legalization. I hope that every state will have some form of regulated program in place. I see more specialized businesses and national brands developing. Finally, I see more innovation and products based on findings from research and scientific discoveries. In particular, as a medicine, more targeted and specific treatments for different conditions.
- Address: 1731 15th Street, Suite 101, Boulder, CO 80304
- Website: www.thinkcanna.com
- Phone: 720-708-3154
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @cannaadvisors
- Facebook: @cannadvisors
- Twitter: @cannaadvisors
- Other: LinkedIN: @canna-advisors