Everything we do here is based on trial-and-error and experimentation. One of us will start off with an idea and way to improve, then we do real-time testing.
Colorado “Pot-repreneur” Anthony Franciosi is the founder of today’s top all-natural ganga gem: Ant’s Organic. Created as a way to holistically relieve pain from sports injuries, Ant’s Organic utilizes all-natural cultivation methods to produce only the finest organic and eco-conscious cannabis products. Their marijuana is Earth-friendlier, healthier for you, and better tasting than all of the overrated hydroponically-grown strains available today! And although they provide these great benefits, Ant’s Organic doesn’t cost any more than hydroponically-grown cannabis.
Where did the idea for Ant’s Organic come from?
After 7 years of exploring under the Colorado Medical Marijuana Program, I wanted to deliver the knowledge I had gained from personal experience to the market place. I grew in a small facility focused on pesticide-free, organic methods, which I believe is the only option for connoisseur quality. I had heard so many horror stories of stores in Colorado selling moldy and bug-infested product just to make a quick buck, so I wanted to bring my healthy and organic cultivation methods and techniques to the forefront.
My typical day consists of gardening work from before 8 a.m. until around 6 p.m. The gardening consists of taking the leaves off plants, transplanting, and much more. Because our facility has two different areas flowering in a 12-hour period, the building is operated 24 hours a day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Everything we do here is based on trial-and-error and experimentation. One of us will start off with an idea and way to improve, then we do real-time testing. Our main business ideal is the organic approach, so all of the changes we’ve implemented have an all-natural focus as well. We also definitely go out in the market to see what is new, what others are doing, what works, and what doesn’t work, then we band together in a team environment to discuss which new ideas to pursue.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
One major trend that really excites me is the huge surge in popularity and acceptance of marijuana in general. So many people are realizing that marijuana legalization is a benefit to our communities through tax dollars and compassionate care for people who have a real need for its medicinal purposes. Elected leaders are also finally starting to acknowledge their constituents, who overwhelmingly favor cannabis legalization and are increasingly supportive of recreational use as well. I think that cannabis has a bright future in the U.S. and states like Colorado are leading the way.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Aside from my constant desire to innovate, one habit that makes me much more productive as an entrepreneur is that I don’t look at Ant’s Organic as just work—it is my true passion. I am doing something that I truly care about and love, so it isn’t just a means to make money. I have been told that just because I might be good at something, it might not be my true passion. I believe wholeheartedly that passion is what truly drives an entrepreneur’s success. Ant’s Organic is something I worked at when I wasn’t getting paid for it, so it has always been on the forefront of my aspirations.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve had a lot of terrible jobs, but one job I learned the most from was working for my father, a diesel mechanic. Working for him was difficult, because he had a lot of old school mentalities and his expectations were so high. However, working for him made me very successful in other jobs and in other areas of my life. I learned the value of working hard, setting goals, and implementing the steps to achieve those goals.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I don’t have any regrets, as I actively seek out opportunities and make them come true. However, if i had to do something differently, I would have focused on licensing and things of that nature much earlier, when I was around 14 or 15 years old.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I constantly tell myself what I need to get better at, recognize what I am good at, and seek out new things to learn.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
One strategy that has helped me grow Ant’s Organic is utilizing the help of a PR firm to target business and marijuana-related media publications. Public relations is essential for any business, because getting your name out in the media helps to build your credibility and awareness with your primary consumers. This will help you be a top choice when consumers decide to buy a product you specialize in.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest failure I overcame was losing initial investment opportunities I had in front of me. The way I overcame it was realizing that the first run-through with investors really allowed me to be more prepared for the next conversations. Trial and error and failure were the best things that could happen, as they helped me discover necessary adjustments and business improvements.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea is a retail marijuana delivery service. There is such a big need for it in Colorado. People come here from out of state and they have to go buy marijuana from the store, but it would be so much easier and efficient if they could just order it and have it delivered.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I am an excellent chef and use the same approach to organic cannabis for my cooking. I try to use only organic, health-conscious cooking methods, as well as the best natural ingredients.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I love metrc, which is a marijuana tracking system used to track all of the marijuana in the retail world. This is something that was set up by the state for us. I also like using Quick Books for my business, as it is user-friendly and has a simple design that allows us to keep our focus on the business, not on how the software works.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend all entrepreneurs to read Tipping Point, as it truly inspires you to achieve your dreams and aspirations. Also, I read Ender’s Game every couple of years, because I always learn new, interesting concepts and principles from it every time.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
The person who has had the greatest influence on my thinking is Harrison Stafford, the lead singer of Groundation. Groundation is the biggest and best touring reggae band in the world. I love how Harrison and his band spread the positive message of uplifting the world with organic, environmentally-friendly lifestyle choices. This has definitely helped me to keep my business focus on organic approaches.
I am also inspired by others in the marijuana industry, such as Kyle Kushman and Nikka T (the owner of essential extracts in Colorado). Nikka T is pushing envelope for organic methods and organic concentrates, which is fantastic. We are somewhat following in their footsteps, as we share the similar ethos for organic living.