A Tech Moment with Kyle Sherman, CEO of FlowhubMore than your average CEO, as a lobbyist and advocate, Kyle Sherman is changing the narrative.
Cannabis Tech had the opportunity to sit down with Kyle Sherman, CEO, and Founder, of Flowhub. This daring software company went from being operated out of a garage in 2015 to the first company to launch mobile retail apps in the cannabis industry.
After spending time as a compliance officer, Sherman made it his mission to enable cannabis legalization nationally, and for him and his company, that meant making a more transparent industry.
Empowering the Industry with Secure Legality
One of the pieces of software that Flowhub has developed is the point-of-sale system for budtenders to work with customers. They pride themselves on making a simple and streamlined retail management platform, which allows budtenders to focus on the customer and their conversation more than figuring out how to ring them up. Especially exciting is their Specials engine, which enables cannabis stores to quickly set up unique specials across multiple locations however they’d like to offer them.
In addition, Flowhub offers the Stash App, an auditing app for dispensaries, which offers mobile inventory management from a handheld mobile device so that dispensaries can easily log and track their inventory. This technology provides store owners with the ability to maintain a high level of awareness of what goes on in their business and visibility into what standards are being met by their employees, as well as share these findings with the state track and trace system, Metrc.
Sherman spends a significant amount of time in Washington DC pushing for national legalization, but part of his job is merely combating ignorance. In his words: “a lot of these folks have no idea what’s actually happening in legal markets. They might believe that any prohibition is probably a wise thing. They don’t know what the legal industry actually looks like.”
To combat this attitude, often the best method is exposure. Flowhub has taken several of these politicians on tours of their offices, as well as on-site visits to grow and retail facilities. “They often leave saying, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a professional industry. I had no idea. This just looks like another industry here. Wow, I’m a huge supporter of this moving forward,’” Sherman said, describing how many of the politicians react during the tours.
Government Run on Money
American laws and politics are primarily dominated by the flow of money. As cannabis has been out-lobbied for decades by powerful interests, it has not been able to make much progress. Yet, each year, the industry continues to grow organically, and soon enough it will be a presence too massive to ignore.
Sherman is a founding board member and treasurer of the Cannabis Trade Federation. This organization actively works to lobby for legislation and acceptance of cannabis on a national level. It is through his work with this country that Sherman has a responsibility to spend so much of his time in Washington DC and educating America’s politicians.
Sherman explained in a call to action.
Visibility of the cannabis industry in Washington is the only way to change prohibition legislation. Otherwise, laws will continue to be made aligned with the interests of other lobbyists groups, and by people with limited cannabis experience. There is already a great push for the federal legalization of cannabis, spearheaded by the efforts of Sherman and those like him. “This is what’s ultimately going to make this industry a robust one,” he stated.
The Responsibility of Culture
Flowhub has already secured a partnership with HP, one of the largest tech companies in the world, and the leader of the register industry. There is a list of the other companies which they have partnered with, all to build up public trust and to secure maximum value for their customers. The aim of Flowhub isn’t to help some dispensaries, but to ultimately legitimize the industry for as many businesses as possible.
In addition to this, Sherman also helped get Weed the People on Netflix. This film is a documentary that focuses on five children suffering from cancer, their families, and how cannabis positively influences the struggle with their condition. Sherman entered the project after it had already been shot, but was instrumental in helping it land on the Netflix platform.
Through partnerships and cultural pieces that build trust, transparency, and credibility, the cannabis industry will finally be able to lose its undeserved status as a black sheep industry. Every year cannabis becomes more of a mainstream industry in the country, and acceptance is a matter of time. The more that people like Sherman are able to achieve, the quicker acceptance and stable legalization will occur.