Happy Sunday. I have to be brief as the AFC Championship game is due to begin shortly. And while I am NOT rooting for the Patriots to make to the Super Bowl, AGAIN, I am however a fan of anything or anyone who achieves excellence. And excellence must be admired even if begrudgingly.

When we opened our retail Cannabis shop in my hometown of Ellensburg, Washington back in August 2014, I didn’t have many admirers, in fact there were many who were quite upset. I set about almost immediately to win them over with excellence. Our mission statement was and still is, “To Be The Model Recreational Cannabis Shop in the State of Washington”.

This is still a misunderstood and therefore a controversial industry. I have worked very hard to honor and abide by my mission statement. And excellence ladies and gentlemen is how we will turn people’s negative opinions around. Excellence in how we run our store, excellence in how we understand and welcome and endeavor to deal effectively while being empathetic to with people’s fears. Excellence in how we work with government at all levels in creating a regulatory environment that is fair and workable and sustainable for all, especially frankly those who are concerned about Cannabis in society. Excellence in our hiring, training, managing our employees, always insisting our employees be respectful to all at all times.

The pursuit and, hopefully, the attainment of excellence is always admired. Excellence also means accepting responsibility to run your Cannabis business with not just high standards but the highest standards. We have to be doing it all better than any other industry. Let me repeat that; we need to be doing it better than any other industry. Fair? Probably not but it is the way it is. Accept this as fact and work, plan, hire, advertise accordingly. If we take this approach we will change people’s opinions, maybe very slowly, maybe only one person at a time. But given this constant effort, never yielding to short cuts or lapses in judgement and commitment to be the best, we will ultimately win.

Make the decision today if you haven’t already done so to be excellent in everything you do. That attitude is contagious and will permeate throughout the entire business. Lead from the front, be a leader in your store obviously but be a leader in your community, at the State level and at the Federal level. Never shy away from this, your sacred responsibility. We have decided to enter this controversial world, no one forced us to do so. We owe it to ourselves, our families, our communities and our industry to be the absolute best we can be.