cannabis industry business innovator

Trade Secrets: Innovators Share Their Strategies for Industry Domination

Each quarter, Cannabis & Tech Today speaks with innovative brands from around the country to discover who is leading the call for a more resilient, thoughtful, transparent cannabis industry.

This issue, we’re highlighting three brands receiving national attention for their commitment to excellence within the cannabis community. 

Clear Cannabis Inc.

Rich Batenburg Jr., has decades of experience developing scalable business models in various industries.

As president and chairman of Clear Cannabis, Inc., Batenburg is using his expertise to develop an infrastructure for the company capable of scaling to a national level.

Rich Batenburg Jr.: What was going to happen with cannabis in my mind was exactly what happened with cable.

Richard M Batenburg. Photo courtesy of Clear Cannabis, Inc.

A bunch of mom-and-pop operators who were very passionate about the product, very customer-centric, but did not have the skills and the foresight and capitalization to build heavy weight infrastructure that could scale to handle millions of customers as opposed to thousands of customers.

So I thought “Hey, this is my opportunity to fix all this stuff that’s been broken in cable before it happens in cannabis.”

Once we have ubiquitous legalization, big food, big pharma, big tobacco, and big agriculture will likely be taking over this industry.

It takes money to scale up.

There are thousands of inventive, creative, sincere, gentle geniuses in the business that have come up with products.

What you don’t see is the massive distribution and commercialization of those products.

That’s really our focus.

What I liked about Clear Cannabis is it has a trade secret component to it, it has a formula.

It’s not based on things you can’t own.

Nobody can own a strain name.

It’s not a capitalistic thing, but a brand needs to have its own identity and its own interpersonal and emotional connection to the customer and it needs to have a brand promise that can be replicated. 

GrowRay Technologies

Ash Ganley. Photo courtesy of GrowRay Technologies

The cannabis space, in many ways, is about collaboration.

The industry relies on different sectors coming together to create solutions.

Ash Ganley, CEO of GrowRay Technologies understands the fractured nature of the industry and is working to unite growers with technology and science to create a more efficient cultivation ecosystem. 

Ash Ganley: “We realized quickly that the market is not always going to be so high margin that you could hide bad business practices and hide a lack of efficiency in your operation and production.

And now that’s happening across the country.

As prices are coming down and regulations are increasing in terms of how much electricity you use per square foot, etc., a lot of growers who used pre-legal, scaled-up practices are losing their businesses because they’re not taking those low-margin, high-efficiency lessons from traditional agronomy.

That’s what we’re doing, is really learning cannabis from a whole systems technical point of view, knowing all the while that we have to get better.

Photo courtesy of GrowRay Technologies

We’re never going to be good enough.

You always have to keep learning.

But we’re pushing the envelope, and we know that.

So, we have to be curious.

We have to be hungry.

We have to learn together.

The whole issue of legality in cannabis has forced a lot of businesses to operate in a silo or in a vacuum.

So it’s a very fractured industry and that has hamstrung innovation in a big way.

We’re just trying to approach it from that point of view.

Aspen Green

Colorado-based Aspen Green is one of only seven USDA Organic certified full-spectrum hemp and CBD brands in the country.

Their products are free from toxins, formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, and sulfates.

They’re one of five brands recognized by Realm of Caring for their commitment to transparency, quality, and integrity.

To learn more about the company’s commitment to serving the industry, we spoke with Aspen Green President and CEO Brandon Lewis.

Brandon Lewis. Photo courtesy of Aspen Green.

Brandon Lewis: We are filling the need for education around the hemp plant, it’s properties, and where to find the actual science that’s been conducted for decades — which can start with a simple search at the National Institute of Health. 

We are passionate about assisting people in what to look for in high-quality hemp & CBD products even if not from Aspen Green. 

We believe cannabis will be federally legal within 5 years and consumers will be educated on the value of the whole hemp plant and all of its properties. 

We also believe laws will become uniform versus how fragmented they are currently at the state level. 

We also see the industry maturing to focusing on various regions where the plant is grown, much like wine. 

In our opinion, what Napa is to wine — the Colorado Rockies are to hemp.


  • Ebby Stone is a freelance writer specializing in cannabis, with a focus on the innovators and businesses shaping the industry.

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