Don't miss the opportunity to connect with THE cannabis movers and shakers from across the globe during Benzinga's virtual Cannabis Capital Conference on February 25-26, 2021. Among the attendees is Holistic Industries. The cannabis industry is seeing a radical change — from speculation to certainty, risk to reward, outcasts to dinner guests. According to a recent Gallup Poll, support for legal marijuana is at an all-time high of 68%. The first time Gallup took the same poll in 1969, just 12% of Americans held the same view. With more states legalizing the recreational and medical use of cannabis, the stage is set for businesses in the next generation of cannabis companies to compete for the lion's share. At the upcoming virtual Cannabis Capital Conference, Holistic Founder and CEO Josh Genderson will be speaking about the attributes of this next generation of cannabis companies, why they are important and how they will separate the winners and losers in the industry. "I am often asked what I think of this company or that, but I'm not in the business of investing in stocks," said Genderson. "However, I do know a winner when I see one. Particularly when evaluating deals on behalf of Holistic." Holistic is one of the largest, private multi-state cannabis operators (MSO) in the U.S. and runs vertical operations in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and soon in Missouri and West Virginia. The company has grown into a national medical and consumer goods company, cultivation and extraction network and Liberty-branded retail dispensary chain. Holistic facilities in Washington, D.C., breed the high-CBD strains that parents have come to rely upon to treat their childrens' seizure disorders. Genderson believes there are fundamentally five things that are important for the next generation of cannabis companies to succeed: CEO and executive team passion for the plant Ideally, every industry must have passionate CEOs and executive teams. But, given the nature of the cannabis plant and its potential to help people, it's imperative that there is a mutual unbridled passion among top executives of companies. Built, not bought, from the ground up Genderson sees this as a controversial point as many of our industry's biggest players are the most well-capitalized, but that doesn't mean they are aligned in their strategy or culture which could be a hard problem to solve in the future. Genderson's approach with Holistic is to strategically expand its geographic footprint by winning licenses in key markets on merit and building and maintaining a consistent company culture across the entire organization, which has contributed to Holistic's success to date and positions them well for the future. Putting a premium on relationships Relationships always matter, but they are particularly important in cannabis. How do you get along with the communities in which you operate? What do your patients and customers say about you? Are your team members employees or advocates? Does your ecosystem think of you as a partner or competitor? Genderson strongly believes that next-generation cannabis companies should put relationships ahead of everything. Smart stewardship of capital One clear sign the industry has moved from the first to the second generation is the ability to point to cautionary tales of once high-flying brands and the fact that they were not smart stewards of capital. Innovation in all things In the evolution of any industry, innovation is very important at every step of the way. First-generation cannabis companies aren't changing the way they sell their products and this will soon appear to be obsolete. Genderson built Holistic with these key attributes of a next-generation cannabis company in mind. But even as a leader in cannabis 2.0, he believes there's still a lot of work to do in this generation — improving diversity, supporting the communities and undoing the ills of the war on drugs. "Cannabis 2.0 companies must be determined to make improvements to themselves and their industry in areas beyond growth and profitability." To learn more about what Genderson has to say on Cannabis 2.0, don't miss his talk at Benzinga's Cannabis Capital Conference, which will take place virtually on February 25 at 10:45 a.m. EST. Register today! Photo by Next Green Wave See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaHow Caliber Saw Nearly 50% Growth Despite Uncertain Conditions In 2020Cannabis Industry Set For More Consolidations In 2021© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.