Nick Speidell, Kyle Speidell, Eric Speidell, Brad Speidell – Company Owners
Courtesy: The Green Solution
Forbes “Five Questions” Feature: Kyle and Eric Speidell of The Green Solution (19 locations in Colorado)
Warren Bobrow=WB: Where do you live now? Did you ever think that you’d find yourselves working in the legal cannabis industry?
Kyle Speidell=KS: Originally from the Midwest (Fort Wayne, Indiana), we moved to Colorado when we were young. We always noticed the liberal nature of Colorado and how much more outspoken this state was. There is no point in time that I ever thought we would be working in the legal cannabis market. I always thought cannabis should be mainstream due to its benefits but never thought it would be accepted throughout the country so fast. It just shows you how large of an underground market existed.
Eric Speidell=ES: I live in Denver, just five minutes from the heart of our operations. I find commuting an irresponsible use of time for someone in my position, so I live close. In regard to working in the cannabis industry, I don’t think anyone ever imagined that this plant would become mainstream as fast as it did. I have always looked for lucrative opportunities, and so I’ve never had any preconceived notions of where that would land me. My goal has always been to find new opportunities and maximize it, because I don’t know if I will catch another break. I am thankful this opportunity is so unique and exciting, and I also know that starting an entirely new industry and market happens once in a lifetime.
The Green Solution East Colfax Landscape
Photo Courtesy: The Green Solution
WB: Tell me about what you do? Who is your mentor (s) Did either of you go to B-School?
KS: My main focus is corporate governance, structure and finance. I focus on the growth trajectory of the business, weighing the expansion and economics with the operational resources and infrastructure we have. The balance of growth is delicate due to the complexity of vertical integration and how much capital is needed to control an entire supply chain. I have always been a hard worker, but my mentor has always been my dad, who knew how to work until he mastered his craft. He was a developer that simply worked harder than his competition. We instilled those same values into our business and knew that if we could be more agile and always think and be ahead of our competition, then we could always beat them. I never went to business school, but I have always owned businesses, and even directly out of high school I was already flipping homes. On the job training was most important to me, so I didn’t hold back.
ES: My role over the last nine years has evolved from CEO of Cultivation and Manufacturing to Co-President. I was responsible for designing, building, implementing, and generating reoccurring finished goods for retail sale. As Co-President, I am responsible for the growth of the business and to ensure that the goals we have set out to accomplish year over year are managed and executed to the standard and expectations of the entire ownership. I did not go to business school, but I have always surrounded myself with entrepreneurs. I am sure my twin brother, Kyle, already said this, but my dad is my mentor. He has always been ambitious and capable of standing on his own two feet regardless of what was thrown at him. He was the example to our family that with faith and determination, nothing can stand in your way. Most importantly, he taught me the importance of having integrity in business dealings. I hope my boys look up to me the way I do to my dad.
WB: What obstacles to you face in business right now? How do you foresee removing those obstacles? What does your six month and twelve months look like?
KS: The complexity of our business grows every day; we now manage over 700 employees, 30 separate facilities and produce and distribute millions of units per year. We do this all in an environment where the laws are uncertain, and we are constantly assessing market and law changes that occur at the state and federal levels. The business has to be set up to pivot and refocus when necessary, so our largest obstacle is analyzing hypothetical situations and trying to prepare for them. We work hard in DC and in state legislature to help shape policy to stay in control of the changes as much as we can. This is a key aspect that has been a necessity to our future and our current success, and we don’t plan on changing this plan anytime soon.
ES: Flexibility, agility, and resilience are requirements to be in the cannabis industry. We have been able to reach the top of the Colorado market by exerting those characteristics. With the growing complexity of the national cannabis market, our next phase is to expand our operations into other markets and face these challenges head on. By continuing to use our proven operational track record, we feel we are positioned well to move aggressively and outperform our competitors. Expansion does not come without risk, so calculated market selections ensuring we have enough runway to execute our goals will be critical.
WB: Do you cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to prepare? Do you have a favorite restaurant? Where? What kind of food?
KS: I would like to say I’m a good cook or I actually participate in it regularly, but I would be stretching the truth. If I do cook, I really enjoy soups – my wife and I regularly prepare all different types. My favorite restaurant is actually a group of them from a local entrepreneur named Troy Guard, he has a collection of restaurants including a burger bar called Tag, a Mexican restaurant called Los Chingones and a steak restaurant called Guard and Grace. All his restaurants are phenomenal.
ES: Yes, I do cook, and I really enjoy it. I enjoy cooking breakfast the most and have started making healthy breakfast options for my two boys. Breakfast is a hard meal to eliminate heavy eating and yet remain fulfilling. My favorite restaurant is a fresh seafood/steak house in downtown Denver called Ocean Prime. They have the freshest seafood in Colorado and of course, your traditional steak options. High-class seafood, steaks and cocktails.
WB: What is your passion?
KS: I’m a builder at heart – not just in real estate but in process and plans. I love to take a problem and solve it using solutions that others can’t find. I believe that most issues can be resolved with ingenuity and I have always been willing to take on a challenge. Therefore, we can thrive in cannabis with the continuously changing environment. If I was not in the cannabis space, I would be an architect and would build new structures – it’s a career I could get up and do every day.
ES: My passion is to create. I enjoy taking a new idea or something that is broken and turning it into something special and useful. That passion has allowed me to be successful in cannabis, real estate, and simply being at home with my sons making a go-kart. If I am not busy doing, I am thinking about what could be and how I am going to get there. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to never turn off that type of mentality. I’ve learned over the years that if you have passion for something, it’s contagious and those around you will build that dream with you. You must love what you do, and I am blessed and thankful for those I get to share it with!