Gotham Turns One


This past Saturday, Gotham turned one. It has been an incredible year. Gotham started during the lockdown days of COVID-19 as an idea for a retail store that blossomed into a cannabis concept store. A friend asked me if I knew about the cannabis roll-out that was beginning to come to light. I knew nothing except it was imminent.

I took a deep dive, starting with connecting to the space’s top lawyers. I am sure I emailed them several times and resorted to calling over four days. I moved quickly, and after spending decades in the tech community and being able to get responses in real time, I couldn’t help myself.

I spoke to the legal duo, who answered all my questions. I was intrigued by the industry’s nascency. True start-up mode from every part of the business: farms, brands, software, dispensaries, rules and regulations, and being a partaker of the plant, I was all in when I exited our Zoom.

They invited me to a 4/20 party; we had spoken a few days before that, and I went. By the time I left the party, I had a vision and a legal team and was ready to hit the gas….not so quick says the Office of Cannabis Management…this is going to take some time. It was April 2021.

Spending capital when you can’t control if you will be able to open, aka get a license, is not easy. Trying to execute a vision without truly being in control of your destiny because of the licensing process is a juggling act. And so we began.

The first thing was the name Gotham. Staying on brand seemed to make sense. The second was a brand guide. What does the logo look like? What are the colors? What are the fonts? We (my sidekick, who has been with me for almost 13 years!) began to delve in. The year before we opened might have been the craziest. Our office began to resemble a store basement, complete with a photo area.

In classic start-up mode, we do not have the same team we started with. I have learned so much. My superpower is that I jump in without much thought and am good at making multiple turns and exits. The turns and exits can be challenging on a team, but it is part of the DNA in a fast-moving environment. Our team is A+, and everyone brings their A game every day. There are always issues, but most are not business-related but human resource-oriented. Start-ups are not for the demur, and it is a group growth.

The day came when we got our license and hit the gas. I had hired a few people to prepare, but now Gotham would become a reality. I did not take the advice that I have given over the years, which is to do one thing well before adding to the business. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t help myself, but being the first to do business in this arena was number one. We would have a store where we would pay our employees good wages and complete healthcare (aka not having to pay into the system) with the ability to grow internally, delivery, private label (retail/wholesale), DTC, and events as a foundation and build off those verticals.

Everyone who works for Gotham’s in-store line is a fantastic group with different backgrounds and experiences. Ten of them have been with us for over a year. The execs love being in the store and working with the team, which shows as our customers tell us how much they love the staff every day.

Our celebration of being open for a year in a company operating for three years in my favorite city is an incredible high (no pun intended). As we grow in each foundation set from the start, there is much to come. It is unbelievable how much we have accomplished in one year, never letting the foot off the gas while zigging and zagging through growth. The second year will have new challenges, but we can now execute more easily, I hope.

Happy Birthday, Gotham.