We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel George and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my business in 2017 a little after my father passed from Leukemia. It wasn’t until after he passed that I discovered he was a cannabis users when he was my age but decided to stop due to his career and family. Little did he know there was so much research out there that showed the Cannabis plant had extreme positive effects towards the body. It was also known to be a much better alternative medicine than chemotherapy and other pharmaceutical drugs. With all this knowledge I possessed about the plant, I figured I’d be the one to manufacture a way people can enjoy the benefits of using cannabis on a daily basis and try my best to destigmatize cannabis in my community. Thus, Simply High Extracts was born. My thought process starting off was to create a detail business plan that included all my expenses, COGS, sales data, marketing you name it in order to devise a plan to receive the funding needed to launch a legal cannabis business. I also knew I would have to launch the brand the right way by having my products look store ready just in case it actually took off. So yeah I think my focus or thought process starting off was to make a plan and make sure the products looks good before I launched the company.
What should our readers know about your business?
Simply High Extracts is the first cannabis company dedicated to creating healthy, versatile cooking extracts that help you create your own edibles and gourmet dishes. Our gourmet infused vegan butter is crafted with an assortment of pressed oils. This is the healthiest, most versatile way you can introduce cannabis into your overall diet. This infused vegan butter can be used in all aspect of your cooking including baking, sautéing, and much more. Our extra light olive oil is one of a kind. Made specifically for high heat recipes, it can be used to fry and sauté, but still light enough to drizzle on top of a salad without losing its potency. Our goal is simple, to simplify the way you get high! We’ve added custom bamboo teaspoons to each extra light olive oil to help micro-dose each recipe, along with mixing spoons with each of our infused vegan butters.
We got to where we are today with passion, consistency, and creativity. I think when you start a businesses those are the main things to focus on in the beginning, the rest will come. When I first started Simply High Extracts I had about $2,500 from my 401k after I quit my job to pursue my career in the legal cannabis industry. I soon realized that wasn’t nearly enough to operate a business like this. A lot of people don’t realize cannabis companies spend millions of dollars on real estate, licensing, marketing, etc. I realized the huge financial uphill battle I was facing, but I didn’t get scared or nervous because I had a solid plan that showed if I received a million dollar investment I would be able to return it with interest and still be able to fund my operations and create some jobs for friends and family around me. As a black man, finding people to believe in your dream is difficult, pair that with an industry that lacks financial support for black owned brands and you have a challenge that only 8% of POC cannabis brands have overcome. I learned early on for someone like me it isn’t what you know it’s who you know, so during my early years I attended countless seminars and networking events to meet the right investor, although I didn’t meet any investors I made some genuine connections that would help me down the line. After a while I had to humble myself and get back to the workforce so I started looking for jobs on craigslist and to my surprise I was hired as an assistant to someone who wanted to start a cannabis business, had access to capital but didn’t have a plan or idea how to start the process. Being already prepared, I realized this was my opportunity to pitch my brand and long story short they loved it! Fast Forward a year and a half of research and development and our products were created and ready to distribute.
I learned a lot along the way about business, how to scale up operations, I even learned how to take amazing photos and edits videos. A saying I learned from a pastor in high school is what really stuck with me though. “When preparation meets opportunity, there’s an explosion of success”. I’d like to look at my story as an exact example of that idea. I want people to know as long as your passionate, dedicated, consistent and prepared you’ll always be successful in anything that you do. It just takes time.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being from Los Angeles,California I would always suggest a trip to the famous Venice beach, interesting story, I used to play basketball up there every weekend and had kind of made a name for myself. There’s picture of me on google hoopin up there. Santa Monica would be my second stop, it’s close to the beach and 3rd st Promenade is a dope place to shop and get something to eat. Hollywood is always a go to since that one of LA’s biggest attractions. Lastly I would tell people to hit the inner city, places like south central la, Inglewood, Compton, Leimert Park, Ladera heights areas and get a real sense of what LA is and its culture. LA isn’t always glitz and glamour and I think a trip to florence and normandie would give them a taste of that real LA vibe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family for sure deserves a shout out, they have been the foundation of my upbringing and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
Shout out my good friend Princess who has introduced me to a lot of influential people in my industry and we’ve also done some amazing events.
Shoutout Microbuddery for giving me the opportunity of bringing Simply High Extracts to life
Shoutout everyone i’ve met over the years that have supported the company.
Shoutout my team for being there helping and supporting our growth!
Linkedin: Daniel George
Jaymie Collins @skcatterbrain Kai Laide @Contentsugarco