Alyssa Riccio: A Different Kind of Cannabis Cloud

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Alyssa Riccio: Co-Owner of AspenTGI/AspenTHC

Alyssa Riccio is the Co-Owner and Managing Consultant of AspenTGI, a cloud technology firm that helps cannabis businesses stay compliant through consulting and software. Businesses all over the world are seeing positive economic growth from the implementation of cloud technology solutions and Alyssa has made it her company’s mission to make sure the cannabis industry does not get left behind. However, her road to success has not been an easy one as both the technology and cannabis industries are typically dominated by male entrepreneurs. Alyssa has overcome sexism and ignorance to build her business into a real solution for companies who want to save time, energy and money. After all, who doesn’t want to do that! We recently picked Alyssa’s brain to find out what brought her to the cannabis industry and how her journey has made her the person she is today.

What was the deciding factor for you to join the cannabis industry?

I have long been a proponent of cannabis. Over the past few years I have had cannabis businesses approach me, wondering if my company serviced the industry. It blew my mind that there were so many businesses out there that were turning their backs on the cannabis industry. I realized that the industry needed help with implementing technology solutions and that AspenTGI could be there for them.

How has your previous experience helped you in what you are doing now?

I have been an activist for the legalization of cannabis for over a decade. For me, It was an easy transition to jump into the cannabis space. I first became involved because my favorite local dispensary was being bombarded with hundreds of phone calls a day. People were calling to ask when the shop would be able to serve adult-use consumers, what their hours are and where are they located. Vendors were calling constantly, attempting to get in touch with the owners to pitch their products. My experience in process optimization and streamlining kicked in and I implemented a new phone system for the entire store. They are now only transferring 47% of calls to the budtenders straight away, which eliminates a lot of hassle and increases the productivity and efficiency of everyone involved. Being a customer really helped me to understand their pain points, and the proper technologies to fix them!

We install effective solutions that have a clear ROI and help businesses grow sustainably.

Tell us about the point in time you realized the ‘green rush’ was coming?

I knew the train had left the station the day that Colorado legalized recreational adult-use. I had anticipated there would be support going into the vote but, when I saw how many people were happy that it was legalized, I realized that people from all over would be Coming Out Green!

What in particular are you doing to impact the cannabis industry?

My company, Aspen Technology Group, helps MMJ dispensaries and ancillaries stay compliant and keep their data secure. Through advanced cloud application, we make adopting technology solutions easier for businesses than ever before. We install effective solutions that have a clear ROI and help businesses grow sustainably. A popular marketing and rewards strategy is the use of ‘short codes’. Those signs you have seen that say “Text ‘green’ to 65789 to receive info”. These systems are not secure nor are they HIPAA compliant. Educating dispensaries about compliance, and the importance of it, has become a large part of our business.

Being a customer really helped me to understand their pain points, and the proper technologies to fix them!

Who is a person that you consider your role model or someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

As corny as it sounds, I would have to say my biggest inspiration growing up was my mother. She is a strong women who taught me how to stand up for myself and accomplish anything I put my mind too. As a woman in a male dominated industry (both tech and cannabis), you have to have confidence in yourself. You will encounter sexism… it is how you respond to it that sets you apart. My mother taught me to be brave, but above all, to be the bigger person.

Join the ranks: Are you a CEO, entrepreneur or someone in the cannabis industry who's making an impact? We'd like to hear your story!

Tell us about an esteemed achievement of yours.

In my eyes, the fact that I own a technology consulting firm, as a young woman, is my greatest achievement. Technology is often a difficult space to be in for women. My hope is that, in the future, it won’t be an achievement to be a woman-owned small business in the technology arena. It will just be common place.

How would you advise someone who wants to get his or her start in the industry?

Do your research! Make connections by going to industry events as well as meetups. Furthermore, always keep an ear to the ground for new opportunities.

My hope is that, in the future, it won’t be an achievement to be a woman-owned small business in the technology arena. It will just be common place.

What inspires you? Where do your great ideas come from?

My biggest inspiration comes from people who have found the courage to persevere through challenging life experiences.

As for where my greatest ideas have come from? Cannabis and the great outdoors.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader in this space?

I firmly believe in creating strong alliances with the organizations that are driving the future of the cannabis industry. I am committed to constantly learning about the industry and staying active in furthering the message of the miraculous cannabis plant!

Soon the ‘Green Rush’ will give way to the “Green Flood’ and that will hopefully give way to a ‘Green America’.

If we are sitting across from each other a year from now, how do you think our conversation about the ‘green rush’ will be going?

We will be excitedly discussing all the states that are rolling out recreational adult use! We are seeing the domino effect that legalization in Colorado has started. Soon the ‘Green Rush’ will give way to the “Green Flood’ and that will hopefully give way to a ‘Green America’… eventually 😉

What are you doing to impact the cannabis industry? How do you think technology applications will help the industry evolve? Join the conversation and comment below!

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