Davis Lawyer: Aquarius Cannabis
When speaking with an entrepreneur like the one we interviewed this week, you feel as if you’re in the eye of a hurricane – He’s a force to be reckoned with, a thrill to have in conversation, and someone you know is going to change the course of history. This maverick is none other than Davis Lawyer of Aquarius Cannabis and he’s set on destroying the barriers preventing the growth of the legal cannabis industry. He has founded and developed a brand that’s core purpose is upholding a respectable industry standard and he’s scaling that model to a national level. The vast amount of dedication he has to taking this industry to the forefront of world culture is undeniably exhilarating and our interview with him is nothing short of thrilling.
What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?
I became a medical marijuana patient in 2008 and visited over 30 stores in my first two months. I immediately saw a gap in the consistency and quality across the array of storefronts. I was deeply intrigued by the low barriers to entry, exploding demand, and high profitability of the cannabis industry; I knew I had found a way to get involved.
The ‘deciding factor’ was when I realized that cannabis is the ONLY industry in the US right now where federal regulations are actually keeping the mega-corporations from being part of the competition. This is unique, as federal regulations usually cripple the ability for small businesses to be innovative and tend to favor mega-corporations.
The big ideas I have for the world will take billions of dollars to implement. When I took an unbiased look at the cannabis industry, it was abundantly clear that cannabis was my best chance to earn a billion dollars before I turn 35. I’ve never looked back.
The big ideas I have for the world will take billions of dollars to implement.
What skills from your previous experiences helped you in what you are doing now?
My poker face 🙂 I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 13 years old, which is a little over half my life. I’ve owned businesses as diverse as yard work and nightlife, but the business experience I find most relevant to cannabis is actually my experience as a professional gambler.
From 2006 until 2009, I supported my lifestyle as an undergraduate at USC by playing poker professionally, online, and in L.A.’s major card casinos. Success at poker requires the ability to calculate the expected value (EV) of a bet based on incomplete information about the odds of winning a hand and the probable reward if the hand is won. Though you don’t always win each time you bet with positive EV, if you correctly analyze EV and bet accordingly, you will always win over the long term.
Additionally, playing in poker tournaments taught me risk tolerance. In cash poker, you can always buy back in. But in a tournament, it is almost impossible to win without risking total elimination from the game during at least one bet of the tournament. Knowing when to bet small and knowing when to go all-in distinguishes the winners from the losers in a poker tournament.
I believe success in the rapidly evolving legal and business landscape surrounding cannabis requires the same skill set you need to be successful at professional poker: Risk Evaluation, Risk Management, and Risk Tolerance. The confidence to bet decisively and accurately, based solely on incomplete and shifting information is the profile of leadership I have that I believe is necessary for success in the marijuana industry.
Right now, where are you guiding your passion and energy towards?
Right now, California. I believe the biggest opportunity in the marijuana industry is in California. Recreational legalization has moved the spotlight to Colorado, Washington, and recently Oregon, but California is still the unquestionable leader of the marijuana movement. It’s still the largest legal market in the U.S. and it’s the center of production for the marijuana smoked by consumers in prohibition states across the U.S.
The fact is that California has the greatest talent pool of marijuana growers and consistent genetics. There you will find the best weather and geographical climate for growing marijuana and because of that, it is the nation’s largest agricultural producer overall. Perhaps even more importantly than that, California is the single most valuable marijuana “brand” in the United States. This industry is going mainstream. One day, marijuana will be grown in one state and distributed in others. International exports are already beginning in other countries.
Whether its 2 years or 20 years before interstate and international commerce in marijuana begins in the U.S., I believe California will out-produce all other states combined as it currently does in the black market.
The fact is that California has the greatest talent pool of marijuana growers and consistent genetics.
Describe your work ethic to me in one word.
What do you consider your weakness as an entrepreneur? Your strength?
I think really, really big! I’m a lifelong student of global power structures and particularly the global financial system. My life and the Aquarius Cannabis brand are dedicated to creating a physical community somewhere on Earth based on the values of liberty, abundance, and peace.
I have risen as an entrepreneur largely because of my ability to enroll others into my vision for Aquarius Cannabis.
The strength in “thinking big” is that I rarely miss the forest for the trees. I see macro-trends before they happen, which I believe kept Aquarius Cannabis on the cutting edge of scalable business models.
The weakness in “thinking big” is that sometimes I speed through details that are more critical than I recognize at the time. Learning to recognize and follow through on critical minutiae is an ongoing point of personal growth for me. The success of Aquarius Cannabis depends on me surrounding myself with capable leaders who authentically connect with my vision and execution strategies, but have the organizational and operational skills to translate them into our financial success. For this reason, we spent much of the capital we raised in 2014 enrolling the right team for execution in 2015.
How are you differentiating yourself from the competition?
Aquarius Cannabis’ business strategy is a long-play on the marijuana market. Our focus is on earning consumer loyalty by developing consistent consumer product brands, as well as developing our parent brand, Aquarius Cannabis.
If you compare us to other “ancillary businesses” we stand out because our revenue is tied directly to how well our partners do in growing marijuana and selling it under our brand name. In that sense, we have more of the true “marijuana industry upside” investors hope for when they explore our industry.
At the same time, we mitigate the major downside risks that come from actually owning a business that grows and sells marijuana. Aquarius Cannabis does not produce, transport, or sell marijuana and therefore does not violate federal guidelines.
We believe our hybrid business structure of brand licensing and consulting gives investors the benefits of both types of businesses, maximizing potential returns, and minimizing potential risks.
How do you find inspiration in this industry? What have you found that has inspired you?
Though I was initially drawn into the marijuana industry by the profit potential, what has kept me in the industry is the conviction that the cannabis plant is the single, most-valuable, renewable resource available to mankind. Though in some places it’s more evangelical than rooted in fact, The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer transformed my understanding of what cannabis can do for mankind.
I find authentic purpose in building my personal wealth by growing the market for consistent consumer products made from both medical and industrial cannabis. I am committed to liberating this plant from the choke-hold of authoritarian governments around the world. Cannabis belongs to the people.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Trust your own judgment, and learn from your mistakes.”
What’s your newest knowledge about the marijuana industry?
Recently, my father was diagnosed with cancer. I spent a great deal of time reviewing both scientific studies and first hand accounts on the effectiveness of using cannabis to fight cancer. What I found greatly reinforced my belief that cannabis is the single, most-valuable, renewable resource for humans. Although we have a long road of research ahead of us, I have a strong conviction that the most effective treatment for cancer 25 years from now will be either a single therapy or a collection of therapies rooted in the cannabis plant.
What I found greatly reinforced my belief that cannabis is the single, most-valuable, renewable resource for humans.
If you could rewind time to 5 years ago, how would your business be different?
If I could rewind time to 5 years ago, I would immediately enroll myself into a personal development program called the “Landmark Forum.” At Landmark, I discovered a new realm of possibilities for the level of accountability and responsibility I could show in my life. I discovered radically logical framework for understanding my own ego and the beliefs that drive action for human beings. That understanding has allowed me to rapidly shed layers of ego, master enrollment, and grow my leadership capacity!
I did the Landmark Forum in January 2014. As Forbes noted, we have raised over $1M for Aquarius Cannabis to date. $750K of that was raised after my experience with Landmark. I see this as clear evidence of the development of my ability to enroll others into the vision for Aquarius Cannabis.
Our internal team and all our partners share ruthless culture responsibility, accountability, and commitment. This culture is critical to our ability to execute our vision with distinction. I’ve always been an overachiever, but the Landmark Forum was the first time I truly discovered responsibility, accountability, and commitment.
Landmark didn’t solve all my problems, but the space for personal transformation it opened up for me this year was tremendous. Based on how much growth it created for me and Aquarius Cannabis this year, I can’t even put a long-term price tag on how much time and money four extra years of life after Landmark would have put me ahead in the development of Aquarius Cannabis.
What will we be seeing from you and Aquarius Cannabis in the coming future?
We filed an S-1 registration statement with the SEC on December 12th, 2014. We hope to be trading on the OTC later in 2015. Filing our S-1 means we are in a “quiet period,” where announcing our operational traction could majorly delay the process of getting to the public market. Stay tuned!