Don’t Try To Duplicate Another Company’s Model; If You Aren’t Disruptive, Rethink Your Strategy

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tim McGraw, CEO And Founder of Canna-Hub: Tim founded Canna-Hub to create the largest, most sophisticated cannabis real estate portfolio in California. Through Tim’s leadership, Canna-Hub identifies sites in strategically located cities that can accommodate hundreds of cannabis licensees in an organized manner through the development of Canna-Hub Business […]

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Tim McGraw, CEO And Founder of Canna-Hub:

Tim founded Canna-Hub to create the largest, most sophisticated cannabis real estate portfolio in California. Through Tim’s leadership, Canna-Hub identifies sites in strategically located cities that can accommodate hundreds of cannabis licensees in an organized manner through the development of Canna-Hub Business Communities, or “cannabis hubs.”

Since November of 2016, when it all started, Canna-Hub has secured sites in Colusa and Fresno Counties, allowing for a combined total of approximately 1.6 million square feet of production facilities on 100 acres available for cannabis business operations that are compliant with California’s new medical and adult use cannabis regulations.

Tim has been developing and managing real estate for almost 20 years and over the last five years has become a respected cannabis industry executive and expert. Prior to founding Canna-Hub, Tim founded and was CEO of the largest cannabis cultivator and manufacturer in Illinois holding two of the 21 permits and over 150,000 sq. ft. of operations.

Returning to his real estate and entrepreneurial roots, Tim’s community-centered approach to development positions Canna-Hub on the forefront of California’s “Green Rush.” Canna-Hub features the state’s first-of-their-kind cannabis communities that offer some of the lowest permit fees in the state and encourage valuable synergies among multiple business types.

Tim’s proven track record of identifying and partnering with small, economically-challenged communities to create jobs, increase the tax base, and drive economic activity is a testament to his character as a progressive industry leader and visionary. In 2015, High Times recognized Tim’s efforts with the High Times Trail Blazer Award. In 2018 Tim was once again recognized by High Times, this time including him amongst the “Top 100” most influential people in the Cannabis industry.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I was awarded 2 of 21 permits to commercially cultivate and manufacture in Illinois, the state sent notice by certified mail to a PO Box we used for the company. We had only 5 business days to respond after receipt of the letter to accept the award of the permits. The letters were received by the PO Box location which started the clock but the employee tasked with checking the box daily didn’t for 4 days. We were able to confirm acceptance right under the wire. Pay attention to the details when you are the boss it is all your responsibility at the end of the day. Oh, and check the mail!

Are you working on any exciting projects now?

I am very excited about our Williams and Mendota campuses and the economic impact they will have on the local communities. Our park’s development, social impact jobs, community involvement and growth of the cannabis communities we are creating in our parks will have a great impact locally both economically and historically.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There are obviously dozens of people that have helped along the way, but I have to give the most credit to my family and one specific mentor/friend named Mike. As the CEO of a start-up, especially in a new industry like cannabis, your family often has to pick up a lot of slack at home and ride the roller coaster with you. Without their support, I would be a mess. As for Mike, few people know how important his loyalty and counsel have been to my success. I am eternally grateful to him.

This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?

I don’t think I have anything earth-shattering advice to share, but good PR is very important. I have an outstanding PR team and I almost never turn down an interview. Subsequently, I have done a ton of press which helps others to seek me out as a thought leader in the cannabis space.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?


  1. The great strides our industry has made in just the last 6 years or so.
  2. 2019 is the year the war on cannabis ends.
  3. The potential for sweeping changes in criminal justice and drug laws which are long overdue.


  1. Babyboomers that are still in power concern me. That is why term limits are essential.
  2. The fact that we are still locking people up for possession of any drug is crazy.
  3. The jailing of anyone for a victimless crime.

Can you share your top “5 Things You Need To Know In Order To Run a Successful Cannabis Ancillary Company”? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Know your customer. Know what stresses them out and how to save them money. The more solutions and savings you can provide, the less “pitching” you have to do.
  2. Work out the kinks prior to going to market. Thoroughly beta test whatever you are pitching. The best way to lose customers is early issues, especially ones you should have seen coming.
  3. Don’t try to duplicate another companies model. If you aren’t disruptive, rethink your strategy.
  4. Be ready to pivot. The cannabis industry is very fluid and volatile politically. If things change with them, don’t be dogmatic.
  5. Find real funding. Raise enough capital early on to hire the right talent and support. Limping into the very nuanced and costly cannabis game makes success difficult.

Aside from your particular vertical, which other cannabis ancillary industries do you think have very strong potential in the next few years? Can you explain why?

I believe banking, hydro supply, packaging and data management are all very important services for operators. We intend to use the combined buying power and expertise of all of our operators to provide these at the lowest possible cost.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Surround yourself with people that love to do the things you do not.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Live Let Live!

Live your life to the fullest and let others do the same whether you agree with them or not.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Jilea Hemmings is the CEO & Co-Founder of Leaf Tyme. She is running a series on Leaders In The Cannabis Industry.

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