February 6, 2018 at 1:39 pm PST | by Rebekah Sager
Andrew Modlin is a pioneer in California’s new Gold Rush

‘A career as a cannabis entrepreneur was definitely not something in my plans,’ said Andrew Modlin.

An unwitting MedMen customer who wanders into one of the dispensaries accidentally, may think they’ve come upon a Fred Segal or an upscale boutique in Beverly Hills — and that’s exactly what President and Co-founder Andrew Modlin and MedMen Co-Founder and CEO, Adam Bierman have in mind.

Modlin studied Fine Art at UCLA and says he fell into the cannabis business by accident, but the unique design aesthetic of the stores has put it on the map. MedMen’s goal has been to re-envision the dispensary experience for patients, combining a clean, bright and innovative storefront that welcomes existing and new clients.

“A career as a cannabis entrepreneur was definitely not something in my plans,” Modlin told the Los Angeles Blade.

“I met Bierman at my first job and we hit it off immediately. We decided to combine our skill set and run our own marketing company in Los Angeles. We had a meeting with a local medical marijuana dispensary operator who wanted to hire us and that was our introduction to this industry. We immediately saw the business potential and jumped into the cannabis industry headfirst,” Modlin says.
And MedMen has grown at lightning speed. In a little over two years, MedMen went from 15 to more than 700 employees.

Modlin says one of the biggest misconceptions about running this kind of business is that it’s all about the pot. “This is not about the pot. This is about running a successful business that adds value for consumers and the communities in which we operate,” he declares.

“I think one of the most surprising things was the fast pace of growth. We are the fastest growing company in the fastest growing industry in the country. In terms of treasured moments, earlier this year when West Hollywood welcomed adult sales, our store had lines of 150 people deep for days. I took a moment and realized how far MedMen had come and how excited I am about the future of our company and our industry. It was a pinch-me moment,” Modlin says.

If you’ve missed MedMen, then you must live under a rock. The business is extremely active in the West Hollywood community, even sponsoring Pride events. But one of the most important contributions to Weho has been the “Being Alive” program, a project that has MedMen donating medicinal marijuana to HIV and AIDS patients.

The business of the legalization of marijuana is not only huge for companies like Modlin’s, but for the state of California as well.

“California’s progressive politics and diverse population make it a great model for the rest of the country. All eyes are on California. As the largest marijuana market in the world, it’s our job to show what’s possible,” Modlin says.

The opportunity for what products to purchase in MedMen is endless. Modlin says the disposable vape pens are a customer favorite. The dosist pens vibrate after one dose, which is a great way for new users to get familiar with cannabis by calibrating their doses, and topicals and tinctures such as Papa & Barkley provide a great alternative for managing pain relief.

Modlin says he’s an old-school head, and prefers to smoke flower. “I also love working out and Habit’s CBD-infused water is great for sore muscles,” he adds.

Modlin and his business partner Adam Bierman were featured in the April 20, 2015 issue of Time magazine. The article written by Eliza Gray, titled “Dope Dreams,” covered the MedMen’s journey from yogurt to marijuana and the success they’ve had.

The future of cannabis, according to Modlin, is to remove the “forbidden nature of weed and create an environment where people give themselves the permission to be OK with it.” He says he wants to take marijuana out of the shadows, and if they have their way, Modlin would like to create the first global brands of cannabis – not such small pipe dreams.

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