Nate Lipton


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Nate Lipton is an American entrepreneur. Nate started Growers House in 2011 and is based in Tucson, AZ.[1]

Nate Lipton, founder of  Growers HouseNate Lipton, founder of Growers House

Company

Growers House

Instagram

@nate.j.lipton (1.02K followers)

Career

Early Career

No early career info added yet...

Growers House

Nate started Growers House in 2011. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: [1]

Q: How did you get started on Growers House?

I wanted to get into the cannabis industry following graduation from the University of Oregon in 2010. The industry was starting to take off. I had recently finished an internship at Morgan Stanley, which put the final nail in the coffin determining that I would not be joining the financial sector--I’m just slightly too alternative to join the mercedes driving, country club crowd.

The month following graduation I moved into my brother's apartment in San Francisco and parked on his couch, applying to probably 30-50 cannabis-related companies a week. After about three weeks of my brother and his girlfriend probably thinking “how long will this kid crash here?” I got a couple of calls back, and I ended up landing a position as a mid-level manager at a dispensary. I worked at the dispensary for about six months before taking a job at another company that focused on selling cultivation equipment online.

My goal in working for diverse cannabis-related companies was to understand the industry holistically and figure out my best long-term place within. In the beginning, I first thought I would open a dispensary. Around 2011, opening a dispensary was for cowboys i.e., people with a high appetite for risk, willing to take on the possibility of law enforcement raiding your establishment--depending on the current local political climate. I decided this was too risky for me.

how-we-built-35m-plant-growing-empire-growershouse

I recognized that the equipment suppliers and service providers to the cannabis space were doing well and didn’t have these existential business-shutting-down issues looming over their heads. Some of these suppliers and providers included: track-and-trace software, growing equipment, packaging supplies, financing, consulting, etc… Selling these non-plant-touching items and services gives the arms-length distance needed to run a federally legal business. And who got wealthy during the California gold rush? It wasn’t the gold diggers--it was the equipment suppliers selling picks, shovels, and jeans e.g., Levi Strauss.

After working for an online store that sold growing equipment for a little less than a year, I decided this was a niche within the cannabis industry that had an attractive trajectory. I packed my bags and moved from the San Francisco area to Tucson, AZ to start this new company. The decision to pick Tucson was so I could be between the two largest states in terms of hydroponic equipment purchasing: California and Colorado. My shipping times would be 1-2 days to both locations via standard ground shipping, and at that time Arizona just enacted a freshly minted medical marijuana program.

To get the business up and running, I ended up cobbling together $150k from a mixture of myself, my father, and some family friends. I had about $7k to my name at this point and invested $5k of the $150k. As you can see the other investors were heavily needed to get this off the ground. My father, recently divorced and out of a job, decided to move from New Jersey to Arizona to join me on a great adventure. The help and wisdom of someone who has 30 years of business experience selling electronics via mail-order came in handy as I was a 23-year-old high-energy, low-experience entrepreneur.

The $150k allowed us to hire three employees; purchase inventory; and rent a 2,000 sq. ft. space for office, retail, and warehouse. We opened our doors in November 2011 with the goal of being a multi-channel retailer, having both a walk-in store and an eCommerce store.

Source [1]

References