Purpose underlies Simply Pure’s expansion into the business model that is synonymous with company names like McDonald’s and Taco Bell.
“Simply Pure will continue as being a dispensary model that we’ll be looking at franchising across the U.S. and working with social equity partners to be able to give them a turnkey operation,” said Wanda James, Simply Pure’s CEO and owner.
It’s all part of an effort to welcome people of color, women and veterans into the industry as owners and support their success, said James, who herself is Black, a woman and a former Naval Intelligence officer. More than 10 years ago, James founded the Denver-based cannabusiness with her husband, chef and restaurateur Scott Durrah. It has since grown into a formidable operation with cultivation, dispensary and manufacturing verticals.
Just as McDonald’s has been able to provide an existing business structure, products and brands that franchisees use for their stores—and in turn, create generational wealth—James said the goal with Simply Pure’s franchise model is the same.
Tentative locations include California, Illinois, Massachusetts and Texas, she said.
James is focused on making Simply Pure a valuable resource for its franchisees, not one that will tell them to sink or swim.
“I’m using the phrase that we want to be the ‘dolphins’ in every deal out there with our partners,” James said. “For so many years, people have talked about [how] they’re ‘sharks.’ … It always kind of works out negatively. I’ve sat down with my team, and I said, ‘I want us to go out there and find deals and partnerships in which we are the best possible partners, and we’re going to give everybody the opportunity that’s working with us the best opportunity to succeed.’”Photo courtesy of Simply PureSimply Pure’s Denver dispensaryA Brand Supporting Causes
In another effort to address social justice, Simply Pure will also launch a cannabis brand, BCause. Five percent of funds raised from the brand will go toward Black causes, such as helping people of color attend law school and assisting with the release of inmates who have been imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses.
The “B” in the name calls attention to Black causes, James said, stating, “BCause is about putting Black before causes.”
“Hopefully, with BCause, as we go into different states, we’ll be using growers of color, manufacturing facilities of people who meet the DEI standards,” James said. “In some places, we may do it ourselves.”
Business’ diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices that Simply Pure will evaluate include the composition of their boards and the clients with whom they work. “I believe it is becoming very clear what companies are focused on ensuring DEI,” James said. “Sadly, the ones that are not are also easily recognized. The change to focus on DEI usually happens after an embarrassing call out on social media or losing a large client.”
She points out how companies that focus on DEI often have higher profitability, adding, “It is nice seeing Black talent in demand.”
As a sign of its recent success, James said Simply Pure’s dispensary will