Member Spotlight: Bridge City Collective

Member Spotlight: Bridge City Collective

About Bridge City Collective

 

Portia Mittons

Bridge City Collective: BridgeCityCollective.com

Portia Mittons serves as co-chair of CBAI’s Minority Access Committee, where she works to help social equity applicants thrive in the cannabis industry. She is a partner at Bridge City Collective, and the company’s Vice President of  Retail in Illinois, as well as the co-owner of the cannabis dispensary Coughie Pot in Sumpter, Oregon, and a board member of the Oregon Retailer’s Cannabis Association.

 

My official title is Vice President of Retail, IL

 

I also sit on the Oregon Retailer’s Cannabis Association board

.

Tell us about your company?

Bridge City Collective is a multi-state cannabis business with a focus on education and wellness that has a presence in Oregon, Massachusetts, Ohio, Missouri, New Jersey and Illinois. Our tag line is “the new approach to wellness.”

Tell us about your role on the Minority Access Committee.

The Minority Access Committee helps social equity applicants get into and thrive in the cannabis business in Illinois. Many of these companies and individuals are facing a steep learning curve, so the committee serves as a resource to help them navigate the application process and grow their business.

My role is to assist social equity applicants to the best of my ability, capability, and capacity, with whatever they need: resources, connections, information, you name it. As a previous applicant myself, I have the benefit of experience that I can share with other social equity applicants: the opportunities I took advantage of, the errors I made. I’ve met a lot of people whose feelings and fears and frustrations I can relate to because I’ve gone through the process myself. And as I meet and talk to other people, I learn about their challenges and successes, which helps me to better help other applicants going forward. Bringing our experiences together makes us all a bit smarter and stronger and – maybe – a little ahead of the eight ball.

Portia Mittons, Partner, Bridge City Collective

Portia Mittons serves as co-chair of CBAI’s Minority Access Committee, where she works to help social equity applicants thrive in the cannabis industry. She is a partner at Bridge City Collective, and the company’s Director of Retail Operations in Illinois, as well as the co-owner of the cannabis dispensary Coughie Pot in Sumpter, Oregon.

How would you like to see the Minority Access Committee grow or evolve?

My goal is to make CBAI and the Minority Access Committee a hub of information on how to be effective in the cannabis space: how to get involved, how to run a successful business and how to grow that business. We want to foster connections to others in the industry, including ancillary businesses like construction, accounting or IT, and share educational resources on things like the latest industry developments or new technology. The bottom line is we want to be a continued resource for social equity applicants here in Illinois.

 

What role does your company play in serving the cannabis industry?

We provide a holistic approach to the cannabis space, focus on quality products and helping people become better educated about how cannabis can contribute to their health and well-being.

 

What drew you into the cannabis industry?

One of my father’s friends in Oregon had been jailed for cannabis possession, but when he got out of jail, cannabis was legal. He worked to become a medical cannabis grower in Oregon and, after a while, he reached out because he was looking to help support the cannabis community and see it grow to benefit communities that had been disproportionately impacted by its criminalization. He could not secure a commercial license because of his conviction for cannabis possession, but he was adamant that the Black community should be an active participant in the cannabis business. So, with his help, support and encouragement, I moved to Oregon and opened my own dispensary in 2017.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business?

I’ve learned a lot about the importance of teamwork and the benefits of having a diverse group of people with different skillsets. I’ve also received a fast education in real estate and zoning, the order in which those things need to happen and navigating each municipality’s different rules and ordinances.

What excites you about the cannabis industry?

One of the biggest things that excites me is the health and wellness benefits people see from cannabis, especially among older generations and those who suffer from anxiety and PTSD. It’s interesting to see people shed the notion that cannabis makes people lazy and unproductive and understand that it can really be a benefit in their lives. What also excites me is the opportunity for black and brown people and those who were affected the most by the war on drugs to have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this industry to help right the wrongs that were done to them through legislative work & making money in the industry as business owners/operators.

 

Connect with Portia and

Bridge City Collective!

 

Member Spotlight: GreenFlex Financial

About GreenFlex Financial

 

Molly Mayfield, MAcc, CPA

GreenFlex Financial: greenflexfinancial.com

Molly Mayfield and her team at GreenFlex Financial provide world-class accounting services to cannabis businesses across the country, with a special focus on social equity and minority businesses.

Tell us about your company?

I started GreenFlex Financial in 2021 and our specialty is offering world class accounting services to business owners in the cannabis industry. I run a lean team which allows me to be personally very hands-on when it comes to providing financial analysis and advisory services to our clients.

Cannabis is a niche industry I really believe in supporting. Many professionals in the accounting industry have been a little timid to enter the market, but I saw it as an opportunity to step up to the plate and merge my extensive Professional Accounting expertise with the needs the industry is facing right now, especially the development of sound accounting practices. With cannabis being illegal at the federal level and legal at the state level, it creates complexity for the back office in serving the accounting function well. That’s where we come in.

What role does your company play in serving the cannabis industry?

At GreenFlex Financial, we know that cannabis owners in particular face unique challenges in managing their back office, keeping pristine accounting records and maintaining audit trails. We help ensure these practices can be transparent when necessary, so investors and stakeholders receive timely and accurate financial statements and analysis consistently.

What drew you into the cannabis industry?

I’ve witnessed acquaintances, professional colleagues, friends and loved ones live in a more whole and healing way with the help of cannabis, especially as opposed to other harsher substances. From seeing their experiences, I know cannabis can be a positive tool that one can have in their toolbox.

My family owned a retail, health-focused business for about 40 years. I worked a lot of different positions during my time working for our business, but my passion was the financial side of the business: everything from being a cashier starting at the age of 7, to helping my mother pay the bills and then in more mature years managing a 20,000 skew Inventory scenario along with loan package preparation. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, that’s where my passion for accounting was born. I put those two worlds together in creating GreenFlex Financial PLLC.

 

What excites you about the cannabis industry?

I want to help the cannabis industry grow as a whole, but I’m really excited about the opportunity to help social equity applicants and minority business owners succeed in this industry. Our social equity applicants and minority business owners have already been through so many challenges in their journey of entrepreneurship and they need relief in the way of making sure their Accounting and Business Processes run smoothly and accurately.  That is where GreenFlex comes in!

 

What are the biggest challenges facing your business?

On the one hand, the federal government calls cannabis illegal. On the other hand, cannabis businesses are still required to pay federal taxes on the money they’re making legally within state boundaries. It’s a really interesting point in the journey. And contrary to many other businesses, cash is still king in the cannabis industry. Not only do they have to sometimes pay the IRS or sales tax in cash but they often have to pay suppliers in cash as well. Cash presents much more risk: it’s easier to handle inappropriately and it’s harder to keep track of. But at the end of the day, businesses still need accurate accounting records to be able to share with their stakeholders. Businesses need to work with an experienced Professional Accountant who has expert-level knowledge of how to perform Accounting and Back Office functions within the Cannabis Industry.  This will help set them up for the best success.