MI: Tell us a little about yourself.
NR: My name is Nick Roman. I’m from Northern New Jersey. My business partner is my brother, William Roman. We’re business partners and we’re going to be the first two employees for the company. I guess I’m technically the co-founder, maybe CEO, of the company. Paul gave me a title within the Business Plan, but. I’m not so concerned about titles.
MI: What’s the history behind the Roman Bros. Cannabis Company?
NR: Personally, I’ve been doing this cannabis thing my whole life. I started selling cannabis when I was 13 years old, about a year after my dad passed away. I was smoking it and growing it and I got really into it, before things became legal, and eventually my brother became old enough to do things with me. I’ve always wanted to get into the legal cannabis industry, but I never had the money. Back then, it was expensive. It still is. I remember thinking there’s no way it was possible.
Fast forward a couple years, my brother and I moved to Oregon. William went to school and I invested in a hemp farm and we started growing hemp and cannabis. Afterwards, we met a lawyer through a family friend. He was speaking at a political event and he told us that he could get us a cannabis license. This was before all the licenses were out and around. We had some money saved up from selling cannabis when we were younger, so we decided to take the plunge into selling cannabis legally.
That’s what Roman Bros is all about. We’re two brothers, and we produce cannabis. I could BS and say that our cannabis is the highest quality, but we’re simply here to create a great experience.
MI: Is there something that ignited your interest in the cannabis industry?
NR: So, I was selling cannabis when nobody wanted to do it. I remember being on the school bus one day and I was joking around with these kids. They were saying things like, “You’re going to go to jail”, or “You’re never going to go anywhere with your life.”
I’ve been to jail and all kinds of bad places because of cannabis. I remember every time I hit a speed bump, people would tell me to stop and get off the rails. I’ve learned that you have to really love what you’re doing, and that money is just a side effect. The business is what makes it worthwhile. The product is what makes it worthwhile. If you hang in there and persevere, it’ll be worth it in the end. Through selling cannabis, I was able to make my dreams my reality.
I’ve had some odd jobs when I was a kid. I was a welder and a laborer at one point. But my eye has always been on the cannabis industry. Always. I could see it coming from a mile away. My mom hated cannabis when I was a kid because my father passed from drinking alcohol. He was a really successful guy, and he grew cannabis because he loved it. The funny thing is, now my mother is now opening a dispensary. It’s crazy how times change. For me it’s come full circle. Luckily, I’m in this position with my brother. My brother and I have always been entrepreneurial, so having to hire a ton of employees is strange for me because we’ve always done it ourselves. That’s just something I’m learning and I’m working on.
I’ve also had positive people telling me things like “You’re going to go somewhere someday, and you’re going to have a marijuana store”. I remember thinking at the time, “Imagine if that could be reality”. Ever since then, I took it seriously. I was very entrepreneurial about it and I guess that’s why I was able to find some kind of success with cannabis, even though I used to front it out to people in mass amounts. Things have come a long way since then. I’ve watched the industry change so much and I’m grateful that we took
our time with opening Roman Bros. We’re very lucky because we’re going to be one of the multi-state operators.
MI: What would you say your mission is in the cannabis industry?
NR: Our mission is producing a high-quality product. “To cultivate high-quality cannabis while supporting the local community and ensuring strict compliance with all industry laws and regulations”. I would say my personal goal is to do what I can to destigmatize the cannabis industry. I think mass legalization is a great way to exterminate the black market, and essentially make it normal.
MI: What advice would you give first-time entrepreneurs?
NR: Never quit. Never give up. Because I really think in any business, people will try to talk you out of being successful. If you can stand up after being knocked down a million times, whether its verbally, mentally, or physically, you’ll always win.
You know, being in the cannabis industry...it’s straightforward but, at the same time, it’s not. Based off of street knowledge alone, I could pick out the strains; I can make my way around the industry and navigate all the bullshit. I really hope that the smaller businesses will stick to it. There are all these craft techniques that we use at Roman Bros. We met with someone from one of those bigger companies who told us to scrap our methods. And we held our ground and said, “No, that’s what makes us unique.” That’s what people like.
MI: Do you have a favorite strain?
NR: I love Sour Diesel. Between 2014-2016, I found some great Sour Diesel. And I can’t find it anymore. Instead, I find things like “Gary Poppins”. But the original strains are where it’s at.
MI: What are some of your favorite book/films/ podcasts?
NR: “The Prince” by Nicollo Machiavelli. “The Communist Manifesto” by Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx
MI: How has a Business Plan, written by the Plan Writers, helped you/ your business?
NR: I love you guys. The PW have helped in many ways. The biggest help was making my dream a reality. I could talk everyone’s ear off about my business, but you guys took my idea and articulated that vision. I liked the depth and the presentation I was able to get out of the Business Plan. That’s what the state was also looking for. And because we’re a multi-state operator, the state wants to see that we had a plan in place that could rival something that the bigger guys have in place.
MI: Would you recommend the Plan Writers to other business owners?
NR: Oh, hell yeah. I HAVE recommended you guys. Our cannabis attorney recommended a ton of his clients to the Plan Writers. And every time I meet someone who is still selling cannabis the old-fashioned way, I send them over to you.