Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carsey Merchant, Founder and Managing Partner of Indica Consulting, located in Austin, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We work with companies that operate in the legal cannabis and hemp industries. 50% of our time is spent helping licensed operators (those that are legally licensed and touch the plant or the product), and 50% is working with the ancillary companies that provide goods and services for the industry, such as technology, software, and other tools. The cannabis industry is extremely complex, so we help businesses navigate the unique challenges of a highly regulated industry.

Tell us about yourself

I have worked in the cannabis industry for years and realized there was a lot of misinformation floating around that caused businesses a lot of growing pains as they expanded and grew. The “smoke and mirrors’ as we refer to it, has cost businesses billions of dollars and I felt there needed to be a team created that could help them see through the smoke to make more informed strategic decisions based on both data and industry experience. You see, this industry is extremely unique, and traditional business practices many times are not effective due to regulation, compliance, culture, or other mitigating factors. Understanding what to do BEFORE taking action can save time and money and, most importantly, protect a business from the significant risks this industry faces.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Creating a female-founded business based on ethics and integrity that genuinely helps not only our clients but raises the tide for the entire cannabis and hemp industry. I am so proud of what my team has accomplished and the impact we have made on our clients and partners.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I, of course, wrestle with the traditional challenges any business owner faces but also add our industry’s complexities, such as restricted banking, the elimination of business tax deductions because of IRS 280E, and the significant risk of compliance and regulatory changes that happen daily. Staying on top of a quickly evolving industry that is projected to exceed $25 billion in the next few years creates unique challenges that require daily attention.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Plan for a long road.
  2. Learn to say no and create boundaries.
  3. Find and build a network of trusted humans that can support and guide you during challenging times.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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