LBRTE Founder and CEO Mark del Rosso joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss parallels between the auto industry and the cannabis industry and the outlook for growth in the cannabis space.
- A former senior executive in the luxury automotive industry now leading a new cannabis lifestyle brand looking to cater to affluent high-class consumers. Mark del Rosso, LBRTE founder and CEO, joining us now to discuss his shift from luxury vehicles to navigating the cannabis market. Thank you for joining me today, Mark. So this is quite the shift. Walk us through how you got from your previous industry in automotives to now cannabis.
MARK DEL ROSSO: Well, thank you, and thank you for having LBRTE today. First, I think I start with the journey from automotive into the cannabis. At the root and at that the essence, it's really a personal belief when I contrast the two. From an automotive perspective, I always believed in transportation and the freedom that comes with transportation.
When I look at the cannabis market, I have a deep belief in the plant, the cannabis plant, and the freedom to express yourself through the plant and the benefits of the plant. When I look at the opportunity, and to contrast the two, in the opportunity in automotive, I'm fascinated of what's happening with battery electric vehicles as an example.
I read a statistic by 2030, 50% will be battery electric vehicles. When I learn more and more about the cannabis industry, an industry that's going to grow to $70 billion by 2030, it really provided an opportunity to lead. 68% of Americans believe that cannabis should be federally legal, 34 states medical, 21 recreationally legal.
So it really gave us an opportunity at LBRTE to found a company that is really specifically around a modern high-design cannabis company, really focused at a discerning audience. And we really believe that audience is into culture, status, and sophistication, and they want the very best.
In addition, when I look at the journey, I think about the ability to innovate, and taking automotive as an example, alternative propulsion, battery electric vehicles. When I think about the cannabis market as well, clearly an opportunity to innovate and pioneer in the space of solventless extraction as an example, direct to consumer. And really around our company, lbrteus.com, it really gives us the opportunity to design and curate from products to experience. So it's been an incredible journey. I'm learning a lot.
- So Mark, I want to ask you this, are you expecting much crossover in your high-end clientele in cars and your high-end hiring clientele that you're catering to as your website has launched today? And I guess you're going to be rolling out in California and other accessories along the way.
MARK DEL ROSSO: Yes, well, thank you for that. We do believe that there's a crossover, and quite candidly, again, going back to the consumer, and we serve the consumer. Our mission is to elevate cannabis and society. And when we think about that discerning consumer, we think that we have the ability again to curate around that.
I believe from a launch perspective, we'll launch in the spring a full lineup of lifestyle products available throughout the United States and then premium cannabis products in the state of California with a passion around solventless. We'll focus primarily on Los Angeles and the Los Angeles area and then expand throughout the state of California. But yes, we see that crossover because we do have the access, and we do have the credibility.
- And so, Mark, I want to ask you. Obviously, in terms of the regulatory environment, it is a bit piecemeal. It is quite patchwork. How do you see that affecting how your business grows from here?
MARK DEL ROSSO: Yeah, I think it's interesting, and we're learning an awful lot. And I really love Elon Musk bringing up the whole idea of first principles and really getting down to the truths and then reasoning up from there. And I think that it's important when we look at regulation. Again, I believe in America. And again, as I stated, 68% of Americans want cannabis to be federally legal.
And the reality is, when I think about that and I think about the truths, the lesson's learned, whether it's in California, New York is now coming online. There's an opportunity to continue to innovate and continue to get better. And that's where we think pioneering is so important. And also, I think the legislation will follow. Always getting better and always reasoning up.
- And obviously, people are wondering perhaps about some of these price points for the products and services versus, say, what you might get at a dispensary. What sort of price points are we looking at?
MARK DEL ROSSO: Yeah, for us at LBRTE, again, if you want to learn more about our company, it's lbrteus.com. We really believe that our pricing reflects that idea of creating the best-in-class value for the client. It's really a connoisseur grade and the curation of the finest. So our range will be anywhere from $50 to $1,000. But again, it's creating value within the segment and within the industry.
- I mean, we've seen luxury buyers stick with it, even through inflation. So I'm guessing perhaps if that's the market here as well in this crossover, you might see that growth there too. A big thank you to Mark del Rosso there, LBRTE founder and CEO. Thank you for joining me today.