How to Become an Independent Producer

Jerry Garcia’s marijuana pipe takes a long, strange trip and ends up in a Marin County antique shop. That’s where a curious history about the pipe begins and ends.

By Matt Brown

When Matt Brown left his life in New York and became the owner of a small company in Marin County, the first thing he did was bring it to reality. The idea was to build a company that could service a niche of the medical marijuana industry. “This is going to change the future of marijuana,” Brown told me in 2017.

Matt Brown (center) and Matt Brown Productions owner Tom Brown.

Brown’s company, Matt Brown Productions Co. (MBCO, according to the company website), is a company of two people. Tom Brown (who co-founded the company in 2009) is one of its owners, and Matt Brown (who started in 2011 and became the company’s CEO after Brown died in 2017) is its CEO. (The company is also known as “Brown & Brown,” but that’s not really the case: Tom Brown is the founder, CEO and president of MBCO, Matt Brown is its president, and Joe Kallman is the marketing manager and vice president of finance.)

The company’s focus is to provide all of the services that an independent producer needs to run a small operation, including everything from cultivation to selling, marketing and distribution, so that its products can be passed along to a wider audience.

In the words of one of its owners: “We want to provide the basic infrastructure for an entrepreneur. In that, we’re similar to a start-up.”

What’s the difference between a cannabis company or grower, and an independent producer?

For as much as the cannabis industry is being labeled a cash cow, it’s actually becoming a real business enterprise. It’s not as simple as “selling weed,” which is the popular and often-used term in the industry. Rather, there are a range of steps that an independent producer can take to succeed.

Here’s a basic rundown of how many steps you need to take to succeed in the industry.

Step 0: Find a product

Whether the independent producer is producing marijuana for someone or for their own personal use, they’ll need to find a product for which they

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