4Front Ramps Up Cannabis Dispensary Operations and Prepares to Go Public
Exclusive Interview with 4Front Co-founder and CEO Josh Rosen
4Front, cannabis management and investment firm, started out with a purely consulting model, but it has grown to hold licenses in four states as it prepares to go public. Co-founder and CEO Josh Rosen spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about the company’s current business model, its push to become operational in multiple states and a recent capital raise.
Before Rosen co-founded 4Front with company president Kris Krane, he worked as an equity analyst for investment bank Credit Suisse. During that time, he got to know University of Phoenix founder and drug reform philanthropist John Sperling, who inspired him in part to search for something new. Rosen wanted to leave the world of Wall Street and find a socially impactful way to apply his skills. In 2011, he took that leap and founded the company with Krane.
The 4Front Team
The 4Front leadership team has a combination of cannabis-specific expertise and experience from outside industries. Krane, a lifelong drug reform advocate, previously worked in the nonprofit sector as executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. His drive to eliminate cannabis stigma and expand appropriate access is a big piece of the company’s culture. COO Leise Rosman, also from the nonprofit sector, started with company shortly after its founding and quickly rose through the ranks due to her expertise in navigating local regulations in pursuit of licenses. The company recruited Don Schaefer from farm-to-table start up Sweetgreen, and he now serves the company as retail director.
From Consulting to Active Operations
In its early days, 4Front did not touch the plant, instead providing guidance through the regulatory and licensing process, having licensed the intellectual property from a company associated with Harborside. In 2015, the company decided to actively pursue licenses