Professional boxer Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield is Bay Area to the core. You can hear it in the way he talks, you can see it in the way he walks, and The Bay is most definitely in the way he fights. “I was born and raised in the Western Addition known as the Fillmore [District]. What we call the Moe. It is known as a historically Black community, and I pretty much came up there all my adolescent years, and today, I'm still there doing what I can do for the youngsters,” he told Weedmaps during a recent phone interview. Mayfield has a record of 21 Wins (11 knockouts, 10 decisions), 5 Losses (0 knockouts, 5 decisions). He's the 2006 Golden Gloves champion, a former NABO junior welterweight champion, and emphasizes that he has never been beaten, battered, or bruised. His hardest opponent ever? Himself. “Not to sound all cocky, my hardest opponent was myself, to be honest. I can tell you I fought a guy named Thomas Delorme, that was a little more difficult than others. No excuse, but it wasn't the full me in there.” Currently, Mayfield is inactive as a professional boxer, but is training for a comeback and wants Danny Garcia to stop running. “I've been chasing this guy for a long time. I've got a documentary on WorldStar called Run Danny. They are still ducking me to this day. People will say I want a big pay day, but I'm so passionate, I'll fight him for the low.” Past boxing, Mayfield's passions extend to community restoration and social equity in California cannabis. “It's very important, very essential for me to give back to where I came from. I got everything from there.” For several years, he's had a boxing program in San Francisco named SOULCHAMP, aimed at giving kids with tough circumstances a more positive outlook. It provides a full body boxing routine, meditation, and life skills to help navigate through the difficulties of growing up in lower income neighborhoods that are more dangerous than the San Francisco we've seen on Full House. “Mental health is definitely a serious issue in these times.” In the last year, the former welterweight champ has expanded into cannabis business ownership. Hard Hitta is now the Chief Executive Officer and owner — in partnership with the Shryne Group — of Authentic 415 in San Francisco. Like with SOULCHAMP, Taylor's mission with Authentic 415 is all about giving back to the authentic San Francisco community. “Before gentrification came and moved a lot of our folks in the Bay Area, the city wasn't that expensive at all. How we're going to keep it authentic is we're going to keep those price points down. We certainly look to be true to the culture and have accessible price points. We're hiring people from the neighborhood and area.” Karim Mayfield's favorite weed In addition to selling cannabis, Mayfield also loves to use cannabis, though never when he's fighting, as THC violates the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA)'s rules, but CBD is allowed. On its benefits, he told us, “I think the benefits [are] it won't solve your problems, but at the time you feel like things are okay. When I consume cannabis, if I do have a problem, my mind fades out and finds out a way to help that problem. I can think a little deeper at times. It also makes movies funnier.” Here are four weed products Karim Mayfield can't live without. Papa & Barkley Releaf Balm Mayfield isn't a big smoker at all. Instead, he's more of a CBD user. He loves topicals, and the one that he chooses above everything else is the well-known, highly-requested, Papa & Barkley Releaf Balm. “Anytime I had a fight coming up, I would stay away from any type of psychoactive, and just make sure I was on CBD only. No edibles, no smoke, no anything.” Papa & Barkley's Releaf Balm is a great hemp-derived topical marketed for post-workout soreness, cramps, stretching, and muscle aches. STIIIZY vape pens In the very rare times that Mayfield does use cannabis recreationally, he prefers STIIIZY's vape pens to flower and dabs. “I like the resin ones because they taste good, they're super incognito; they're just lowkey.” STIIIZY's pens and pods are known all throughout California. Mayfield loves the flavors, and price points. Currently, its website lists over 21 strains in half and full gram pods. STIIIZY also grows flower under a brand called LIIIT. Mayfield loves their Circa strain. Circa is a sativa, which Mayfield loves for creativity. Cookies strains Every now and then Mayfield may smoke a little tree. He's not a connoisseur by any means, but he knows what tastes and feels good. In addition to STIIIZY's Circa, some of his favorite strains have been Gary Payton and Cake Mix from Cookies. Ball Family Farms “Ball Family Farms definitely has some good products.” Ball Family Farms is a Black-owned-and-operate cannabis company in California. They specialize in high quality-flower, namely their famous Daniel LaRusso strain. Daniel LaRusso is a potent hybrid with spicy and minty aromas. It provides a satisfying high that's perfect for a day out. Featured graphic by David Lozada. Dante Jordan Danté Jordan is a freelance writer, video producer, and media consultant specializing in cannabis culture, strains, products, education, and everything else related to that lil’ green flower. Contact him at dantenetworks(at)gmail(dotcom), or dante_jordan on Instagram. His website is www.dantejordan.com.
(A version of this story appears in the February issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.) From mom-and-pop shops to corporate chains, everyone in the retail business knows that a carefully chosen location is key to success. The cannabis industry is no exception. Although regulatory requirements, license availability and market demand will vary from place to place, marijuana and hemp retailers on the hunt for a killer location might benefit from: Understanding both immediate local markets and regional trends. Creative thinking to find underserved locations—particularly for smaller players. Carefully considering the potential benefits and drawbacks of buying versus leasing. Identifying future markets before local officials start writing ordinances, then engaging early. Think local, but also regional Prospective cannabis store operators need to get intimately familiar with the area where they want to open, advises Michael Lord, chief operating officer at Colorado cannabis firm LivWell Enlightened Health, which operates 22 dispensaries across the state. “Google Earth does not articulate a true representation of boots on the ground,” Lord said. “I think a lot of people are siting (stores) in areas that perhaps they’ve never visited, putting locations (based on) just what looks good on a map. “It can vary in a neighborhood from street to street. … And I think that businesses, at the end of the day, still have to have a finger on the pulse of the communities that they operate in.” Stephanie Goodman, CEO of Michigan cannabis real estate brokerage Bricks and Mortar Group, also recommends doing regional market research in surrounding areas. “You might think you’ve got this great spot and they’re only going to issue two licenses in the city, but immediately next door, it’s unlimited (licenses),” she said. “Knowing those types of things helps you forecast for future sales.” That means doing your homework. “Know your market — population, demographics, regulations, etc.,” said Franny Tacy, CEO of Franny’s Farmacy, which has eight franchises in four states. “We have made choices to postpone development of Franny’s Farmacy CBD Dispensaries in certain states that do not allow smokable hemp flower because it is a top quantity sold product, revenue generator and driver to brick-and-mortar locations.” Carving out your own niche Elev8 Cannabis founder and CEO Seun Adedeji, who opened a single dispensary location in Oregon before expanding into Massachusetts, believes smaller, less-capitalized businesses can benefit from opening in smaller towns. Adedeji focused Elev8’s Massachusetts expansion on border towns near New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, where acquiring real estate is cheaper than in bigger cities. “The beauty is, because of the limitations of licenses, each of those small towns are only giving out two recreational licenses,” Adedeji said. “So your value still increases.” Smaller towns might have their charms, but a border strategy such as Adedeji’s can also work within cities. Erbn Green Cannabis Co., a small Canadian retailer that opened its first location in the competitive Toronto market in October, found a location in the uptown area of that city. It might not be a hot address compared to the city’s downtown core, but Chief Compliance Officer Farrell Miller said the location meets demand in an underserved market near two suburbs that opted out of allowing cannabis stores. Erbn Green’s second location is in Picton, Ontario, a small community with less competition for cannabis store licenses than in big cities such as Toronto or Ottawa. “This town is getting really known for wineries and tourism,” Miller said. “We eventually see cannabis aligning with those things.” To buy or to lease? Elev8’s Adedeji got burned when the landlord for his first Oregon store declined to renew the lease and he had to find a new location. As a result, Adedeji is a strong proponent of retail operators buying real estate instead of leasing. “For anybody looking to get into a leasing option, have a 10-year lease with an option of an additional 10 years,” he said. In Michigan, real estate broker Goodman said marijuana’s federal prohibition contributes to landlords’ hesitancy to lease to cannabis businesses. “We’re seeing more private funding on the purchasing side, and they’ll lease back to the operator,” Goodman said. For well-capitalized players, buying and then executing a leaseback deal can bring advantages. LivWell’s Lord said the company acquires some properties, then sells them to partners who will lease the locations back to the dispensary operator. “That allows us to go and execute and use that capital for continued expansion rather than having it tied up in the real estate itself,” he said. Tacy at Franny’s Farmacy, however, favors leasing. “Keep your capital and use your money to make money,” she said. “Landlords are more willing to negotiate leases now especially with the commercial real estate climate of COVID. I strongly encourage a short-term 3-5 year lease option with the ability to extend. “Even though hemp is federally legal, it is not business as usual for banking, advertising, credit card processing or for finding a great retail space. COVID has proven that cannabis is a more than just recession proof, it’s pandemic proof.” Get a head start Smaller players might score an advantage by identifying potential markets before regulators start offering licenses, then engaging local officials early, Goodman said. “In that scenario, I’d recommend that you start working with the city before they’ve written any ordinances and then work with them to get the ordinance written for what you want to do,” she said. “We’ve seen quite a few of those work out. They do like local businesses, but it’s a longer play. It might take six to 12 months to get that done.” Goodman also recommends spending time engaging with the local community. “We’ve worked in a lot of cities where the residents are completely terrified of cannabis businesses,” she said. “But once they start to get to know you, and there’s actually a face associated with the business that wants to come in, it’s different.” Ivan Moreno contributed to this report.
Canadian hemp and marijuana producer Tilray cut its annual loss to $271 million for 2020 — an improvement from the Nanaimo, British Columbia company’s $321 million loss in 2019, according to the full-year and fourth-quarter results released Wednesday. Tilray, which is on the verge of being merged with Canadian peer Aphria, lost only $3 million in its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2020. Adjusted EBITDA was $2.2 million. Tilray reports its financials in U.S. dollars. Overall revenue rose to $56.6 million in the quarter, up from $51.4 million for the July-September period. Revenue attributed to cannabis was $41.2 million, up from the previous quarter’s $31.4 million. Hemp revenue, on the other hand, fell 23% quarter-over-quarter to $15.3 million. Tilray shares trade as TLRY on the Nasdaq exchange, and Aphria shares trade as APHA on the Nasdaq and Toronto Stock Exchange. Read more about Tilray’s financials at and the merger at Marijuana Business Daily.
(This story appears in the February issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.) Partnership disputes — whether between business partners or owners and investors — continue to...
After a failed attempt to legalize adult-use cannabis last year, the New Mexico Legislature is once again taking up the issue, this time placing a greater emphasis on social equity. RELATED: New Mexico Lawmakers Introduce Competing Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Proposals Four legalization bills have been introduced in the legislature to date—two in the Senate and two in the House. Lawmakers are essentially considering three different versions of legalization proposals, as one of the Senate bills is identical to the House version.
For Kika Keith, tackling the beast of reforming cannabis social equity in Los Angeles has been a long journey, one she never expected would last for as long as it has. Keith is a single mother to three girls, serial entrepreneur, cannabis advocate, founder of Life Development Group, co-founder of the Social Equity Owners and Workers Association (SEOWA), and now a Social Equity cannabis retail license owner. As a South-Central Los Angeles native, she was raised in a household and community where there wasn't much of a stigma around cannabis.
Buy Black weed. Period. Here are 10 Black-owned cannabis farms, and the flagship strains they want you to try. Since there are so very few Black owners in each state, sometimes only one or none at all, this list mostly spans across West Coast states — California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington — with slim picks from Colorado and Washington DC that have an established recreational cannabis market.
The hemp industry has high hopes for thriving under President Joe Biden, with operators seeing opportunities in the president’s climate plan and feeling optimistic that congressional action on high-THC cannabis will open more opportunities for hemp entrepreneurs. But the industry is still waiting for answers on some of its most pressing concerns, especially the legality of over-the-counter CBD products. Hemp producers and manufacturers also have big questions about how the administration will interpret new rules around farming hemp and extracting cannabinoids.
The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, an industry trade and advocacy organization, has formed a new Cannabis Beverage Council to connect cannabis industry and beverage industry leaders focused on expanding the cannabis beverage segment. Hemp-derived CBD beverages will be a growing segment among consumers, accounting for up to $1.3 billion in sales by 2025, Nielsen Global Connect projects. The council was formed to “forge a new beverage market by harmonizing canna-beverage policies across the country,” ATACH President Michael Bronstein said in a statement. Founding members of the council include Anheuser Busch heir Adophus Busch V, founder of Denver-based ABV Cannabis Co., and entrepreneur Scott Coors of the Coors Brewing family, who serves on the board of directors for SeroVita Holding Corp. “At the repeal of alcohol prohibition in the 1930s, the industry came together to create an industry effort and agree on responsible consumption, policies, and best practices,” Coors said. “ATACH’s new council for cannabis beverages is modeled after this concept, which is why I am a part of this historic moment.” The council also includes founding members David Klein, CEO of Canopy Growth, Christy Zhou, vice president of legal and regulatory affairs at Organigram; Erik Knutson, CEO and co-founder of Keef Brands; Bill Silver, president of new markets at Cannacraft; Chuck Smith, CEO of BellRock Brands, Koji Pupo, vice president of business development at Columbia Distributing, Gary Kaminsky, director of legal compliance at Acreage Holdings, Jake Bullock, co-founder of CANN and Josh Lizotte, CEO of Rebel Coast. Read more about the cannabis beverage market in Hemp Industry Daily’s free report, “How to Navigate the Complicated World of CBD in Retail.”
A cosmetics executive has been tapped to take over California CBD manufacturer Papa & Barkley. Evelyn Wang replaces Adam Grossman as CEO. Grossman will lead the company’s board of directors. Wang comes from Milani Cosmetics. She was formerly an assistant vice president for L’Oreal Paris, and before that was Product Director for Neutrogena Cosmetics, part of Johnson & Johnson. Grossman said in a statement that Wang is “the right leader to build on our momentum and brand.” The company did not say why Grossman is stepping down as CEO. Based in Eureka, California, Papa & Barkley is best known for making THC edibles in its home state. But the privately held company also makes hemp-derived CBD topicals, tinctures and capsules for natural distribution. Also Tuesday, Papa & Barkley announced that Zeeshan Hyder, former CFO of multistate marijuana operator MedMen, will join as its new CFO.
We've all been there: You want a little psychoactive oomph added to your day, but you're on the move. The conspicuous rigamarole of rolling a joint on the fly is not an option, and you learned a lesson last time about gobbling a potent, infused cookie before heading out the door and going about your business. So what's a bud-friendly busybody to do? Edibles can be a fickle beast, especially for the novice consumer. Dosing is often tricky, and there are countless product types available in the legal market, ranging from weapons-grade brownies and low-dose gummies, to lush delicacies like Italian-style drinkables or these elegant burnt caramel truffles. Figuring out which brand or what form of edibles works for you and your needs can feel like traversing a marijuana mindfield. So we're here to help. Below, we've highlighted some infused treats that will complement the lifestyles of active, on-the-go tokers — regardless if you're a newbie or a pro. Sonder Space Crystals Calling all 90s kids: the ingenious folks at Sonder developed a cannabis remix of Pop Rocks, aptly named “Sonder Space Crystals.” These babies are nearly indistinguishable in appearance and sensation to the original candy, but enhanced with some innovative infusion tech. A single-serve pouch of crystals includes 10 milligrams of THC, and Sonder offers zany flavors like Peachy Passion, Stoned Fruit, and Pineapple Party. Best of all, they're made using sublingual nanoemulsion technology, so consumers will feel the effects within 15 minutes, compared to most edibles' typical hour-long onset. On top of being low dose and instant-release, Sonder Space Crystals are neatly packaged in slim pouches that can easily fit in a wallet or pocket. These qualities make the product ideal for anyone trying to get lifted while out and about. Just rip one open, pour it in your mouth, and let these canna-crystals titillate your tongue and brain alike. Available in California. Mondo Meds Say you don't have a sweet tooth, but are still looking for an edibles experience akin to the infused Pop Rocks detailed above, what product should you reach for? Mondo Meds might just scratch that itch. The dissolving cannabis powder, also described as a “powdered tincture,” is ideal for adding some magic to any beverage or dish your heart desires. Similar to Sonder, Mondo's infused offerings are fast-acting, with effects felt within 15 minutes. A jar of their powder includes 200 milligrams of THC, as well as a precision scooper that enables controlled doses of 5 milligrams of THC. Ladle some powder on to your tongue, or mix it into your coffee, tea, or food — it's that simple. Mondo has a slight taste of cacao, and will be your new favorite “secret ingredient” for any meal, whether you cooked it yourself or picked it up from a restaurant. With this product, the limits of infusion are boundless. Mondo CBD available nationwide. Mondo THC available in California. 1906 Go Beans The name of this edible says it all: New Highs 1906's GO Beans are literally intended for those on the go. These dark chocolate-covered coffee beans are packed with cannabis, caffeine, and L-theanine — a concoction designed to “help you get all the life stuff done, whether that's an endurance workout or an epic to-do list.” Instead of starting your day with a large Red Eye and huffing a joint packed with a strong sativa, opt for the 1906 GO Beans instead. The product's stimulating and mind-altering effects essentially allow you to kill two birds with one stoner. And since there's only 1 milligram of THC in each GO Bean, the risk of overdoing it is slim, making these edibles perfect for incorporating into your morning routine. Available in California. Cann Social Tonics Drinkables, the beverage equivalent of an edible, are still in their salad days as a product category. Despite major investment from big players in both the cannabis and alcohol industries, the market size for infused drinks was reportedly around $200 million in 2019. And that's not saying much: the partnership between cannabis monolith Tilray and Anheuser-Busch InBev to develop a drinkable product involved a $100 million investment alone. So even though infused drinks are slowly gaining steam in the legal landscape, that doesn't mean they aren't already awesome in their current state. And for consumers with active lifestyles, you couldn't find a better wavvy beverage than Cann Social Tonics. A single can of Cann only packs 2 milligrams of THC, so you can “have one or have five,” as the brand suggests on its site. “No hangovers here, just the right amount of lift wrapped up in a delicious beverage.” Ideal for bringing to the beach, a barbecue, or a picnic, Cann's stoney sippers are a tasty and low-maintenance option that will put the high in your highdration. Available in California. Kiva Camino Gummies Our last edibles pick is a tried-and-true classic: Kiva Confections' Camino Gummies. These premium sweets are sold in packs of 20, with each gummy containing 5 milligrams of THC. With sleek and discrete packaging, the THC-filled tins can easily fit in your back pocket, purse, or even the cupholder in your car without raising suspicion. The gummies are “tailored by terpenes,” meaning the brand intentionally implements certain terpenes and flavonoids alongside the cannabinoid content, leading to a more directional high. And with delectable flavors like Pineapple Habanero, Watermelon Lemonade, and Blood Orange, you'll never touch another bag of Haribos again. The gummy line gets its name from El Camino Real road in California, and the edibles were designed to “evoke the enchanting experience of travel and exploration.” For on-the-go pot lovers, you couldn't ask for a better roadside companion. Available in California. Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
This story appears in the January issue of Marijuana Business Magazine. Acquisitions remain a key strategy for companies looking to enter or expand their reach within the cannabis industry, but sellers must be ready to seize such opportunities. Owners who would like to exit the hemp space or join larger conglomerates should be ready to: Decide whether to engage a broker. Ensure their financial information is ready for close scrutiny during the due-diligence process. Demonstrate how the purchase would prove valuable to a buyer. A would-be acquisition target also must be ready to vet its purchaser and contemplate how the transition will play out—including possible new management—after the deal closes. “There’s a lot of prerequisite work that goes into putting a business up for sale,” said Ryan George, founder of California-based 420Property.com, CannabisMLS.com and other sites that list cannabis businesses and assets for purchase. Firms should start the process by making sure their books and financials are in order. They also need to gather documentation regarding intellectual property such as patents and marketing materials, he said. George’s sites recorded roughly 250,000 views and 30,000 users in August. He anticipates those numbers growing close to 350,000 page views per month and 50,000 users by the end of the year, thanks to new states legalizing cannabis sales and marijuana retailers being deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. How Buyers Identify Targets New York -based multistate operator Columbia Care announced a deal on Sept. 8 to purchase Project Cannabis, a vertically operated marijuana firm in Los Angeles, for $69 million. The same month, Columbia Care also announced it had completed its acquisition of The Green Solution, Colorado’s largest vertically integrated cannabis operator, for $140 million. The deal was first announced Nov. 5, 2019. “The process we go through to determine whether or not (a deal) makes sense is very internally driven,” Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care, said of the company’s acquisition strategy. “Everybody has to own the outcome, and everyone has to own the integration because, frankly, we all have to work together going forward.” Vita said Columbia Care focuses on four primary factors when determining whether a company is a good merger or acquisition target: The operation’s resources and assets Its business strategy. Corporate ethos and financial conditions. The firm looks for companies that can help Columbia Care achieve its national goals, such as by complementing its existing operations or adding additional revenue opportunities. These targets also must show they can help Columbia Care “get deeper and more embedded into the leadership position” that it would like to achieve in the markets where it operates. Being Prepared Thoughtful Brands, a Vancouver, Canada-based CBD and ecommerce retailer, makes similar assessments when identifying companies and brands to add to its operations. Ryan Hoggan “We look to acquire e–commerce CBD brands with existing customers and revenue,” Thoughtful Brands CEO Ryan Hoggan said. The company is particularly interested in brands with more than $500,000 in annual revenue. “Another appealing factor is if a brand has a unique product or delivery mechanism that, with our resources, we can help grow.” Thoughtful Brands, which formerly operated as Mota Ventures, announced in January that it completed the acquisition of Kentucky-based CBD brand Nature’s Exclusive. The company subsequently announced a series of deals, including the September acquisition of Kentucky-based hemp–extraction company American CBD Extraction Corp. Hoggan recommends companies looking for a buyer put together a due–diligence folder with critical information about their business as well as a presentation deck showing their unique selling propositions and intellectual property. “It’s important for the seller to explain to the prospective buyer who their target demographic is. For instance, are they beginners or advanced CBD consumers? It’s also key to have a lot of data on what customers of the brand/company in question are buying and how the asset can be innovated to meet those demands,” he said. Opening the Books Buyers will insist on reviewing updated financial information before striking a deal. As a publicly traded company, Thoughtful Brands prefers this information to be audited by an independent certified public accountant, Hoggan said. Sellers might be expected to explain how they came up with certain figures. For instance, some firms have different definitions of their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, Vita said. Typically, buyers are looking to see a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet, said Karen Muller founder of Santa Monica, California-based Cannabis Business Brokers. The company looking to sell should set up a Dropbox folder or something similar to share all financial records and other documents the buyer will need to study during due diligence, Muller said. The information should include documentation on inventory, leases, licenses, payroll, tax returns and vendor lists. This information is also important for determining the valuation amount. “The hardest part of this process—and our secret sauce—is how we price the entity for sale, which is something we don’t publicly talk about,” Muller said. Generally speaking, determining a company’s worth includes looking at its current financials, growth projections, assets and the regulatory outlook in the states where they are operating. Valuation enters the conversation early on to make sure the parties are well matched, Hoggan said. “Based on our previous transactions, we have used revenue as the basis for valuation. The discussion is a collaborative process between the seller and our board.” Selecting a Broker Sellers can enlist a growing number of brokers who work or specialize in the cannabis industry to help to find buyers for their businesses. “In a regulated industry, you probably want someone who has some level of expertise,” Muller said. “Most of the people that come to us neither have the time nor the inclination to deal with the day–to–day process of selling a business, which requires that you stay on top of everything.” Brokers can help owners navigate the selling process, including marketing the listing to their network and on third-party websites, handling inquiries and vetting/negotiating with interested parties. “Under the standard business broker model, people think business brokers charge 10%. That’s only true if the transaction is at $1 million. As the price of the transaction goes up, the commission rates go down,” Muller said. Cannabis Business Brokers typically charges a commission of about 6% of the transaction price, but the rate varies depending on the size of the deal, she said. After the Deal Business owners should think through what role they will play—along with their staff members—once the company is sold. Some executives might want to retain their roles permanently or for a transition period, while others might choose to stay on as investors or advisers to the venture. These details can be worked out during the negotiation process. “Employees should be spoken to about the sale,” said Clint Sheer, a broker at Cannabis Business Brokers. “You always hear from these business owners that their employees are like family. Well, in a well-run family, there’s open communication.” Sheer recommends sellers notify staff—especially at the point where the buyer’s team might be walking through the business as part of due–diligence efforts. Cautious companies can ask workers to sign nondisclosure agreements to keep potential or imminent deals under wraps. A lack of communication could lead to dampened worker morale. Employees sometimes find out about a potential sale via listings or other methods, he said. Sellers can encourage buyers to retain staff or create severance packages when that’s not possible. Additionally, key employees can be offered retention agreements, which sometimes include bonuses, to stay on after the new owners takes over.