Tim Conder’s business emphasis has always been focused around delivery. His entrepreneurial journey began with the co-founding of Bootleg Courier Company, a bike messenger business in Reno. Tim found himself parlaying that expertise into a cannabis delivery business when the prohibition ended.
Since founding Blackbird in 2015, Mr. Conder has overseen the rapid growth of his business in two of the most robust cannabis markets—California and Nevada. Under Tim’s leadership, Blackbird has efficiently navigated the complex regulatory structures of both states, and currently operates five fully licensed cannabis distribution facilities across the region with plans to expand into several additional markets in 2019.
Tim’s success is founded is his philosophy that if you build good relationships, success will follow, “[Blackbird is] a great technology company. But the thing we do better than anyone else is build relationships. That’s why we are a customer service company first and foremost; the software and services are secondary.”
Tim joined TILT Holdings as Senior Vice President of Software and Services following TILT’s acquisition of Blackbird Logistics, a company he founded. He was then promoted to COO of TILT Holdings in July of 2019 as Chief Operations Officer.
Title: Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer; also Chief Operating Officer at TILT Holdings
Company: Blackbird Logistics
Years at current company: Five
GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:
Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: That would be founding and operating a highly successful courier company for 10 years in Reno, Nevada, at a time when the courier industry was in rapid decline. Bootleg Courier Company was an environmentally-friendly messenger business that promised fast deliveries via bike and fuel-efficient vehicles. Since its founding in 2008, Bootleg pedaled to completion over 50,000 deliveries.
The experience not only helped establish the logistics and delivery expertise that laid the foundation for Blackbird, we were able to continuously grow the business year after year, adding more and more employees along the way.
Company Mission: Be the best. Blackbird strives every day to service our clients and customers as efficiently and humanly as possible. People are everything. Blackbird’s value is derived directly from the happiness of our clients and fulfillment of our staff. We believe there is value in treating our employees with dignity and respect. That is why our mantra is to be good people and help good people.
Company’s most successful achievement: Gaining nearly 100% penetration in two of the largest and most robust cannabis markets in the world – California and Nevada. It has helped make us the largest software and logistics company in the cannabis industry.
Blackbird was the first to receive a license to distribute recreational cannabis to Nevada’s dispensaries, and now handles about 95% of all the state’s distribution. We’ve since penetrated every retail market within California.
It wasn’t an easy achievement. We had to overcome a significant challenge from “Big Alcohol,” which
lobbied Nevada’s liquor lawmakers to pass a law allowing only liquor wholesalers to distribute products. Instead of surrendering, we quickly secured our own liquor distribution license and used it to score the state’s first cannabis distribution license. Blackbird’s knowledge of medical cannabis distribution and logistics combined with our nimbleness gave us a first-mover advantage, enabling Blackbird to lock up most of the state’s distribution deals before the alcohol wholesalers could even start the process of filing for a license.
Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes
If so, how much?: Blackbird was mostly bootstrapped from savings and personal investments from friends and family. As we grew, we ultimately raised around another $1.2 million before being acquired by TILT Holdings for approximately $5 million cash and $45 million in securities.
Any plans on raising capital in the future? Not at this time.
Most important company 5 year goal: Our long-term goal is to be in every possible legal cannabis market in some way, shape or form with our operations and software infrastructure. Having succeeded in Nevada and California, we plan to expand our business footprint into Massachusetts and Arizona next, and then to each and every other state that legalizes recreational and medical cannabis.