COO & Co-Founder
The Mint Cannabis
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Raul Molina recognized in 2016 there was a business opportunity in cannabis, and he could add some professionalism, marketing and merchandising to help advance the industry.
With that in mind, Molina and Eivan Shahara cofounded Mint Cannabis, a nationwide network of retail locations, manufacturing and extraction laboratories, and cultivation centers valued today at more than $500 million. The company’s headquarters contain a 12,000-square-foot dispensary, which is the largest in Arizona and the third-largest in the U.S., as well as retail locations in Phoenix and Mesa.
This year, the Mint will open a cultivation facility and additional retail locations in Phoenix. The Mint also has three retail locations in Michigan, with planned locations in Massachusetts and Missouri.
The Mint is projected to surpass $75 million in revenue this year. Each one of the company’s more than 300 employees is trained to provide the right high-quality medicine to patients battling illnesses from cancer and epilepsy to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The company has an ongoing partnership with a cancer researcher in Scottsdale who is exploring the benefits of medical marijuana to treat late-stage cancer patients and veterans suffering from PTSD.
A serial entrepreneur who has owned highly successful title loan companies and car businesses, Molina ventured into the medical marijuana sector after carefully tracking Arizona’s foray into the industry and recognizing the opportunity before him.
The company opened its first retail location in Guadalupe, Arizona, in March 2017, with its Mesa location following in February 2018. Within 18 months, Molina spearheaded a $2 million expansion of the flagship dispensary in Guadalupe, which included the introduction of the first cannabis kitchen of its kind in the country.
“One of the Mint’s strongest points of differentiation is our ability to maintain a firm foothold on being leaders who are continuously driving innovation and discovery in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry,” said Molina, the Mint’s COO. “We have always been the ones to push the envelope and move into uncharted waters, and we have no plans to change direction. When we see a need, we create a solution.”
Under Molina’s leadership, the company intends to open three to four new locations in Arizona by the end of 2022 and accelerate the buildout of a 100,000-square-foot indoor cultivation operation. The Mint’s growth plans also include hiring 120 to 150 people in the short term, with dozens more as it continues to grow.
The Mint is also gearing up to launch another first for the industry, a free shuttle service from Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, taking visitors to the Mint’s flagship location.
“Beyond innovating, I want to be known as a leader who consistently has a seat at the table where tough conversations are had,” Molina said. “The table that many walk away from out of fear is the same table that empowers me.”
Did you know?
Raul’s entrepreneurial spirit took hold at an early age. At eight years old, he started his first business – landscaping – and by age 13, he was earning more than his father.