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Insights Through the Rearview Mirror, January 15, 2021

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Drayten Howell: How a 23-Year-Old Student Athlete Found Success in the Cannabis Industry

Insights Through the Rearview Mirror with Jon Kramer and Paul Kramer

Drayten Howell: How a 23-Year-Old Student Athlete Found Success in the Cannabis Industry

Today’s guest is currently undergoing a journey that is nothing short of amazing. Only in his 20s and coming from a modest background, he was able to carve out a new path for himself in the incredibly competitive cannabis industry—in California, no less. Find out how he navigated the countless challenges involved in starting his business and the decision-making framework he uses to keep himself on course.

We address:

How can I discover the decision-making constructs that uniquely work for me?

What do I need to keep in mind when starting a business in an incredibly competitive industry?

Why does “being a consumer of my own business” lead to brand loyalty?

Jon welcomes Drayten Howell, the young CEO of Indacut, the first cannabis delivery service licensed through the city of Santa Barbara. He has a fascinating story to share. At the age of 23, Drayten quit college with a full-ride basketball scholarship to start a cannabis business. Needless to say, he has made a number of major life-changing decisions.


  • Have a decision-making framework and set of non-negotiable standards unique to you. There is no one-size-fits-all decision-making framework. Know what works for you, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. Drayten abides by three constructs that he goes through before making any big decision: Firstly, Drayten always seeks wise counsel, whether from his mom or grandma, coaches, and other close friends and acquaintances that he trusts. Secondly, as a believer in God, Drayten always prays before making a major decision. Finally, alongside prayer, Drayten meditates on every life-changing decision that comes his way.

  • To build brand loyalty in your business, provide a product at a great price. Many new entrepreneurs tend to forget that they’re making a product for other people, not for themselves. You have to know what you’re providing, and you have to be providing what your target market wants right now. In the cannabis industry at least, Drayten recommends not following trends because “trends are saturated”. If you don’t provide your customers what they want now for the price they’re willing to pay now, they can go right down the street to your competitor.

  • Be a consumer of your own business. Always put yourself in the shoes of your customers (and potential customers). Gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of your business processes by asking yourself whether you would be happy with the products you’re offering and the service that went into it.


  • Drayten’s decision-making framework [02:35]

  • How Drayten turned his life around created this incredibly unique path for himself [09:19]

  • Applying Drayten’s early, mostly self-taught lessons on business in the real world [12:21]

  • Getting the business underway while going blind [16:00]

  • How Drayten went about attacking his deliverables in the early days of business [20:11]

  • Drayten’s biggest obstacles to getting Indacut up and running [24:12]

  • Building brand loyalty [26:49]

  • The two biggest surprises Drayten has encountered so far and how he addressed them [28:50]

  • Drayten’s plans for the growth of Indacut [30:42]

  • Considering a franchise model in the future [33:28]

  • How Drayten keeps up as the primary decision-maker in his business [34:48]

  • Decisions that Drayten regrets since starting his business[36:50]


Drayten began thinking about entering the cannabis industry in 2018 during his summer classes at SBCC. He knew the industry would be growing as the market opened for recreational use. Shortly after summer classes ended, Drayten was on his way north to attend NCAA Division 2 Holy Names University on a basketball scholarship.

While Drayten was attending Holy Names University as a full-time student athlete, he started doing all of the backend work for Indacut. He began drafting business plans, Googling how-to guides, and working with his accounting tutor on pro formas.

In November of 2018, Drayten found his cannabis-zoned facility from his dorm room. A few weeks later, Drayten decided it was best to leave Holy Names University.

He moved back home and got started right away on the licensing process in January of 2019. Since then, Drayten has successfully made Indacut the first cannabis delivery service licensed through Santa Barbara County. God, hard work, and a killer team made all of this possible.

Drayten is back to serve the place he calls home. Providing legal, quality, lab-tested products to help clients lead a healthy and active lifestyle. He plans on expanding his cannabis ventures around the state/worldwide, and is currently working to become fully vertically integrated in Santa Barbara County.

Insights Through the Rearview Mirror

If I Knew Then What I Know Now – Insights Through the Rearview Mirror

During the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic, marketing executives, and brothers, Jon and Paul Kramer were discussing the decisions each had made in their lives. The good, bad, big and small and how each of these decisions had informed and transformed their lives.

Out of these heartfelt conversations came the idea of helping others make more considered decision in their lives. And, while there are literally thousands of books on decision making, they started to discuss how to improve on these “how-to” text books to make the art of better decision making easier and more gratifying.

An ongoing theme was “If I knew then what I know now…”

If I Knew Then What I Know Now – Insights Through the Rearview Mirror” is a journey through the decision-making process of interesting people. The question we will attempt to answer is there a decision-making framework that can lead to a more successful process? A way that will help you make better decisions.

In each episode, we will talk to interesting and intriguing guests about the decisions they have made in their lives, exploring the constructs they may have used and the learning that they have found in their very own “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” journey. Through these discussions, we will illuminate and amplify better ways to approach decisions and help you avoid deciding for the wrong reasons.

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