Starting Massachusetts first vertically integrated social equity cannabis operation, Trade Roots, with Co-Founder's Carl Giannone & "The Captain" Jesse Pitts - Lit Up Founders

Episode 24

Starting Massachusetts first vertically integrated social equity cannabis operation, Trade Roots, with Co-Founder's Carl Giannone & "The Captain" Jesse Pitts

You're about to hear the story of two co-founders; one a social equity applicant from the legacy market, the other, a trader from New York who found the plant through the end of life care for his mother. From their love of early morning walks, complementary skillsets, and not freaking out on the same day, they have become the first vertically integrated social equity participant in Massachusetts.

There is A LOT to be said about Cannabis social equity programs across the Country. Many affected by Cannabis prohibition drug laws, with criminal records, don't have the   

opportunities to earn the business acumen and financial resources needed to start such an organization in the legal market. This is a story of how this team did it!

Things you may learn in today's episode:

  1. How NOT to transport a quarter of a million dollars in cash.
  2. How to choose a business partner.
  3. What a Wareham is.
  4. How to lose a physical building.
  5. How to fundraise. Hint: It's closer than you think.
  6. What a freezer war is and how to win it.
  7. The appropriate answer to the age of an instagram account of a 3 year old cannabis business.
  8. Finally, what a tremendous amount of patience and perseverance looks like.

One thing you will not learn: Throwing a cigarette butt on Mr T's lawn is a very bad idea. No one needs to learn that. We all pity that fool; especially Carl :)

Please enjoy our founders journey of starting Massachusetts first Vertically Integrated Social Equity Participant, Trade Roots, with Co-Founder's Carl Giannone & "The Captain" Jesse Pitts

Professional Summary:

Jesse Pitts: An experienced construction foreman and small business owner who has extensive knowledge of the building codes and amendments here in Massachusetts. A native to our host town, Jesse has deep roots within the community. With an enduring interest and passion for cannabis, Jesse has been a licensed medical cannabis patient and caregiver in Massachusetts since the inception of the program. He has  vast experience in plant cultivation and has recently received a certification in advanced extraction technologies at Havelick & Associates LLC in Golden Colorado. Jesse co-founded The Center For Alternative Life Medicine (C.A.L.M.) out of New Bedford Ma. C.A.L.M. is a not-for-profit entity that was prepared to apply for a medical cannabis license in Ma. C.A.L.M. was acquired and merged with New England Treatment Access (N.E.T.A.) Jesse was a paid consultant and helped co-author N.E.T.A's application. This lead to the company being awarded two licenses.  Jesse is a registered Social Equity Program (SEP) participant.

Carl Giannone: After graduating Lafayette College with degrees in Economics & Business, Carl began his career as an equities trader at Heartland Securities/Trillium Trading in 1999. After being promoted to trading desk manager and Registered Principal, Carl left to trade his own account with Schonfeld Securities before building his own desk, first under Assent LLC/Sungard (2006) and then T3 Capital Management/T3 Trading Group (2010).  By 2014, his desk employed over 100 traders in two offices deploying myriad strategies across a range of asset classes. After 17 years of performing roles ranging from trader to risk manager to recruiter to brand manager, Carl left his trading desk (and Manhattan) to work as an independent outside recruiter for a large multinational proprietary trading firm while taking care of an ill parent. As a result of seeing the benefits of medical cannabis first hand (in moderating cancer symptoms), Carl shifted his focus from investments to cannabis. He has been quoted in Bloomberg and on CNBC as well as niche industry publications. He previously held his Series 7, 24, 55, 56, 62 and 63 licenses.

Company Summary:

“Produced in Mass., not en masse.” As an artisanal purveyor of "Craft Cannabis at The Gateway to Cape Cod," Wareham-based Trade Roots is a locally-owned, operated, and staffed business providing the highest-quality adult-use cannabis and cannabis products to Massachusetts residents. Trade Roots is a Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission-designated Social Equity Program Participant committed to driving positive impact and economic growth in its host community. Trade Roots will offer an extensive selection of locally produced, sourced and curated products in a beach-town boutique environment.


  • "Happiness is wanting what you have." - Carl Giannone

Top 5 Articles/Interview with our Guest:

  1. Trade Roots Cannabis Company Secures $4.9 Million in Series A Funding (

Jesse Pitts, Co-Founder, Chief Executive & Captain

Carl Giannone, Co-Founder & President

Brian Weber, Producer & Host, Lit Up Cannabis: A Founder's Journey

Listen to the episode here or on our website, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeartRadio or RSS to your favorite podcast app.

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Lit Up Founders
Lit Up Founders
A show about the founders of the Modern Cannabis Industry and the Organizations they are building.

About your host

Profile picture for Brian Weber

Brian Weber

In addition to producing and hosting Lit Up Founders. Brian is the Director of Omnichannel Strategy and Partnerships for Flourish Software, a leading ERP Seed-to-sale Software company serving Cannabis and Hemp operators up and down the supply chain.

Prior to Flourish, through his company Digital Realty, Brian served the Retail and Hospitality Industries as a technology and business consultant focusing on POS, eCommerce, Payments, Loyalty, and other related services for the past 9 years.

In researching the Cannabis Industry, largely because of its Federal status and history in the US, he was fascinated in seeing what the entrepreneurs were building. With his experience as an entrepreneur, supporting entrepreneurship, some background in broadcast radio, and a love for the amazing medium of podcasts (especially "How I built this" by Guy Raz); all converged to create the spark moment that spawned Lit Up Founders. I hope you enjoy!

Brian holds a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Rutgers University Business School. He currently lives in Jersey City, New Jersey with his dog Zeke.