CannaBusiness Brokers is John O’Connor and Read Spear. The two met when John brokered the sale of Read’s vitamin company in 2004.

The Expert Broker


John is a veteran Business Intermediary and experienced operating professional of over twenty years. As the founder and managing director of The O’Connor Group, L.P., he has valued, advised, and led the sale and all related activities of over fifty businesses since 2001. With a vast network of corporate buyers, private equity firms, and capable individuals, John has ties to vast resources of equity and financing to secure the monies necessary to satisfy sellers’ needs. John also has relationships and arrangements with bankers, attorneys, and accountants to ensure minimal fees and exceptional advice and service to make for the smoothest transition and transaction for owners seeking to cash out and exit their business. John has also worked with buyers after the sale, providing assistance to help ensure the new owner a successful transition.

Prior to founding TOG, John was President of Alliance Machine, a privately-owned $25 million manufacturer of hot metal cranes for the steel industry. John also served as Vice President of The Conair Group, a $140 Million manufacturer of auxiliary equipment for the plastics industry. During his tenure with The Conair Group, the company more than doubled in sales and profitability and became the leader in the industry. John also worked at Andersen Consulting as a Senior Consultant out of the Pittsburgh office, assisting companies with improving their sales and internal operations. John has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. John was born and raised in Pittsburgh and resides in the Pittsburgh area.


The CannaBusiness Expert


Read is a lifelong entrepreneur. Previous to his involvement in the marijuana industry, Read was one of three owners of a highly successful internet-based dietary supplements enterprise which was sold (by John O’Connor) to investors in 2004 after seven years of rapid growth.

An eye for emerging markets led Read to become involved in nearly every aspect of the legal cannabis industry since 2008. He has owned a growing supplies shop, a caregiver operation, a soil company, and the state of Colorado’s second approved legal dispensary and cultivation operation. He has consulted in the pre-application process for dozens of applications for marijuana business licenses, and their successful acquisition, in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada (Clark County), Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania (winners unannounced), Ohio (in progress), Arkansas (in progress), Puerto Rico, and Canada. He has written two books on the subject of cannabis cultivation, the first of which is an Amazon #1 Bestseller, plus a new book developing the same subject in greater detail. Read has written submissions for High Times and had a monthly Q&A column in Sativa Magazine. Read also successfully directed the campaign to defeat the “ban-medical-marijuana” ballot initiative in Lyons, CO in 2012. Read is licensed Real Estate Broker in Colorado with Gillette Properties.

Areas of expertise include horticultural advice, diagnostics and treatment advice for marijuana-related pathogens, marijuana nutrition questions, soil mixing, grow room layout and operations, dispensary layout, and, crucially, business planning and market strategy. Read thoroughly knows and understands the cannabis industry.

Read has two degrees in Philosophy, a BA from The Pennsylvania State University and an MA from Duquesne University. A Pittsburgh native, he resides in Colorado, the frontier of the legal cannabis industry.