The cannabis sector is seeing incredible growth, but as a brand new industry, it can seem intimidating, making the transition to a role in this new vertical. However, navigating this new terrain might seem complicated, even impossible. Although this is brand new territory for many professionals, making the move to a position at a cannabusiness is not only practical but more straightforward than you might expect.
With a reported 243,700 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs in the cannabis industry as of January 2020, the need for strategic leaders and best-in-class professionals is only growing. Still, concerned you might not have what it takes to make it in cannabis? Take a look to the top minds in cannabis today, with varying backgrounds in medicine, finance, and property management, the common theme of success in the cannabis industry is not about experience with cannabis, but the ability to translate your experience onto this emerging market.
Here are some of the people you’ll meet working in the cannabis industry; their experience varies dramatically. Still, they all bring with them the ability to create change and strategic partnerships in the roles they take on.
Chief Financial Officer
CV Sciences Inc.
Joerg Grasser’s background is in accounting; in fact, he brings more than 20 years of experience in the field to his work at CV Sciences Inc. Grasser was previously Controller at Ballast Point Brewing, and before that held senior finance positions with Sequenon, Inc, and Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation. He has taken his experience in the Biotech & Pharma industries. He is applying it to his current role as Chief Financial Officer for CV Sciences Inc., a top specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on the creation and sale of plant-based CBD products and novel therapeutics utilizing CBD.
Barbara White, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research
Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc.
With a medical doctorate, Barabara White had spent her career working in clinical development experience in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including rheumatology, respiratory, and dermatology diseases. She also has experience in preclinical drug development, translational medicine, and medical affairs. White was most recently Senior Vice President and Head of R&D at Stiefel, and she has held roles at UCB, MedImmune, and Amgen. Dr. White has taken her experiences in professional medicine and research to her role at Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., where she works to develop and commercialize novel cannabinoid therapeutics to treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.
Head of Capital Markets
Green Thumb Industries Inc.
Andy Grossman’s extensive background in capital management gave him the perfect jumping-off point to launch a career in the cannabis industry. Starting his professional journey as a senior trader for Chesapeake Partner’s, an event-driven investment fund, Grossman then co-founded LG Capital Management, where he served as Managing Partner and Head of Trading, Risk Management, and Operations. Grossman’s experience in building business infrastructure, and over 20 years of knowledge from working in the hedge fund industry, has given him the wherewithal to join a leading cannabis CPG company with incredible growth potential.
Vice President, Asset Management
Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc.
Bringing almost 30 years of experience in commercial property management, Tracie Hager uses her extensive knowledge and skills in property management to provide real estate capital for the medical-use cannabis industry. Hager has taken her experiences as Vice President of property management for BioMed Realty Trust, Inc, and in senior management positions at the Irvine Company to help support the growing cannabis industry. She uses her knowledge of the real estate and property management industries to oversee management teams and designated medical marijuana properties across the U.S. and U.K.
And these great examples don’t even scratch the surface of talented professionals who have translated their experience to bring growth within the cannabis industry. If you’re still hesitant to make the transition to a role directly in the cannabis field, consider one of the 250+ adjacent companies who support this emerging market through software alone. Working in the cannabis industry no longer means being a marijuana cultivator or supplier. With more legal cannabis consumption than ever before, this market is growing in all directions, and it needs talented professionals to help it reach its full potential.