“The early bird gets the worm in this industry! I have gotten deals because I was the first to call back, and in some cases the only one to call back at all.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessi Cox, CEO and co-founder of Cannabistaff.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”? How did you first get into this business or get interested in the business?
My name is Jessi Cox. I am the CEO and co-founder of Cannabistaff. A subsidiary of SaaSTown, LLC. Cannabistaff is my vision of a modern day staffing agency. We do all of the things other staffing agencies do plus we train professionals how to enter into the cannabis industry.
We also provide resumes, background checks and in depth interviews for many executive roles in the cannabis industry. Cannabistaff has over 150,000 professionals in our online database who are working or interested in working in the cannabis industry from all over the world. Through the years we have searched for, interviewed, hired and trained many of the notable professionals you see working in the cannabis industry today.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
Working in the Oregon cannabis industry there are so many creative professionals who are always full of wisdom, focus and inspiration. I am proud to train our elite cannabis trimming crew each summer. The summer of 2017 we were launching our new temp to hire trimmer program.
Cannabis businesses generally use our service in lieu of full time employees to avoid the federal 280E requirements. We were getting ready for the day, and checking our personal protective equipment, our tools and our making sure our bins were sanitized.
One of the farm owners asked me if I was ready to trim? I exclaimed in an excited tone, heck yes! Everyone was giggling, and no one was making eye contact with me. I felt like they all knew something I did not know. So, I kept getting things ready and maintained my training presentation.
The owner of the farm again asks me if I was ready to do some trimming. I smiled again, and said that I am ready! Why do you keep asking me? He laughed and pointed to my head. At some point I had managed to entangle at least 40 dry cannabis buds from the curing room inside of my curly red hair. I looked like a total hippie.
It turned out the owner of the farm was being very silly, he is known for his hijinx as an initiation to new people on his farm. When they are busy or not looking he would softly place a bud in my hair. It was hilarious because I had no idea while trying to get my new employees trained and to take me seriously.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Cannabistaff stands out because we are holistically focused ancillary businesses. We offer competitive pricing, outstanding customer service and extremely innovative ideas to stay ahead of your competition.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I would not be who I am today, or where I am today without the help of my husband and my business partner Travis. He is engaging, extremely intelligent and witty. He has helped me overcome the status quo, capture my dreams and harness the outcome. He always supports my goals and he puts up with my somewhat eccentric personality.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Yes, we are working on 3 new cannabis business projects which include two very well known celebrities.
Cannabistaff is franchising nationally. We are also ramping up our services with SaaSTown the parent company to Cannabistaff.
a. SaaSTown offers cannabis sector specific, market focused insight.
b. PPC, ADwords and PR for the cannabis industry
c. Content, SEO and digital data management
d. Assisting medical, dental and legal businesses enter the cannabis space
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
1. Exciting: The legalization efforts both nationwide and worldwide have me very eager to continue working in this industry by helping define our professional space so more people can enter in without hesitation.
2. Exciting: The national narrative I am seeing and reading online describing people’s cannabis journey, healings and life changes from this incredible plant!
3. Exciting: To see people once incarcerated from previous cannabis convictions given freedom!
4. Concerns: Cash flow & banking
5. Concerns: Con artists love new industries; which is why we started Cannabistaff. So we can help businesses avoid hiring these risky people.
6. Concerns: Cannabis industry is too insular at the moment. Everyone is connected, some are related, and many know each other or knows someone who has worked in some capacity with another professional. This is not a good thing because it does not allow for new ideas, new thoughts or new people. Fresh blood is essential to a growing industry.
Can you share your top “5 things you need to know in order to succeed in the Cannabis industry”? Please share a story or example for each.
The most important lesson I have learned is to value my own time.
When I first started in the cannabis industry I was undercharging. People who didn’t know me, took advantage of the low rate, but did not want to pay more when my rates increased. If you don’t know what your value is, how can someone pay you fairly?
To cherish others time.
People are busy. They respect you more if you are concise, and detailed as possible in your interactions. If you make an appointment, keep it. If you have to cancel, let them know asap.
Always return phone calls and messages promptly.
The early bird gets the worm in this industry! I have gotten deals because I was the first to call back, and in some cases the only one to call back at all.
Be authentic and genuine!
No one has time to put up with stories and tall tales. Say what you mean to say and get to the point. Don’t add anything “extra” to your resume that is not true.
Don’t be a know it all.
No one knows everything about cannabis. Neither do you. It is very hard to find a position in the cannabis industry if you go into an interview or presentation acting like you know it all. Ask questions. Acknowledge others wisdom by listening when they speak.
In our experience when people are passionate about what they do they are more successful. Where does you cannabis passion come from?
I absolutely love cannabis. I am an enthusiastic cannabis user. We typically use 1 pound of cannabis per month on average. We smoke it, vape it, make tinctures and oils, lotions and creams. We juice cannabis leaves in the morning in smoothies. I think cannabis offers so much in terms of whole plant value.
You can use every part of the cannabis plant for food, medicine and in different forms of craft. I have been a daily cannabis user since 2009. I was raised conservatively, so cannabis was not part of my life until I was in my late 20’s. Travis (my husband) blew cannabis smoke into my mouth to prove to me I would not die from it. As a very energetic, typically a “type A” person… I had never felt such a calm wash over me in my life. I have been hooked ever since!
Where do you see your business going in the next 5 years? Where do you see the cannabis industry going in the next 5 years?
Cannabistaff is focused on state by state expansion through franchising. We hope to be in all 50 states as a franchise model.
In 5 years we plan to be the largest cannabis staffing agency in the USA Providing staff for all roles inside of the cannabis industry
I believe the cannabis industry is poised for major expansion, huge profits and enormous influx of investment capital from reputable sources.
a. This growth will be from major top producers leading the charge as well as some of the medium sized ancillary providers we know of today.
b. POS software, SaaS and Tracking software will be huge growth industries specific to cannabis based on our data.
c. Possible investors will be coming in from big business with deeper pockets than ever before.
Are you able to identify any rising stars at your company or in your industry that people need to keep an eye on?
Renee Gagnon — HollyWeed
Larry Cole — Terra Cube
Adam Glasser — Terra Cube
Kristen Yoder — Soil To The OIl
Damian Soloman — Plant Geek Consulting
What growth sectors should most people be paying attention to that they might not be currently?
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
A perfect meal would be spent with Montel Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and Snoop! All or just one. I would want to hear their stories and share some of mine. I would like to share an OG joint with all three of them. That would be epic.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Originally published at medium.com