Food/Beverage Management Veterans Flock to 'Once-in-a-Lifetime' Cannabis Opportunity

Food/Beverage Management Veterans Flock to 'Once-in-a-Lifetime' Cannabis Opportunity
Food/Beverage Management Veterans Flock to 'Once-in-a-Lifetime' Cannabis Opportunity
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A recent article from Food Dive provides some ‘food for thought’ for cannabis investors.
Of equal interest here is the attitude of these senior management personnel who are flocking to cannabis.
Recruiters who lure these veterans into the space told Food Dive that more have been open to the idea of making a change as states have increasingly legalized cannabis. Thirty-three states and Washington, D.C. currently have passed laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form.

"Executives with an entrepreneurial spirit who are eager to roll up their sleeves are recognizing that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of a completely new industry," Josh Wand​, founder and CEO of recruiting firm ForceBrands, told Food Dive. "We’re also seeing cannabis companies entice talent with very generous compensation and benefits packages." 
[emphasis mine]

What makes this strong interest in the cannabis sector even more impressive is that the industry is still at such an early stage in terms of both corporate development and regulatory maturity. 

Cannabis is still illegal nationally in the U.S., although the end of federal cannabis Prohibition is now approaching. The industry is highly fragmented in the U.S., only fully legal in 11 states, with 33 states allowing some form of cannabis consumption. Despite this…
Now C-suite level executives in the food and beverage industry are getting in on the action and going green. 

From PepsiCo  and Kellogg to Mars Wrigley and MillerCoors, top food and beverage veterans are increasingly changing jobs and making a move into the cannabis space.
Heavy hitters. 

The flip-side to the early stage of the cannabis industry is that (crucial) brand development is still in its infancy. Even in Canada, where cannabis is fully legal, the nation’s timid approach to legalizing cannabis has (to this point) provided limited opportunities for brand development.

Why are these food and beverage veterans highly recognizable and sought after? Because of the household brands that they have helped to develop and commercialize.

As The Seed Investor has noted, cannabis is already becoming “a new consumer tradition” in the United States. What’s missing? Recognizable brands – national brands.

Now the cannabis industry is loading up its management ranks with these branding leaders.

Cannabis has (finally) taken off in Canada, with cannabis retail sales now growing at an explosive rate. The Seed Investor recently provided cannabis investors with a glimpse of the national potential of the cannabis industry in the U.S.
Yet despite the opportunity here, cannabis valuations are (relatively speaking) at an all-time low. Even as cannabis retail sales accelerates in Canada and cannabis regulatory reform accelerates in the U.S., valuations have been steadily moving in the opposite direction.

The cannabis industry is poised for success. But it’s currently priced as a complete failure. With the cannabis industry just beginning to launch, it’s not only these food and beverage executives who have a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
Cannabis Focus, Cannabis Industry
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