David Bernstein: WeedHire International, Inc. (OTC:WDHR)
The foundation of any successful company is its team. Without a driven, dedicated, and well-equipped team, the execution of an idea only goes so far. There are a number of facets that need to be implemented into the cannabis industry in order for it to grow to be respected – A key facet is developing a secure and reliable platform for employers and candidates to interact and build vital teams of skilled professionals. David Bernstein, CEO of WeedHire International, Inc. (OTC:WDHR), has a vision to do just that by solidifying the future career path for professionals seeking to work in cannabis.
What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?
I think, like any industry, you look at the long-term opportunities for growth and you look at the landscape for the business and personal satisfaction you could get from being a part of it. The cannabis industry has a promising future, both personally and professionally for me. When you look at the benefits of what this plant can do, it’s hard to argue that, medicinally, at the very least, it is a tremendous asset to the general population.
What skills from your previous experiences helped you in what you are doing now?
Well, WeedHire is a jobs board, much like Monster.com. Having owned a small business for over 20 years, I realized that the most important thing you can do is surround yourself with quality people. We realized that for this industry to be legitimized and for it to move forward progressively, we would need to retain the best possible workforce. And to ensure that, you have to create a credible industry in which people can have a future. This will enable these businesses to have the best possible employees and staff and thereby grow their businesses and help the industry grow!
We realized that for this industry to be legitimized and for it to move forward progressively, we would need to retain the best possible workforce. And to ensure that, you have to create a credible industry in which people can have a future.
Tell us about the point in the time you realized the coming of the ‘green rush’?
Well for us, it was early January 2014 when we saw the amount of people lined up at a job fair in Colorado, where there was an overwhelming number of people looking for employment and just a small handful of jobs available for them. The realization for us was that there’s got to be a better way – There’s going to be tremendous growth in this industry, which created the opportunity for us to create a model that connected employers and candidates, so they could start careers together.
Describe your work ethic to us in one word.
Persistence. I think with any industry, especially this one, you have got to look at the long-term. It’s going to require persistence and patience.
Who is a person that you consider as a role model? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
Well, there’s been a number of people, but there are two that I definitely need to credit: my parents. My parents have clearly played a huge role in helping me understand how to live my life in the best and most reasonable way, how important it is to surround myself with family and friends, and how to always appreciate what I have around me. Those would probably be most defining people in my life; they have been instrumental to me as mentors.
How do you find inspiration in this industry? What have you found that has inspired you?
So, obviously cannabis presents the opportunity for people to make decisions on their own, adult decisions, but the medicinal benefits of what cannabis represents is so much more than that. It can’t be ignored! When you see that there are children and adults suffering with diseases that don’t have access to this, it’s infuriating – And to know that it’s more of a political issue than a real health issue makes me work even harder to create a company that will help others run their business better for this industry.
When you see that there are children and adults suffering with diseases that don’t have access to this, it’s infuriating – And to know that it’s more of a political issue than a real health issue makes me work even harder to create a company that will help others run their business better for this industry.
Tell us about an esteemed achievement of yours.
Just recently we launched the first ever marijuana jobs app, both on iTunes and Android; they are the very first apps for individuals seeking an employment opportunity in the legal cannabis industry. We think those are tremendous milestones because it’s helping legitimize the industry and push it forward, while also bringing valuable technology to the space.
How would you advise someone who wants to join the industry?
Planning is important. I think it’s crucial to obtain a skill that you feel will be beneficial to the industry and to yourself. There’s not a lot of people with industry experience, so you have a unique opportunity to understand and gain experience in areas that are touching the industry. A lot of people want to touch the plant or be around the plant, but candidly, whether you are in agriculture, water filtration, lighting, or hydroponics, or in sales, marketing, design, or IT, there’s ways to experience cannabis. As the industry moves forward, more opportunities will present themselves.
Where do your great ideas come from?
My ideas come from past experiences and lessons learned. The best way to learn in life is to make an effort, fail, learn from the failure, and build from it. Warren Buffett once said, “Somebody sits in the shade of a tree because someone else planted that tree.” We believe that what we do today, whether it be a success or failure, will benefit generations in the future.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader in this space?
I continue to be innovative; I continue to work on partnering with other reputable organizations in and outside of the industry, and I strive to always bring value to our customer base by implementing tools to help them grow their businesses. One of the most important things we do and how we ensure that we continue to grow is by publishing our quarterly Cannabis Jobs Report, which seeks to educate the population about opportunities for employment in the industry. Most of the reports out there for this industry are more about the numbers, amount of sales, and amount of tax revenues; they don’t cover the business development opportunities at hand. Our Cannabis Jobs Report focuses on what the other reports leave out.
If we are sitting across from each other a year from now, how will our conversation about the ‘green rush’ be going?
I think there will be lot of excitement about the November elections in 2016. That’s where we are hoping to see a lot of momentum. Our hope is that a lot of states poll positively for that initiative to pass; that’s going to be a defining moment for this industry.
Photo Credit: Startup Stock