Jeff Buesing: GreenRush Investors
The evolution of the industry is currently being fueled by a consistent pattern of growth riveting with new products, new knowledge and research, and new ideas. The masses of information and various platforms that it can be found on can be overwhelming, which is why Jeff Buesing, COO of GreenRush Investors, built a revolutionary platform to support and host the growing conversation. But to really grasp the passion and boundless amounts of knowledge that this gentlemen clearly has is something you can only gain by engaging in conversation with the man himself!
What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?
Before there was an industry I supported the movement. Growing up in North Jersey, I didn’t realize there was an industry until I moved to California in 2009.
What were you doing before?
I was told I was an entrepreneur before I knew what the word meant. In my professional career, I’ve been involved in various VC funded start-ups from an outdoor drive-thru art gallery to restaurants. More recently, I was the Brand Director for a discrete marijuana apparel company called Keep it Kush. I have also done consulting work for a handful of dispensaries in California: West Coast Collective Health Service in Lancaster and West Coast Delivery in South Bay.
Tell me about the point in the time you realized the coming of the ‘green rush’?
If it wasn’t for Dennis Coyle, I don’t know if I would be here today. Dennis is a New Jersey based horticulturist, president and founder of GreenRush Investors. He flew out to visit me in Hermosa Beach, California last March. Dennis is the type of person that isn’t afraid to express his beliefs in the GreenRush(TM). What surprised me, and ultimately caught my attention, was the direction he saw the industry going. He didn’t talk to me about the psychoactive ingredients. Rather, Dennis painted a vivid picture with extreme passion about the cultivation of industrial hemp and the medicinal use of cannabidiol. I made the transition from the movement to the industry because of Dennis.
Right now, where are you guiding your passion and energy towards?
Undaunted, currently all my efforts have been directed towards building our platform and it is evolving daily. I started with sketches on graph paper and today it’s become a beast to say the least. The ongoing, sometimes chaotic content build has been the biggest challenge for me.
I started with sketches on graph paper and today it’s become a beast to say the least.
Throughout the process, my focus has and will remain that of the user experience. The platform needs to be soothing and aesthetically pleasing. Users can look forward to a Facebook style direct messaging portal, a one-of-a-kind chatroom system, with industry leading hands-on-research. Once the subscriber signs in, there is no need for him or her to leave the platform.
Describe your work ethic to me in one word.
Tell me about a time in your career that didn’t go as planned and what you did about that? How did you handle it?
If something “goes as planned” then you should be worried. Nothing ever goes as planned. Success in my eyes doesn’t just happen to you. Good things in life fall into place because of each step you’ve taken to get there. Granted, you should have some direction; a stagnant existence isn’t the path. How you handle things when they don’t go as planned determines the person you are.
Here’s a GreenRush Investors example: I have been officially involved since the beginning of March 2014 and these past six months have been an emotional roller coaster for me; through dissolving the original company, changes in executive officers, to revamping our goals as a business. When I was brought on the original plan, I was suppose to collect an immediate salary for consulting and moderating the website. To this date, I have yet to receive compensation. But after changing directors and direction in the company, we managed to bring together a successful team.
It’s easy to give your time to something you’re passionate about and when you love something, like my passion and love for the GreenRush(TM), then sacrificing and working hard to make a venture work isn’t so much about the money in the beginning.
What strategic measures are you executing to make the company profitable?
Our members are going to benefit from actually due diligence. A large portion of what we do is analyzing companies. I have no financial background whatsoever. So, bringing on Scott McGovern was our first calculated move. Scott is our CFO and will also double as, “The Strategist.”
A large portion of what we do is analyzing companies.
The Strategist is all things financial. From conducting company interviews, reviewing financials and even fielding member questions in a dedicated section of GreenRush Investors called, “Ask the Strategist.” Members are able to ask public or private questions from a real industry professional.
What book have you read that you’ve been inspired by? Any particular read we should put on our list?
My most recent inspiration stems from, Too High to Fail by Doug Fine. “Cannabis’s $35.8 billion annual revenues already exceeds the combined value of corn ($23.3 billion) and wheat ($7.5 billion). The book is full of logical and moral discussion on the multiple uses of cannabis. It is a must read for anyone somewhat interested in the movement or cannabis industry.
Tell me about an esteemed achievement of yours.
I have been blown away by the response from our members. Most of these professionals are twice my age and are asking my advice on the cannabis industry. It’s rewarding to take time out of my day and talk to people from all walks of life about their vision or belief in the industry. I am in this to make a change, that change is coming – I am proud to aid in the progression.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
People are not mirrors, they view you totally different than you view yourself. What I do is take a little bit of something from each person I meet; anyone who inspires me whether it be through a photo or passing conversation, no interaction is too small to learn, and ultimately, grow from.
What is the most important thing for us to know now about the legal marijuana industry?
The legal marijuana industry is still in its infancy and is evolving daily. The most important thing for the public to know is that they have the power to make changes in their state. Call or write your legislator, they need to hear directly from you.
The legal marijuana industry is still in its infancy and is evolving daily.
For those in the industry, we need to create self regulatory bodies similar to alcohol, (i.e. beer, spirits, and wines). There are no systems in place for the standards of packaging, marketing, cultivation, potency, and purity. For example, I can walk into three collectives here in Los Angeles and purchase the same strain of marijuana. The packaging will range from a plastic bag with someone scribbling the strain name on a sticker, to a traditional child safe prescription bottle displaying THC and CBD percentages. After a visual inspection and use, one very well might find the strains that were all sold as the same are all different. When you buy a bottle of wine, there is no doubt in your mind you’re getting that type of wine. At this time, there is no standardization or regulation of the cannabis industry.
Everett Rogers published a theory in his book, Diffusion of Innovations. He defines innovation as an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption. For an idea to be adopted, there are five stages: Knowledge, Persuasion, Decision, Implementation and Confirmation. We are at the crossroads of making a decision to either reject or accept. We are at the stage in Everett’s model of the early adopter. It’s time for those with higher social status, financial liquidity, and advance education to get involved.
If we are sitting across from each other a year from now, how will our conversation about the ‘green rush’ be going?
The conversation will be one of documented progress. There will be double the States supporting legal uses of cannabis, the Federal Reserve System will have accepted the industry with open arms and we’ll look back at Barack Obama as the President who, in his last act in office, reclassified marijuana.