Jeff Rogers: Kannaway
Education is powerful and in our particular field of interest, it is the pinnacle of our future as a respected industry. Jeff Rogers, CEO of Kannaway, is a model of this adage; he was a professional that was offered the leading role in a company and turned it down because of its association with hemp. That was, until, he did his own research and now he is one of the most convicted, passionate leaders for the cause. He believes in hemp, he believes in CBD, and he believes that both should be brought back to the kitchen table alongside that delicious slice of apple pie!
What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?
Well actually, the cannabis industry was something I’d never thought I’d be involved in until about 2 years ago when a couple friends of mine gave me a call. They found a company they wanted me to come on board with and take the position of CEO. When I asked them what we’d be selling, they asked me what I knew about hemp. My response? “I was born on Saturday and I was in church by Sunday. I’m not your guy.” My understanding of hemp at that time was that it was something from the ‘Just Say No!’ generation. I believed marijuana and hemp to be the same, so my friends told me they understood and asked me if I would go out and do my own research on hemp, the history of hemp, and CBD.
So, that’s what I did and I honestly thought I was only going to give it 20 minutes of my time and my answer would still be NO. Twenty minutes turned into 6 hours and I didn’t come back with a ‘no.’ I came back and told them that we had a moral obligation to tell people about this and about CBD and how hemp went from being as American as apple pie to being associated with marijuana and being a drug. At that point I saw that we really had something here. We would be a category creator.
I came back and told them that we had a moral obligation to tell people about this and about CBD and tell them how hemp went from being as American as apple pie to being associated with marijuana and being a drug.
What skills from your previous experiences helped you in what you are doing now?
I’ve owned or been on the executive team for 3 large network marketing companies and have been very successful in that arena for about 27 years now.
Tell me about the point in the time you realized the coming of the ‘green rush’?
Initially, when we started Kannaway, we started out by talking to different industry leaders within the network marketing industry and we invited a few of them to fly out to San Diego. At that point, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure about how they would take it because about 85% of the network marketing industry is very conservative evangelical. Would they think the way I had thought originally? How are they going to receive it? Are they going to look at what has happened and come to the same realization that I came to? When I saw this group of people come to the same conclusion that I came to, I knew right then that there was a ‘green rush’ upon us. This was it! This was going to be the next Category Creator in our industry, the next forced trend, which is something that is going to come about whether or not we got involved. This was going to be fun!
What are you doing to impact the industry?
I honestly feel that, at this point in time in our own growth and in the evolution of the ‘green rush’, Kannaway’s biggest role is in the education process. We will be reaching out to America, Puerto Rico, and Guam and educating them on what hemp really is, the history of hemp and what a vital role it plays in our world. So, I think that at this time in our industry’s growth, Kannaway’s largest impact will be from an educational standpoint.
Describe your work ethic to me in one word.
What does a typical work day look like for you in your business?
From a time perspective… Around the clock. Our entire team works quite a bit right now. It’s a full day, that’s for sure!
How do you find inspiration in this industry? What have you found that has inspired you?
I would say it was in my original research on hemp when I realized that our founding fathers; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the like were all hemp farmers and the vital role that hemp played in our country’s beginnings; even in the War of 1812, which was fought over the hemp trade routes. This is something that we were never told about! In fact, we were told just the opposite. So, at that point, I realized we needed to do what we could for the revitalization of hemp in our country.
So, at that point, I realized we needed to do what we could for the revitalization of hemp in our country.
Tell me about an esteemed achievement of yours.
You know what, I’ve been married for 30 years to the love of my life and it’s definitely not something you see much of these days. We have 3 wonderful children and soon to be 4 grand children. That’s the thing I am most proud of in my life. We have an obligation to bring our children up to be adults and to be good people and all 3 of my children are amazing and are now raising amazing children of their own! Even though I’ve been more than successful in my career, I believe my family to be my most esteemed achievement. It’s much more of an accomplishment than just chasing the dollar.
How would you advise someone who wants to join the industry?
What I tell everyone to do is to go out and do their own research and to read up on the history of hemp and CBD, especially the history of hemp in America. I’ve found that if they follow the same path that I did, they will come to the same realization that I came to and will then have that burning passion in them as well. And know that if you’re doing something just for the money, you’re capped to a certain drive; you will no longer chase it! If your convictions are deeper, then you’re not going to let anything get in your way to accomplish that or share that with people. Whatever your ‘Why?’ becomes out of your research is going to be what drives your endeavors. That’s what I tell people– It has to be about more than the money.
What’s your newest knowledge about the marijuana industry?
I would probably say it’s probably the number of states that have passed pro-CBD laws. There are 25 states across the country, plus 11 other states that are CBD-only. That means that 36 states have already realized the truth. The wave is happening! It’s something that’s already happening and that goes back to my comment on this being a forced trend. That’s the power of the market that we’re in!
There are 25 states across the country, plus 11 other states that are CBD-only. That means that 36 states have already realized the truth. The wave is happening!
If we are sitting across from each other a year from now, how will our conversation about the ‘green rush’ be going?
I think our conversation will be about the number of countries that Kannaway has now opened up and about how Kannaway is now taking this message of the ‘green rush’ and the hemp revolution to the rest of the world.