In order to run some of the leading cannabis firms in the world, it seems reasonable that one of the prerequisites of the job would be to have an extensive history of using marijuana from back when it was still considered an outlaw substance. But that is not necessarily the case, according to a recent survey from BNN Bloomberg.
It seems that a small percentage of CEOs responsible for the day-to-day operations of cannabis companies in the U.S. and Canada do not use marijuana, while many others will not admit whether they do or not.
We’ve all heard the old adage: “Don’t get high on your own supply,” but this is ridiculous. A poll of nearly 30 CEOs found that most of them use marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. Six of the respondents, however, said they do not consume pot at all, while another six refused to provide the news source with a response even when assured that their comments would be kept anonymous.
So what gives? Are some cannabis CEOs ashamed, embarrassed or scared to reveal their connection to a product that they hope the people of the world will one day enjoy?
Some argue that it is about moving away from stereotypes, while others say being a non-cannabis consumer in the cannabis industry is sort of like owning a smartphone but having no idea how to use a computer.
“A lot of these people who won’t go on the record talk about breaking down stigma. So where does that leave the industry?” said Alison Gordon, chief executive of Toronto-based cannabis producer 48North Cannabis Corp.
“In a way, it’s better for me to admit using cannabis because it demonstrates authenticity in our brand. I understand the product and I understand the consumer, where these people [that don’t use cannabis] don’t.”
Although marijuana is legal in Canada and in a handful of states in the U.S., it still remains an illegal substance in the eyes of the federal government. This is probably one of the reasons that some CEOs are apprehensive about sharing their connection to weed. They fear that it could cause them trouble when it comes to crossing the border. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed last month that anyone connected to the Canadian cannabis trade could be deemed inadmissible in the U.S.
But some cannabis CEOs say they should not be required to use marijuana to sell it. After all, the bigwigs of the Pharmaceutical Industry do not experiment with or use every medication their companies create. Still, there are some that liken cannabis to the brewing industry. And it would be borderline insane if the top dogs of the brewing sector didn’t enjoy a beer from time to time.
Marijuana “will soon become a mainstream product, so why wouldn’t you talk about it?” said Brian Athaide, chief executive officer of The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. “If you’re not proud about it, how can you have the passion to be in this business?”