If you have smelled anything a little peculiar all day today, that is likely because it is 4/20. It is that magical time of the year where people eat way too much and find out just how stoned they can get. With the world indoors, there may be no better time to celebrate 420 on a 4/20 month. We are celebrating today with some interviews featuring luminaries in the business. We chat with Julia Jacobson, CEO of Aster Farms, a company that delivers sustainably grown cannabis in Northern California.
Jacobson brings a business background to Aster Farms, in addition to a medical need for cannabis given her migraines. We wanted to chat to get more detail about her take on the biggest challenges in the cannabis business, how to succeed in it and more.
1. Who are you in the cannabis world?
CEO of Aster Farms, sustainably grown cannabis from Northern California.
2. How did you get there?
Retail buyer turned tech entrepreneur, with a drive to learn and build— no industry better to do that than cannabis. I also have family and friends whose lives have been changed by cannabis.
3. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
The technology we built at my startup is not only still used by the company who acquired us, but they’re continuing to build and expand on the product. To have something I made live on feels awesome. We are building that same legacy with Aster Farms.
4. What are the key attributes that make a successful entrepreneur in this industry?
Resilience, agile thinking and a sense of humor— because you can only laugh at some of the hurdles we are confronted with or you wouldn’t survive longer than a week.
5. What are the biggest challenges facing businesses today?
Banking. Period. It is operationally inefficient and flat out dangerous for all parties involved, including the government.
6. If someone is contemplating taking the entrepreneurial leap, what advice would you offer?
Take your time to understand all the nuances and sub-industries inside the cannabis industry before jumping in. Be strategic about what your skills lend to and what’s important to you about cannabis. Personal motivation goes deeper than a desire to cash out and people will see that.
7. Who are your cannabis heroes?
The patients who gave it a shot and taught the world about its benefits and importance in our lives.
8. If you could change one thing in the industry what would it be?
The oligarchies being created in certain states like New York. They are consolidating resources and power in a silo without competition that ultimately does not benefit the consumer.
9. What is your idea of perfect cannabis happiness?
Knowing that people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives find a common ground in the happiness and health cannabis brings, regardless of why or how they’re consuming.