Welcome back to another episode of the Proud to Work in Cannabis podcast! In this episode, we're broadcasting live from the bustling floor of MJBizCon in Las Vegas, Nevada. Join us as we dive deep into the entrepreneurial journey of Jason Wild, a figure well-known as the chairman of a large publicly traded company. However, there's so much more to his story than his current title suggests.
Early Entrepreneurial Ventures and Lessons Learned
Jason's path to success was anything but conventional. From his early days selling lollipops in ninth grade to his father's influence as an entrepreneurial pharmacist, Jason's ambition was evident from a young age. He shares a fascinating anecdote about his first business venture in high school, where he created a delivery service for local restaurants in suburban New York, long before the days of Uber Eats or DoorDash. This experience, fraught with challenges like lost delivery drivers and the absence of cell phones, unknowingly prepared him for the complexities of the cannabis industry.
The Transition from Pharmacy to the Stock Market and Hedge Funds
We then follow Jason's journey through college and into his decision to attend pharmacy school, despite not being a strong student. His father's advice and the realization that a traditional job wasn't for him led Jason to the world of stock investing. With an initial $10,000 from selling his high school business, he began picking stocks, leveraging his pharmaceutical knowledge. His success in the stock market was astounding, earning over $400,000 in one year, which solidified his decision to leave pharmacy and start his own hedge fund.
Jason's hedge fund story is one of patience and resilience. He recounts the fund's growth from $80,000 to $600 million under management, weathering the dot-com bubble burst and the 2008 financial crisis. His ability to bounce back from setbacks and capitalize on opportunities is a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit.
Building a Pharmaceutical Company from the Ground Up
The turning point in Jason's career came with the creation of Arbor Pharmaceuticals. He shares how he identified a gap in the market for revitalizing orphaned products from larger companies and how this venture led to a partnership with KKR, resulting in a significant payout for his investors.
The Decision to Invest in the Cannabis Industry
Finally, Jason's entry into the cannabis industry was as serendipitous as it was strategic. A call from a Canadian banker opened the door to a new world of opportunities. His investments in Canadian cannabis companies paid off handsomely, but it was his foresight to pivot to the U.S. market that truly set the stage for his next big venture, TerrAscend.
Stay Tuned for Part Two
As we wrap up this episode, we tease the next part of our conversation with Jason, where we'll explore TerrAscend's expansion into the U.S., their strategy, and Jason's predictions for the future of the cannabis industry. If you're in your 20s, now's the time to take risks and chase your dreams. Jason's story is a powerful reminder that success often comes from the most unexpected places, and it's the journey, not the destination, that truly defines an entrepreneur.
Join the Vangst Network
Whether you’re looking for a cannabis industry job or searching for the top cannabis talent to drive your company’s growth, the Vangst hiring platform has all the tools you need to make that game-changing move. Sign up and join our network in minutes.Join Today