January 16, 2020 – Legal marijuana is now an over $10 billion business in the U.S. Investors poured over $10 billion into cannabis in North America last year, twice what was invested in the last three years combined. In addition, the North American market exceeded $16 billion in 2019.
While talent deficits are a problem in every industry, the marijuana field is exceptionally short on senior-level leaders who can come in and cross-pollinate their functional and industry skills-sets. So it is that recruitment firms are focusing on bringing talent to this smoking hot sector.
Recently, cannabis executive search firm Hunter + Esquire expanded with the addition of Art Massolo as a new partner. His responsibilities include executive search and expanding consultancy in business development and strategy.
“In working with Art for executive recruiting, I experienced firsthand his passion for helping connect companies and people,” said Bryan Passman, co-founder and CEO of Hunter + Esquire. “Art is an entrepreneur and trailblazer who has built businesses and brands in regulated industries. The expertise he brings to Hunter + Esquire in working with companies who want to build long term success in cannabis was a win-win.”
Mr. Massolo held extensive roles in consumer product goods, wine, food and beverage industries before entering the cannabis space in 2018. He served as chief business development officer at Mile High Labs, building relationships with consumer product goods companies for the global CBD manufacturer, and establishing distribution and retail partnerships. Mr. Massolo has consulted on strategy, recruitment and business development for start-ups and medium-sized companies in emerging fields his entire career.
Starting his career in the wine industry, Mr. Massolo founded the Cono Sur brand in Chile and Trivento in Argentina, growing both brands into high volume sales throughout the world. Mr. Massolo and his partners developed the world’s first business-to-business wine website before merging with WX Brands to source alcoholic beverages, create private labels and establish distribution channels worldwide.
Why Cannabis Companies Need Purpose Driven Leaders
With pot becoming legal in an increasing number of states, the expanding sector faces a strong need for talent. But what kind of leadership is best served to fuel this growing sector? A new report from Y Scouts takes a closer look, and leading recruiters that serve the industry then weigh in.
“The challenges for businesses in cannabis are like the growing pains of every start-up I’ve worked with,” said Mr. Massolo. “The goal is to be a trusted partner that helps elevate businesses to build out the industry. I am excited to join the like-minded partners at Hunter + Esquire to help cannabis companies put the right global strategies and management teams together to benefit humanity with this amazing plant.”
Serving the Cannabis Industry
Hunter + Esquire is a retained executive search and consultancy firm focused on the cannabis industry. It offers a range of consulting services including: retained executive search, leadership assessment and planning, human resources training, board development and recruiting, and strategy and business development. The firm works with clients in medical and adult-use cannabis, CBD and hemp including growers, operators, processors, extractors, wholesalers, CPG companies entering the cannabis space and ancillary companies serving the industry.
Hunter + Esquire was founded in 2017 by Mr. Passman, who spent 18 years in executive search in medtech, pharma and consumer product goods, and his wife, Jessica Passman, an attorney with general counsel and chief operating experience in beauty, healthcare and start-ups. The duo recognized the need for executive search resources in cannabis after hearing from colleagues that there was a gap in the industry.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media