Ohio State Student Seizes Cannabis Opportunities with Gradujuana

Andrew Morris

                  "I am 22 years old, and I currently attend Ohio State University as a 2nd year majoring in financial business. I live in the “off-campus” area, which is about a half-mile away from main campus. I grew up in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, where I graduated from Reynoldsburg High School as Valedictorian. My mother works for OSU Medical center and I attended OSU as a PSEO student during my junior and senior years in high school, so I was incentivized to attend OSU once I graduated from high school. I love Ohio State- it is a phenomenal university- GO BUCKS!

                  I started at OSU studying Electrical Engineering for 2 years, then decided it was not what I envisioned for a career, but still didn’t know what I truly wanted to do. I took a break from school to travel some and see what the world had to offer. I moved to Colorado for 2 winters to live in the mountains and work for ski resorts because snowboarding is one of my most passionate hobbies, right next to skateboarding. It was in Colorado I witnessed the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012. I saw the economy boom for the years following, all while the culture remained the same, which eradiated public fears of a lazy, unintelligent culture that might have developed due to legalization. I understood that Ohio would see legalization in the near future, and returned back to OSU to study financial business- to aid me in my path to owning a cannabis-based business.

                   At a cannabis-based-entrepreneurship, ComfyTreeTM Conference, held in Ohio about 2 months ago, I attended a seminar hosted by Gradujuana’s Presidet, Karson Humiston. She was a great speaker who informed us of the vast opportunities available for residents of States legalizing marijuana consumption outside of cultivating, manufacturing and retailing marijuana. She elaborated on extremely successful businesses whose main functions were providing resources needed by the marijuana industry other than marijuana itself. It excited me to hear about a company providing information to people in hopes of propelling their lives within the cannabis industry, which is alien to many, very intelligent people. I spoke with Karson after the seminar, she informed me Gradujuana currently had no ambassadors in the state of Ohio, and I told her I would love to help out in any way possible. She offered me a positon as The Ohio State University’s Ambassador for Gradujuana, and…well, here we are!"


What made you get involved with Gradujuana 

"Once my eyes had been opened to the great benefits of legalizing marijuana both medicinally and culturally during my time in Colorado, I knew Ohio would see its legalization day too, and I wanted to be part of the change. After speaking with Karson, and learning there was almost no support in Ohio for Gradujuana, I knew I wanted to help educate people and, maybe, influence somebody’s life for the better by informing them about the truths and myths of marijuana and the industry waiting behind it. I am excited to be a part of Gradujuana, and confident I can project a positive image for Gradujuana in Ohio". 


How important is educating college students about cannabis to you? 

"Education is the key to any advancement in society. I believe education is the most important factor to creating a successful, professional industry for marijuana and any businesses associated with the marijuana industry". 


What are your long term career goals in Cannabis? 

"I own a start-up business in Ohio that is, currently, devoted to providing high-quality, legal, hemp products, such as, credible, CBD-Only products and brand merchandise. It provides the most up-to-date, factual information about the cannabis-industry and innovations within the industry. We have future ambitions of becoming a highest-quality-possible dispensary, through all necessary legal means once legislation has passed in the State of Ohio allowing marijuana to be produced, manufactured and retailed. Until that day arrives, I am working towards finishing my education and broadening the image of my company". 



Gradujuana & Ms. Mary Form Strategic Alliance

Gradujuana and Ms. Mary Announce Strategic Alliance

Denver, CO- Ms. Mary, a professional Employer Organization (PEO), and Gradujuana, a cannabis staffing agency, announced today that they have signed an agreement allowing their formerly competing companies to join forces and capture market share.  

The arrangement allows Ms. Mary and Gradujuana to share their resources to offer a more extensive recruitment process to their clients. Additionally, Gradujuana will now have the capabilities to offer their clients payroll administration, employee management, and HR consulting through Ms. Mary.

Karson Humiston, Gradujuana President says she is excited to save her clients even more time and money through partnering with Ms. Mary. Humiston says, “I want our clients to focus on what they do best; running and growing their businesses. In addition to saving our client’s time and money through staffing, we can now offer them payroll solutions, employee management and HR consulting”. Humiston says she is excited to work with someone close to her age; “I am 23 and Stephen is 28, I feel bad for anyone who tries to compete with us”.

Stephen Sullivan, Ms. Mary’s CEO stated “This is an exciting partnership for both our companies and this industry as we will now be able to pool our recruitment channels to offer our clients the best candidates and hiring experiences possible. I am looking forward to working with Karson and her team as we build this business relationship and continue to help this industry grow.”



Constance Reidinger

We recently recruited Constance as a regional account representative for Centurion Pro Solutions. We partnered with Centurion Pro Solutions, the leading manufacturer of machines that harvest recreational and medical marijuana in North America, to build them a national sales team. Arizona was our most competitive pool of applicants, and after three rounds of interviews, Constance was selected. Constance holds a Bachelor's of Science in Information Technology Management from Western Governors University, as well as an Applied Associates of Science Degree in Business, with an emphasis in sales and marketing. Constance also holds two IT based certifications, and a project management certification. In her last employment engagement, Constance was the top producing sales representative, earning several achievement awards for highest gross profit, vendor relations, and highest closing percentage in the company. 

According to Constance, "When Karson from Gradujuana called and said she was a recruiter for the marijuana industry, I almost fell over!!! I now have the power to take my career into my own hands, and sell products in an industry I truly believe in". When asked what she is most excited about in working in the cannabis industry, Constance replied, "when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. I am excited to love what I do!!".

Constance fully supports cannabis legalization and claims, "There are substantial economic benefits, legalization will lower the drug trafficking between the US and Mexico, and legalization will open thousands of new jobs. Furthermore, I have watched love ones receive relief that traditional medication has been unable to provide. How can something that provides so much relief, to people who need it the most, even be a topic for debate?". 



Bethany Niebauer: Cutting Edge of the Law

We recently recruited Bethany as a regulatory specialist for Canna Advisors, a top industry consulting group based in Boulder Colorado. Bethany graduated from the University of North Carolina Asheville and received her law degree from Charlotte School of Law. Bethany claims, “One of the reasons I pursued a career in the cannabis industry is because I love that it’s on the cutting edge of the Law. I also like that the industry is growing so quickly. I’m excited to look back in twenty or thirty years and say that I was part of an important cultural shift in our country”. Read the full interview below! 

Does what you studied in school come into play in your current employment in the cannabis industry?: "My French degree only comes into play tangentially; in that studying a foreign language made me a better writer, and gave me a better vocabulary. I use my legal education almost daily, even though I’m not practicing law. Law school gave me great analytical skills and made me a more critical thinker". 

How did your family and friends react when you told them you were pursuing a career in cannabis?: My friends were thrilled for me; they thought it was a great fit for my rebellious personality. My family has also been pretty supportive, although my mother sometimes worries that I’ll end up in federal prison. She keeps telling me that I don’t look good in orange.

What is one piece of advice you would offer to a job seeking looking to start or transition their career into the cannabis industry?: "Network, network, network! This industry was born in the black market, where it was inadvisable  to work with someone you didn’t already know. I think that a lot of employers have a “find someone you know,” mentality, left over from when people risked going to jail. The good news is that people in the cannabis industry are pretty welcoming. Go to as many events as you can, introduce yourself to everyone, and have fun".  




Hiring Mistakes Hurt


Hiring Mistakes Hurt

As America’s fastest growing industry, the cannabis industry is in demand for educated, talented and ambitious professionals ready to drive the industry forward. As the industry continues to grow and legalize across the country, cannabis companies continue on onboard hundreds of new employees. Unfortunately, in 2014, 76% of cannabis business owners reported turnover as one their biggest challenges. Additionally, seven out of ten cannabis business owners reported they were unhappy with their current employees, and their employees didn’t possess the skills needed to drive their business forward. These hiring mistakes hurt. The economist calls unsuccessful hiring the “single biggest problem in business today” and the average hiring mistake costs a company fifteen times that person’s annual salary. This statistic becomes even more disturbing when you consider the typical success rate of managers to be only 50%.

As the cannabis industry continues to become increasingly competitive to survive in, companies operating as “mom and pop shops” with cousins, siblings, friends and underqualified employees are going out of business, while companies with top talent are continuing to thrive. Take for example Canna Advisors, a top cannabis consulting group based in Boulder Colorado. Canna Advisors is committed to onboarding only the most educated, skilled and ambitious team members. The results speak for themselves, Canna Advisors has an 83% license application success rate, and has won fifteen licenses across the country! 

One way to ensure your cannabis company survives as legalization spreads is to avoid hiring mistakes, and onboard the best talent. The best way to ensure successful hires is to hire an external recruiting agency. The reason for this is simple, locating talent is not your company’s core competency. Allocating the extensive amount of time and resources required to onboard top talent is an inefficient use of your time. While you have the know-how to cut the grass and weeds outside of your office, is that really where you need to put your time? Same goes for recruiting, while you could spend years mastering recruiting techniques to ensure successful hires, you are better off growing and operating your business, and outsourcing recruiting.