How I applied for a job in the cannabis industry, and got an investment in a business I hadn't started instead

by Sam Zartoshty

Posted on Mar/04/2017

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If you looked at my social media a year ago, you would have never guessed I had anything to do with cannabis. The truth was that I was involved in the industry, but I never thought it was “socially acceptable”. Instead, I portrayed a more “normal” life.

8 months ago while I was working in corporate america, I finally decided it was time to get off the side lines. I kept seeing articles on “The Green Rush” and realized I was missing out on a huge opportunity. I felt like I knew the basics of cannabis, but I didn’t know how to bridge my professional skills into the legal cannabis industry.

I started looking on every job site I could find-- from Linkedin to Craigslist to every “Weedjobs” variation you could think of... But I wasn't getting anywhere.

I didn’t want to publicly display that I was “Looking for a cannabis opportunity” on my Linkedin, and I felt like it  was ridiculous how much time it took just to find a few quality job openings. When I finally found a few  job openings that appealed to me, I realized I had no idea what was “okay” to list on my resume.

I ended up applying to “The Arcview” group for a business development role. Instead of waiting for a response, I found the CEO, Troy Dayton, on Linkedin and messaged him with my interest. To my surprise,  I was interviewed right away, and thought things went well. I expressed how I felt there were certain gaps that needed to be filled in the industry, and made it clear I planned on starting my own company in the future.

Shortly after the interview, I received an email from Patrick Rea, CEO of Canopy,  asking to learn more about my “cannabis business idea”. After a few phone calls with Patrick, the general Idea was given the green light. I was given 3 weeks to pack my bags, build my team, and move up to Berkeley…

That is how Paragon was born.