Last updated on July 16th, 2020
Great companies start when founders work to change the world, not to make a fast buck. When it comes to the cannabis industry, the biggest challenge faced by cannabis entrepreneurs is stigma. The people and society don’t fully accept what you’re doing. Founder X series by Designhill presents the journey of the paragon in the cannabis industry who has flown against the stigma of the society and turned cannabis into his lifetime opportunities – Javier Hasse.
“You don’t need a million dollars, a Harvard MBA, or a graduate degree from an Ivy League school to start a business.” – Javier Hasse
Javier Hasse is cannabis, hemp, CBD and psychedelics-focused reporter from Argentina who is currently serving as Managing Director for Benzinga Cannabis, and CEO of Spanish language news site El Planteo, a company he co-founded.
As an award-winning reporter and editor, Javier’s had roughly 5,000 unique articles published across numerous mass media outlets including CNN, Forbes, MSN, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur Magazine, MarketWatch, Houston Chronicle, The Street, Nasdaq, Morningstar, Playboy, Benzinga, MERRY JANE, High Times, and many others.
His book, “Start Your Own Cannabis Business,” was published by Entrepreneur Media in 2018 and hit the #1 Best-Seller spot on Amazon. It’s a step-by-step guide to the marijuana industry.
Also, Javier is a published photographer and Billboard-charting rapper, featured on hip-hop albums that also included Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Inspectah Deck, Twista, Lil Windex, Riff Raff, Cyhi The Prynce, Yung Bleu, DJ Whoo Kid, Jonathan Hay, and others.
We asked Javier about his entrepreneur journey, why cannabis and how it got started? He said,
“I’ve loved cannabis since I was young and honestly, it’s about many things. It’s about how it makes you feel. It’s about the potential of the plant. And, it’s about what it can do for society. I got out of university at age 22 and had a job in writing about finance, stocks, hedge funds, insider trading. One day an editor asked me if I was willing to write an article about cannabis or marijuana stocks and related ways to invest and capitalize on. At that time, it was a very nascent industry, something that was just popping up as a real thing. We were seeing the first stock start trade on stock exchanges and after some though I decided to do it. At the time, it was quite the reputational risk. So, it meant risking and jeopardizing, what to me was a great career. I was working for American companies making US dollars and traveling the world at age 24. But I loved cannabis, I always did and decided to give it a shot and wrote one article. That was it! I never looked back after that. Over time, I continued to write about cannabis and then got a job at Benzinga and since then, I had my cannabis-focused articles published on Benzinga, Yahoo, CNN, Market Watch, Morningstar, Fox Business, had a column on playboy for a bit and I now contribute to Forbes. All this work along with work for cannabis-specific publications like High Times or Dope Magazine helped me gain certain notoriety in the space. When I was 27, I got a call from Entrepreneur Media – publishers of Entrepreneur Magazine and many others. They have this book division and they asked me if I was willing to write a book on how to start a cannabis business. This is how my entrepreneur journey started.”
He added, “The cannabis industry can create many jobs. It can bring many economic and financial benefits to society. How can legalization to a certain extent, make up for many of the injustices that have been committed in the name of fighting cannabis over time. It’s just, one of these topics, it just pierces so many different areas and areas of life. It’s that right? Its kids medicating for epilepsy and its grandmothers medicating for pain and everyone in between. So, it’s one of these big things that just reaches and touches or has the potential to touch everyone. It’s also a plant which is crazy, right? It’s nothing more than a plant. It’s been vilified, stigmatized and criminalized for decades.”
Designhill: How are you coping with the current COVID-19 situation and what are the challenges you are facing?
Javier: In terms of COVID, most of our daily operations are digital and virtual. A lot of things remain the same. Of course, a big part of our business or events, we’ve had to stop all of them. At Benzinga for instance, we reconverted our events to a virtual format. We’ll be having our first Benzinga cannabis capital conference in its virtual version, where we’ll have cannabis companies investors, celebrities, CEOs discussing different topics and networking. It’s a little bit of an adaptation process.
But, as I mentioned, many of our daily operations remain mostly unchanged. People are at their homes, researching news, writing, looking into stocks, what they’re doing, what’s going on around the world, what’s going on in terms of legalization, conducting interviews. We have to pivot and learn a considerable amount of new skills and get used to being on camera which isn’t something that we were particularly used to before.
Want To Know More About Javier
Designhill had an interview with Javier where we got to know about his overall journey, interests and upcoming projects. We also did some candid interactions where he shared what it takes to be a self-made entrepreneur and how to keep the spirit alive.
Watch The Inspirational Story Of Javier Hasse
As an entrepreneur, he advises other fellow entrepreneurs that during quarantine, look for alternative ways to keep your business operational. Tune to the virtual world. It’s the best way to stay connected with millions of people. Also, help yourself and your teammates to work calmly in this situation. Engage in charitable initiatives. Help other cannabis organizations, which usually make a lot of sense, but right now organizations like food banks also need our help. Stay positive.
Javier Hasse is an ideal example of an entrepreneur who listened to his heart and believed in his passion for cannabis. Struggles are part of the life journey but should never be a hindrance to starting something of your own and following your Passion. Desinghill wishes great success to Javier Hasse in his endeavors.