Marijuana Business Magazine - Issue 09, Oct 2017

NEW HlRES & PROMOTlONS A look at some recent hiring moves in the marijuana industry by Omar Sacirbey & Movers Shakers Taylor West Accepts Opportunity to ‘Stretch Out’ Attention to detail and curios- ity have led to a new career path for Taylor West , former deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Earlier this year, West noticed that an NCIA member, Denver-based Cohn Marketing, had renewed its membership under a new name, Cohnnabis. The name change reflected a new canna-centric division the firm was creating and also formalized the company’s commitment to the mari- juana sector. Founded in 2000, Cohn built its reputation in the main- stream business world but moved into marijuana mar- keting relatively recently. The new moniker and direction piqued West’s curiosity. So, when she bumped into Cohn’s vice president of marketing at the Cannabis Business Summit in Oakland in June, conversations about the com- pany’s cannabis efforts soon grew into discussions about how West might be a part of that effort. “It became clear they had some very exciting plans but needed some additional industry expertise,” West said. “Those conversations kind of organically grew into how I might be in a good position to help them achieve their goals.” The move was also appealing to West because her work at NCIA was almost exclusively about policy change and lobbying Congress while the new post is more about mar- keting for young, growing marijuana companies. “It’s fun for me to stretch out into the business areas since I haven’t done as much of that before,” she said. West spent her first few weeks at Cohn looking at the marijuana industry as a whole and identifying industry segments and companies that can benefit from Cohn’s services. The move is also good news for the marijuana industry, since having a successful non-cannabis firm like Cohn entering the sector adds more legitimacy, West said. “One of the things that made this position so attractive to me is that this is a company that has proven its ability in lots of large established industries,” West said, “and they see a lot of opportunities in cannabis, and an exciting, evolving business sector.” West said Cohnnabis has national ambitions in the long term, especially in California, which will soon launch its recreational marijuana program. Taylor West 120 • Marijuana Business Magazine • October 2017