Marijuana Business Magazine - March 2018

NEW HlRES & PROMOTlONS A look at some recent hiring moves in the marijuana industry By Omar Sacirbey & Movers Shakers The Dean of Green As the dean of Sonoma State University’s School of Business and Economics in California, William Silver got to know scores of local businesses. Last fall, he met Dennis Hunter and Ned Fussell , the co- founders of CannaCraft, a California firm that manufactures medically focused THC- and CBD-infused oils, chocolates and other products. Hunter and Funnell soon tapped Silver as a business adviser. Silver is not your average adviser. He came to Sonoma State in 2008 after serving as an associate dean and in other posts at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. During his tenure at Sonoma State, enrollment increased by 40%, $20 million worth of scholarship and donation money came in, and the school distinguished itself as one of the few focusing on the wine industry. Silver stepped down in December with the intention of taking some time off and then returning to academia. But when Hunter and Fussell heard Silver was free, they asked him if he would take over as CannaCraft’s CEO. Why would Hunter and Fussell give up the reins at a growing business? While the entrepreneurs may have been perfect for launching the company, leading a grow- ing company was not their strength, and they decided someone else should do it. “It’s a tough thing to step out of that role, but the best companies in the world go through that,” Silver said. He was referring to Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who turned over their leadership roles in the com- pany to Eric Schmidt in 2001. “As an organization grows to get to the next level, you move sometimes from entre- preneurship to execution – that’s the art of getting things done. That’s the skill set I bring to the business.” The former co-CEOs still hold executive roles at Can- naCraft, with Fussell focusing on cultivation and Hunter on manufacturing. Silver started a few days after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, which is notewor- thy because federal drug agents and Santa Rosa police raided CannaCraft’s facility in July 2016, suspecting the company was producing oils using prohibited methods, according to reports. Agents seized equipment and cash Bill Silver 112 • Marijuana Business Magazine • March 2018