Helping firms build a cannabis team is the mission of Karson Humiston, founder and CEO of Vangst, the industry’s leading recruiting platform.
While still in college, Humiston’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to reach out to her network of her friends to learn what careers they wanted to pursue. To her surprise, 70 percent of those she asked said they were interested in the cannabis industry. The day after graduation she moved to Colorado and built Vangst from the ground up.
“This was 2015 and the first legal adult-use markets in Colorado and Washington were on the verge of opening up. Every company needed workers. There were tons of jobs about to open up and a lot of interest on the talent side in getting into the business,” Humiston says. “But businesses didn’t know how to reach the talent they needed, or really have the expertise and resources to properly recruit; and the talent didn’t know how to connect with leaders in the industry.”
Since its launch, Vangst has created relationships with more than 1,300 cannabis companies. To serve them and the needs of job seekers, Vangst built a recruiting platform that makes it easy for companies to build profiles and post jobs to a talent pool that can upload CVs and credentials to introduce themselves to the industry.
Humiston says that when she moved to Colorado, she didn’t have any contacts in the cannabis industry and didn’t know a single venture capital firm.
“But the cannabis community—and it truly is a community—welcomed me with open arms,” she says. “Cannabis creates opportunities for first-time founders like me.”
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.