21 Feb Ken Sobel: Debunking Myths About Cannabis and Future Aspirations for the Industry
Introducing Ken Sobel
Lawyer, advocate, legal attorney and vice president of Grow for Vets, a visionary at the platforms of Nature Nurse and Genesis – Ken Sobel is a renowned name in the cannabis industry, aspiring, and mentoring people to join the great green cannabis revolution.
The spark that ignited two decades back to raise awareness about the health and nutritional benefits of medicinal cannabis which transformed into a full-fledged revolution. 28 states have endorsed cannabis with a legalized medicinal status. This is just the beginning of the revolution and has opened doors for a whole new industry that is likely to expand by $50 billion by 2025.
The future looks promising for the cannabis sector. From farming to processing and from manufacturing to selling in the consumer market – there is a huge scope for farmers, intermediaries, pharmacist and drug specialists, manufacturer and retailers to contribute to the growth and expansion of the industry and reap their share of reward out of the effervescence of profits that is bubbling from within.
Ken Sobel is one of the few visionaries and an eminent torchbearer leading the cannabis revolution. We recently had an elaborate conference call session with Ken Sobel who was kind enough to spare some time out of his busy schedule. The interview spanned a good half an hour and Ken Sobel shed light on this current projectile of the long-struggling movement that has brought a legalized status to cannabis and the trends that are likely to shape the future of the industry.
Ken Sobel About His Motivation Behind Becoming an Educator
Ken Sobel strongly believes that when you are blessed with knowledge, wisdom, or specialized learning about a particular subject matter, it is an obligation upon you to impart it for the benefit of the people. According to him, this actually comes back to you as a reward that enhances your own knowledge and wisdom. He says:
“It makes me feel good to share my knowledge with people who are interested in the subject matter that I know about. I feel elated in paying it forward as a blessing, for the benefit of the industry that is already helping so many people and has a potential to improve the well-being of so many more across the globe.”
Ken Sobel About the Concept of Entrepreneurship and its Applicability to his Life
Ken Sobel starts his professional career as a young lawyer at the largest and the most prestigious law firm in San Diego, California. The firm had a sound and reputable clientele and being a lawyer, he had to assist them and represent them in legal affairs and compliance issues.
Ken Sobel’s transition from being an associate lawyer to an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry stemmed from what he calls ‘the squeaky carts’. During his association with the Californian law firm, the clients would use carts that went around the hallways within the organization dropping payment checks. It was that shrill squeaky sound that those carts made that got the better of him and he decided to get out of that environment which he actually did not like much in the very first place.
It turned out that was a good and timely decision on his part and not looking back since he became a professional legal entrepreneur for the particular domain of the cannabis industry. He takes pride in declaring himself a ‘Ganjapreneur’.
Ken Sobel About the Disconnects Between Formal Education and Entrepreneurship
Ken Sobel believes that formal education about a particular subject matter is the foremost requisite and contributes an immense value to the knowledge, wisdom, and expertise that one wishes to pursue. However, it is not the only thing one needs.
A formal education, theoretical knowledge, and the specialized learning need a practical exposure as well as a hands-on experience to bloom and generate its efficacy. Academic acumen and a practical, real-life experience – this is what you need to be a successful entrepreneur!
Ken Sobel About Teaching and Student Development
Aside from being a professional lawyer for 36 years, Ken Sobel is also associated with the noble professional of teaching. He served as a law professor in the early years of his career and has been engaged in mentorship and leadership roles to coach students as well as professionals.
He holds a unique perspective towards ‘valuable’ teaching and strives to impart the knowledge and wisdom for the progress and skill development of his students through his signature teaching methodology. According to him:
“Education cannot be enforced. First, you have to inspire and motivate people to be educated and informed. Then, if they are willing and ready to gain the wisdom, you educate them to the best of your strength. And when they have acquired the acumen, you provide them choices to distinguish and decide for themselves what’s going to benefit them in the long-term perspectives. This is the ultimate map of the pathway to success and self-development.”
Ken Sobel believes that the pursuit of purpose is a never-ending process and project. One cannot accomplish what he aspires in a single leap. It requires consistent and dedicated combined efforts to be able to inch towards a great vision or dream. He states:
“For us, it is a day-by-day process! Sometimes we progress as if we are unstoppable and then there are times when we have no choice but to step back. What’s important is to keep yourself focused and determined and working together, while celebrating successes and learning from the setbacks. That is what we have been doing, and I guess that is what has brought us this far! But there is still a long way to go.”
Ken Sobel on His Upcoming Projects
Ken Sobel has been tirelessly rendering his services in a variety of roles and capacities. He is providing necessary guidance and consultancy to the people who are aspiring to venture into the cannabis industry. Furthermore, as the vice president of Grow for Vets, he is devising policies and taking measures to provide cannabis to vets, all free of cost, for the medicinal treatments.
At the platform of Nature Nurse, he is working with Nurse Heather to raise awareness about the health and nutritional benefits of her cannabis products for people. At Genesis, he is planning and providing options for people and enterprise to become a part of the industry.
Ken Sobel About Environment and the Significance of Sustainable Innovation
Ken Sobel is of the view that health of humanity and the environment sustainability goes hand in hand and therefore, there is an increasing need for sustainable and ‘green’ innovations in all industries. He says:
“This is a matter of prime concern for us to adopt the best and highly ethical practices for farming and agriculture. This is because cannabis has long been associated with false and misguided perceptions. Therefore, we strive to stay true to what we claim, preach and promise and rather than making plain statements, we show it through our actions that our revolution is all out health, well-being and sustainability of life and environment. We are also seeking to raise awareness about the alternate sustainable energy resources and I have a plan to found my own solar energy company in the near future.”
Ken Sobel on Requisite Measures for Environmental Progress
According to him, there is a huge need for the standardization of processes. Processing Cannabis is not anything like making a regular FMCG (Fast-moving consumer good) product out of a natural raw material. Since it has immense health and nutritional benefits to offer, this is a compulsion that the manufacturing and processing of cannabis products are performed at the highest standards that are compliant with health and environment.
Ken Sobel on the Significance of Hemp for His Vision of the Future
Ken Sobel affirms the significance of Hemp and states that it was actually the uplifting of the ban and prohibition on hemp that has brought cannabis a legalized status in 28 states today. Reflecting on the prohibition movements, propagandas, and campaigns that brought hideous stigmas to hemp and cannabis back in the 1930s, he says that today the society has become more open-minded and opts for a more rational and logical perspective towards issues of social interests. The passage of the Agriculture Bill in 2014 and the legalization of cannabis is a testament that their pursuit and revolution is heading in the right direction.Ken Sobel on Choosing Volunteers and Building Partnerships
He says that it stems from a certain level of mutual interest. And trust, dedication, and commitment to the cause is what clicks to the like-minded lot and brings people together on a single platform and pursue a shared dream.
Since the industry cannot be operated on corporate designs, he suggests that it is essential to check and invigilate the background of people you are seeking to collaborate with. He emphasizes the need to test waters and judge from multiple dimension before signing the partnership or trusting someone with your visions and objectives.
Ken Sobel on His Prime Motivation
He believes that all the motivation that he need, he found it within himself. Recalling his childhood, he shared that he was highly enthusiastic about football and used to play on the high school team during his freshmen year. He had to face a lot of setbacks but was resilient enough to stand back up whenever he fell. He further added:
“Now that I look back and share my experience with my son, I tell him I made a world record in football when I was in high school. When he asks what was that about, I say that I made the world record of the highest number of knockouts on the ground. My son chuckles and then I tell him that I made another world record in football. He asks what was that about. And I tell him that it was the most number of times of getting back up and trying again after every time I was knocked out.”
Ken believes in the philosophy that sometimes it is not necessarily about the destination or the ultimate achievement. Sometimes, how you walk the path and how skillfully you tread on the journey that counts. Obstacles will be a part of anything you do. All you need is a firm belief that all limitations and restrictions are temporary and your potential is greater than any obstacle you come across. If you have an amazing story that you’d like us to share with our audience of college students interested in bio-sustainability and green related topics, please give us a call (858) 952-6330.
About the Author: Carlo Desierto is a serial entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in business startups. He has founded, built intrinsic value, and sold several companies in which he sits as an adviser for the Board of Directors. Carlo has interviewed over 200+ entrepreneurs and published mini-biographies for new digital media channels relating to entrepreneurship, health, self-help, and the green industry.