10 Cannabis Founders & CEOS To Watch In 2018

It’s important to take note of the who’s who

The cannabis industry produces standout entrepreneurs on the regular, showing that where you plant a good seed, it will grow and flourish. With industry pioneers and new faces blazing across the market, its important to take note of the who’s who, and what they do for the overall advancement of our industry.  


Steve DeAngelo

Image Courtesy Of Stuff Stoners Like

“Out of the shadows and into the light”, he’s known for saying regarding cannabis. Steve DeAngelo is a long-time participant in the cannabis industry and has achieved recognition for his advancement, business savvy and advocacy for the cannabis industry. He is most well known for founding the world’s largest medical marijuana dispensary in the world Harborside Health Center. DeAngelo believes in the medical purposes of cannabis above the recreational purposes, making him a unique voice in the cannabis movement.


Isaac Dietrich


His name has gained some notoriety in the cannabis world as of late, with being ousted from MassRoots, only to eventually reclaim the helm. After being fired from his company from his position as the CEO, Dietrich rose from the ashes, through some potential litigation, and eventually reclaimed his place at the cannabis tech firm. His plans moving forward include working in the area of bitcoin currency and engaging in partnerships with large data firms like New Frontier Data.

Avis Bulbulyan

Image Courtesy Of SIVA Enterprises

If you’ve been to a cannabis industry conference, there’s a chance you’ve seen Mr. Bulbulyan speak about his extensive work, and rapid growth in the cannabis industry. He was an early entrant into legal cannabis, and began consulting on manufacturing and distribution. He founded Bulbulyan Consulting Group BCG in 2014, which grew into SIVA Enterprises, becoming one of the largest cannabis consulting groups in the world.  

Lelehnia DuBois

Image Courtesy Of Humboldt Grace

CEO of Humboldt Grace, DuBois represents another female entrepreneur rising in the ranks of the cannabis industry, providing consulting services that focus on education and advocacy. DuBois takes a very interesting approach to her work with her background in demographics and community development, which is helpful in her work to collaborate and unite areas of cannabis and communities in an advantageous and holistic way.

Chris Leavy

Image Courtesy Of Equity Legal LLP

Leavy brings Wall Street, MedMen, and advanced cannabis investing together in a way that has many in and outside of cannabis raising their eyebrows at the prospect of cannabis profits. Leavy has become a leader in the investment lucrativeness of cannabis, taking what he’s learned on Wall Street over an impressive 20 year career, and helping to show others why now is the time to invest in cannabis. He’s been featured on CNBC telling his story of why he left Wall Street for MedMen, a leading cannabis investment firm based in LA.

Amy Poinsett

Aimee is on the left. Image Courtesy Of CNBC

Tech professional Amy Poinsett is responsible for setting the bar high for cannabis tech firms, being a founding member of MJ Freeway, the first seed-to-sale tracking software for the cannabis industry. Featured constantly as a business leader to watch, Amy and her partner Jessica represent for the tech space what is possible when you blend industry needs, compliant requirements, and user-friendly platforms. They experienced 100% growth in their first year, and with Amy and her partner Jessica at the helm, MJ Freeway shows no signs of slowing down.

Scott Van Rixel

Scott is on the left. Image Courtesy Of Business Wire

A Master Chocolatier of 25+ years, Van Rixel shows what’s possible when you combine a passion for something decadent with cannabis. Sourcing only the best chocolate, Bhang uses CO2-extracted cannabis oil in their products. Now Bhang sells not only an impressive line of chocolates and edibles, but also a line of vape products, gums and sprays. Their products are now global, selling in 3 countries.

Dr. Cristina Gonzalez

Image Courtesy Of LinkedIn

CEO of G FarmaBrands, Gonzalez joined the company as CEO in 2015, and has been responsible for growing the company globally. G FarmaBrands is involved in the advanced production and processing of cannabis as an umbrella organization that oversees the development of industry-leading cannabis brands.

Andy Williams

Image Courtesy of Andy Williams

Andy Williams is the man responsible for Medicine Man, the Denver-based cannabis growing and Medicine Man Technologies, which helped cultivators increase their yields and now even has a nutrient line. Andy Williams, referred to as “the Pot Baron” represents how someone who had never even used cannabis saw a business opportunity, convinced investors to believe in him, and is now turning his good fortune into ventures that help new groups and businesses emerge within the growing cannabis industry.  

Tsion “Sunshine” Lencho

Image Courtesy Of Forbes

Lencho is an attorney at law and co-founder of Supernova Women, a space for Women of Color in Cannabis. Key programs of this important organization include Shades of Green series, which encourages those of color to be involved in legislative decisions surrounding cannabis, and Ex Offender Advocacy and Education, that helps hold difficult conversations about rehabilitation, and expungements so that people of color can have a chance at participating in the cannabis industry.


2018 has the promise of being a glowing year with these entrepreneurs continuing to blaze trails in cannabis entrepreneurship while new faces and industry innovations add to the constantly changing industry. Who will emerge to catch our eye next?


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