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Joshua Lang, Founder and CEO at Spliffay- Interview Series

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“I realized that only wealthy owners and millionaires were benefiting from the license distribution system, making it unlikely for us to get a license. This realization left me frustrated and motivated me to search for a solution that could help cannabis entrepreneurs gain access to capital and opportunities. This led to the birth of Spliffay.”

Joshua Lang

Navigating the cannabis industry's  web of regulations and swiftly evolving market demands can be an arduous task for both professionals and businesses alike. From cultivators to marketers, the array of specialized skills required often poses a challenge in connecting professionals with suitable opportunities. Furthermore, startups in this space face an additional hurdle: standing out amidst the formidable competition posed by established players. In such a landscape, the need for a centralized platform facilitating connections between cannabis professionals and businesses, while providing startups a chance to showcase their innovations, becomes increasingly apparent.

Enter Joshua Lang, the visionary founder and CEO behind Spliffay, an online marketplace tailored specifically for the cannabis industry's diverse workforce. With a passion for technology and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by both professionals and startups in this burgeoning sector, Joshua embarked on a mission to revolutionize how talent is discovered and utilized in cannabis-related ventures. Through Spliffay, Joshua aims to not only streamline the process of connecting businesses with the right skill sets but also to empower startups by providing them with a platform to amplify their presence and compete in this rapidly expanding market. In this interview, Joshua discusses his experiences as a black entrepreneur influenced by his christian faith and the transformative potential of Spliffay in shaping the future of the cannabis industry.

Can you share the inspiration behind founding Spliffay and the journey that led you to establish this e-commerce platform catering to the cannabis industry?

I’ve always had a passion for technology since I was young. I am an avid gamer and a proud member of the Apple fan club. During my college years, I tried building my own platform, but unfortunately couldn’t see it through. However, I believe that helping the underserved community within this vast industry is a cause that’s greater than myself.

My journey started when my family and I decided to venture into the cannabis industry as dispensary license holders in Arizona. However, after conducting research, I realized that only wealthy owners and millionaires were benefiting from the license distribution system, making it unlikely for us to get a license. This realization left me frustrated and motivated me to search for a solution that could help cannabis entrepreneurs gain access to capital and opportunities. This led to the birth of Spliffay.

We started with a slide deck, pitched it to my Aunt and Uncle, who became our first investors, and then developed a prototype. Today, we have a live website where we are testing out our product with a few customers.

Offering free services in an industry where capital can be hard to come by is quite unique. How do you balance the altruistic mission of serving cannabis entrepreneurs with the financial sustainability of Spliffay?

It’s not common for many industries, especially the cannabis industry, to offer free services. My answer is multi-faceted, as it is based on my principles as a Christian. I believe in conducting business with honesty and integrity, while providing something that can help people from all walks of life, regardless of their financial situation. Currently, we are in the beta testing phase, and everything we offer is free. As we continue to grow and expand, we will still have a free subscription option available to cater to customers who are new to the industry or looking to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.

Spliffay caters to a diverse range of professionals in the cannabis industry, from doctors to growers. How do you ensure that your platform meets the varied needs of these different stakeholders effectively?

We are currently exploring our target market. Our main customers include consultants, chefs, and Ganjiers, and we hope to expand to budtenders and healthcare experts. As a personable CEO, I enjoy having conversations with my customers to understand what works for them and what we might be missing. With my background in business, I strive to create a tool that can help them gain new customers and earn money, whether they are working full-time or part-time.

Servanthood is a core value of Spliffay, as you mentioned. Could you elaborate on how this philosophy shapes the culture and operations of your company, particularly in terms of supporting those who might be marginalized or underserved within the cannabis industry?

I am a 30-year-old black man living in America. I was born on the Westside of Chicago, and my parents never got married. We lost our home at a young age, and I didn’t experience what ownership meant until I became an adult, married my wife, and had a beautiful daughter. Due to the trials I faced, I have learned to look at life through the lens of servanthood. Without those experiences, I’m not sure what my relationship with Christ would be like. I strive to serve others by helping them in any way I can, whether it’s through working with a cool new company that supports aspiring entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry or providing encouraging words to a stranger. This principle is the foundation of my company because many businesses claim to embrace it, yet their actions and politics don’t align.

I currently work in corporate America, and I believe that how people are treated within the company and outside of it, including our customers, should be a top priority.

What would you like to see being done differently in the cannabis industry?

I believe that the cannabis industry needs to upgrade its level of professionalism and overall image. This is not to say that younger adults working in the industry are not professionals, but we need to focus on how we present ourselves. There should be a greater emphasis on education, diversity, healthcare, and small businesses that are not solely focused on dispensaries.

Most importantly, we must treat people with respect, not just like they are another number. We need to promote cannabis for its versatility as a multi-dimensional plant that can be used in various aspects of our daily lives. I think the industry could use fresh ideas that help experts and newbies alike make money and connect with healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs, like Spliffay!

It was a great pleasure to have this conversation with Joshua Lang. Readers are encouraged to check out Spliffay and connect with how the company is transforming the cannabis industry.

 

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.