40 Under 40
For the past five years, the Marijuana Venture staff has compiled an annual list of some of the brightest young leaders and influencers in the cannabis industry. As in past years, we have narrowed the list from hundreds of worthy candidates to present 40 individuals from the vast and ever-changing business in the United States and Canada.
It is our honor to share their stories.
Title: Director of Business Development
While working in cannabis may be a far cry from his corporate life in tech sales at Target in Minneapolis, Marcus Naramore has begun to see parallels between the two. Over the past four years, Naramore’s role with Leafwerx has evolved beyond ground-level sales — “going to stores with bags full of weed” — into a multi-faceted position in which no two days are ever the same.
“If I were to summarize it, I’m kind of a centerpiece of a lot of different parties right now,” he says, referring to the company’s sales and marketing teams, designers, brand partners and retail clients. “It’s really just trying to identify what the best business opportunities are and where there are real returns.”
Naramore still handles a few high-impact retail accounts himself, but he’s also been heavily involved in the planning and brainstorming for the company’s new brand, Full Spec, a live-resin cartridge that has been 18 months in the making.
“We feel like this is the technological edge of cannabis, just with everything that went into it,” Naramore says. “It really shows that cannabis is more complex than just its THC percentage.”
In his past life, Naramore worked a lot with engineers, though he’s not an engineer himself, and then translated that for corporate leadership at Target. Now, he’s doing something similar with cannabis, translating the language of cultivators and extractors for marketing professionals, media, salespeople, budtenders and end consumers.
“Being able to code-switch my language and appeal to different people has really been the biggest challenge, but also the thing that has brought me the most success,” Naramore says.
Leafwerx has become one of the top cannabis producers in Washington in part, Naramore says, because of its ability to be adaptable and creative and “knowing who our brands appeal to.” He says it’s about “bringing process to the chaos” in an extremely challenging environment.
That DNA has allowed the company to remain successful in a turbulent industry and gives Naramore confidence that no matter that problem arises, Leafwerx is a company that will figure out a solution.