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.
Company: Platinum Vape
The story of Platinum Vape starts in a garage with a father and son who each sold a dirt bike to build out the family’s first grow room.
Nearly a decade after its inauspicious launch, the company has about 200 employees and generates almost $70 million in annual sales with operations in California, Michigan and Oklahoma. But at the core of the enterprise is that same father and son who turned a whim into one of the biggest privately owned companies in the industry.
“There’s a level of respect because we’re partners,” Cody Sadler says of the relationship with his father and co-founder, George. “It’s not like I work for him. We work together. We both put the same skin in the game to get started. He didn’t have a background of money that helped us start. Whatever had to be done had to be done together.”
They survived “the old cowboy days” of California’s medical marijuana industry and somehow persevered through trial and error — “a lot more error,” Sadler says — in part because of the self-funded nature of the company.
“We don’t have the luxury of spending other people’s money,” he says. “We have a great product, but a vape is a vape. It’s the branding behind it and the people behind it that makes it move. … We learned early on that it was about reinvesting in your own product and your own brand.”
While the company might be best known for vape cartridges, Platinum produces a full array of cannabis products, from flower and pre-rolls to chocolates and gummies. The company’s REACT brand was also developed as a way to help fund charities focused on social issues.
When asked what makes Platinum different than other cannabis companies, Sadler admits his answer sounds a little ridiculous: “We care.”
It’s still a family-run business, he says — his brother and sister oversee the company’s Michigan operation — but now that family includes dozens of employees that take the same philosophy as the founding father and son.
“We’re never content,” Cody says. “We always want to keep moving and try different things.”