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: Flourish, Purple Unicorn
Title: Founder and CEO
“Make friends, not clients” is Justin Dada’s mantra. And it’s also something that seems to come naturally for the gregarious, 38-year-old founder of Flourish, an executive recruitment agency, and Purple Unicorn, a public relations firm.
Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Dada had been a successful executive recruiter, but he wanted the opportunity to work for himself and to be part of an industry he cared about.
He founded Flourish as a full-service recruitment consultancy, built on a “disruptive” business model. To make his services affordable for burgeoning cannabis companies, he established a 10% contingency fee for new hires. He also provides a retention bonus to successful candidates.
“I give the candidates I place 5% of the 10% fee I take at the six-month mark,” Dada says.
As Flourish began to take off, he wanted to get some press about his modern recruitment agency only to realize that many PR firms had business models that he felt were unrealistic for startups in the cannabis space. Since Dada had thousands of social media contacts within the industry, he set out to develop his own PR firm, Purple Unicorn, with a built-in network that was already in place for the company’s launch.
Purple Unicorn offers clients customizable packages based on the level of response they are looking to achieve.
With both companies now up and running, Dada has big plans for 2020.
“We’re toiling away on the Manhattan Project and we’re going to be dropping bombs soon,” he says.