Company: Soil to the Oil
Position: Founder and CEO
For the past 12 months, the editorial staff at Marijuana Venture has compiled a list of candidates for our third annual 40 Under 40 feature. This year, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of worthy candidates to come up with a cross-section of personalities across the U.S. and Canada, from salt-of-the-earth farmers to tech savants. All of them have unique stories, successes and ambitions and all represent the excitement and promise of the cannabis business. We feel honored to share their stories and look forward to watching them push forward in our ever-evolving industry.
With the seemingly endless line of “pick-and-shovel” companies cashing in on the green rush, Kristen Yoder believes the cannabis industry is in desperate need of cynicism. Which is exactly what she’s using her 13 years of management experience to provide.
“I really want to be known as the BS detector of the industry,” Yoder says. “In the meantime, I do it for a living as an adviser.”
Prior to starting her company, Soil to the Oil, Yoder amassed a wealth of experience in the industry. She began in 2005, working for five years as the buyer for a medical dispensary in California where she helped the business navigate Los Angeles’ complicated regulations along with handling the day-to-day buying and changes in local ordinances. In 2010, she left to try her hand at cultivation, shadowing a grower for two years to learn the ins and outs of cultivation practices and management. Following that, Yoder worked in supply chain management and product development for an edibles manufacturer, before making the jump to studying terpene profiles and helping companies develop custom terpene cartridges and branding.
“It was an amazing experience to go through all of that,” Yoder says. “And it’s all happening again.”
Yoder does not consider herself as a consultant for the industry. She’s more of an objective best-friend-for-hire who handles questions about perceived necessities, industry groups and all the aforementioned “picks-and-shovels” that are constantly being pitched to license holders. She started Soil to the Oil in January 2018 and has been growing her list of “best friends” ever since.
“My sweet spot so far has been working with investors looking to get into the cannabis space,” she says. “Honestly, I just want to be a personality who calls s— like it is for a living.”