Robert DeBin III
Company: Natural State Medicinals
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.
Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Robert DeBin made his living running an IT services company that specialized in iPad-based point-of-sale processing for stores and restaurants. It was good work, but it doesn’t compare to his current gig at Natural State Medicinals Cultivation, where he gets to improve the quality of life of people in his home state of Arkansas.
“It’s rare that you can work in an industry that you enjoy, but also truly helps people,” DeBin says. “I’m happy to say that I wake up excited to go to work. It’s truly a blessing.”
Natural State Medicinals received the highest score of any cultivation application in Arkansas and DeBin says that has been his biggest milestone thus far in the industry. Hearing the testimonials from patients who have been helped by medical cannabis is the best part of his job, even if it means dealing with the “ever-changing legal, political and banking issues that plague our industry,” he says.
But DeBin isn’t just dealing with those issues. As president of the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association he is working to educate policy makers, as well as health care professionals and patients, on the benefits of medicinal marijuana.
Staying focused on the patients is the key for DeBin, who says it would be the one piece of advice he would give his younger self as he got started in the industry.
“Never lose sight of the fact that you are a caregiver and medical provider,” he says.