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Peter Vogel is the CEO of Leafwire, a cannabis business-focused social media platform known commonly as “the LinkedIn of cannabis.” Peter is a well-known tech start-up entrepreneur in the USA and talks to SEED INC about the changing face of Cannabis and the future of its global rise.

What’s your background and what made you decide to move into the cannabis space?
I’ve been in the tech start-up space for about 20 years and have always been passionate about building companies. I was approached by a friend in a cannabis start-up with a group of investors who had the idea to start Leafwire and they needed someone to run the company. When I started looking seriously into Cannabis, I saw an amazing young industry with such huge potential, I dropped everything, quit my job, and jumped in head-first to start Leafwire’s journey.

What is Leafwire and what is its mission?
We built Leafwire because the cannabis industry needed a safe, Cannabis-focused platform to connect, share news, promote events, find employees and just simply network. Our goal is to build Leafwire to be a LinkedIn-like platform 100% committed to serving the business needs of the Cannabis and Hemp business communities globally.

What impact do you think Leafwire will have on both cannabis companies and those looking for jobs in the industry?
Our goal is to drive the industry forward by helping people connect, get educated, find business partners, find employees and find all of the services and products they need to build successful, socially conscious and equitable companies.

What’s the most challenging experience you and Leafwire have had in the cannabis industry so far?
The pandemic was great for online platforms, but it made fundraising very challenging. We were in the middle of a Convertible Note when the pandemic hit and investment froze for about 6 months. In order to complete the round, we started a crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest and are really happy with the progress so far. We’re already 60% done with the amount required that we need to raise. Crowdfunding is an amazing way for the everyday average person to be able to share in the success of the booming Cannabis industry. Come check it out at – https://www.seedinvest.com/leafwire/seed

You seem to have quite a few South Africans on Leafwire already. What are your thoughts on the growth and potential in SA?
I’ve been amazed by the growth all over the world and think South Africa has a huge potential for cannabis to become an integral part of the South African economy. We’d love for more South Africans and citizens of the world to come join us at Leafwire. We’re an international community.

What do you see the benefits of legalization being for the global economy?
The benefits should be more jobs, better paying jobs, more tax income for states and nations to be used for education and social justice, less people of colour in jail, less incarcerations across the board and hopefully a fairer playing field for people of all socio-economic levels and races. And of course the medical benefits of Cannabis will create a huge impact on society, especially as people move away from other more harmful substances such as nicotine, alcohol, opiates and others. The reduction in unnecessary death could be huge.

In closing, as an initial tech entrepreneur and now forging ahead with Leafwire and the cannabis boom, what advice can you share with SEED INC readers on how they can achieve their goals?

Look for partners and companies who share similar goals. The Cannabis community is very collaborative and it’s much easier to reach your goals with a team of partners all striving for the same goals. 1+1 is often 3 or 4. And don’t be afraid to ask for help or admit you don’t know something. All of us are flying blind at many points while we’re building our companies and we all need help, over and over again throughout the process.