To say Eric Eslao took a significant pay-cut when he made the leap from Apple to his own cannabis company in 2016 would be an understatement.
“I took about a 45 percent cut in my compensation,” says Eslao, who spent more than six years as a producer for Apple before launching California’s Défoncé Chocolatier edibles company.
“Obviously being at the No. 1 company in high tech and content came with its benefits ... but, in 2016, I definitely saw the opportunity in cannabis and knew it was something you had to enter early to make an impact.”
While Défoncé Chocolatier has gone on to become a well-known national brand within the cannabis space, Eslao admits there were certainly some anxieties tangled up in that initial jump into such uncharted – not to mention legally iffy – territory.
But Eslao’s experience is far from isolated. A new report from New Frontier Data suggests that nearly half of cannabis industry professionals took a cut in pay to join the burgeoning industry. Around 35 percent indicated that cut was major.