Discussions about the cannabis market in California would not be complete without mentioning Giovanti Humphries’ name. Giovanti is a successful entrepreneur and the owner of one of the fastest-growing brands in the California cannabis market. Although it’s a relatively new entrant in the market, his company is on track to do $100M in sales and also become a fully vertically integrated enterprise. More remarkable is that it’s been in operation for less than 24 months. That success, however, is a testament to the hard work and resilience that define Giovanti as a person.
Giovanti spent his childhood in the Bay Area of San Francisco, where he grew up. He was raised by his grandmother, who was a single first-generation American. He is himself a first-generation American of Mexican, Native American, and German descent. Like many people from minority communities before him, Giovanti didn’t have the best experiences when growing up.
His family used to rely on government programs and housing, which was not always easy. In fact, he was homeless at some points in his life. On top of that, he had 6 siblings he was supposed to take care of at the same time. Nobody in his family had gone to college before, but Giovanti was ready to break that record.
When the time came to go to college, he worked and paid his way. He went on to enroll in business school at the University of Miami, where he graduated with his MBA at 23. He was the youngest in his graduating class. Immediately after, he was hired by Wells Fargo as a senior vice president heading their $1B business. City National Bank brought him on later as a vice president.
After his stint at City National Bank, Giovanti became part of the first Initial Coin Offerings as their chief financial officer. He worked with governments and academics around the world discussing cannabis adoption through technology. He also worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission and top law firms in the country to navigate cryptocurrency legislation.
Working with such a varied group gave Giovanti a fresh perspective on cannabis and a desire to do more. As a result, he consulted and did CFO work for some of the largest cannabis companies in California. Later, he found a partner and started his own company GW Holdings, which is already very successful.
The journey from homelessness to running multi-million-dollar companies and then establishing his own has taught Humphries many lessons. One, the most important resource your company can have is people. He says, “If you have the right people doing the right things, the rest will all fall into place.”
Two, execution trumps planning. The execution of your plans is what makes you stand out. “Even if you have the best ideas, or are first to market, have the most funding, everything boils down to execution.” Finally, you won’t succeed if you fear failing. A successful businessperson is a risk-taker. Giovanti adds that “everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of failure.”
Giovanti has no plans of slowing down. Among other things, he hopes to have a global conglomerate that incorporates brands, technology, finance, and venture capital for new cannabis entrepreneurs. He also wants to work with willing entrepreneurs from marginally affected communities who are usually disproportionately affected by cannabis laws.