Rob Hansen believes in starting at the ground floor of any endeavor in order to truly understand it, which has given him significant insights into all of the aspects of creating a cannabis company from the bottom up. “You need to know the back of the house so you can succeed at the front of the house,” Rob says. “I don’t ever want to be that guy who just comes in and calls himself a ‘consultant’ without having walked the walk, so I think it’s important to pay your dues so that when you evolve at a company, you understand it inside and out.”
It’s no surprise, then, that Rob’s background in hospitality — particularly at the Four Seasons, where he gained an appreciation for developing smart onboarding processes and how the experience is what people remember — has been instrumental in helping him help the cannabis industry, from developing solid SOPs and addressing labor issues to savvy scheduling and efficient workflow. He started in the grow facility when he first joined the Next Big Crop team in 2016, moving lights around and learning about things like nutrient composition and how facility setup can affect outcomes, before moving into the Director of Compliance role, where he developed comprehensive programs unique to each facility type on a state and local basis. More recently, he was named Operations Manager, managing the day-to-day workings of the design team and assisting in ensuring that cultivations, processors and dispensaries adhere to regulations and exceed requirements.
His time in the hospitality industry also gave him an appreciation for the finer things in life, and so when he can — which is trickier now that he has a 6-month-old — he likes to stay in fancy hotels and explore exotic locales. “I’ve been lucky enough to check out some amazing places all through Europe, and Tel Aviv was amazing, but I still have a lot of places on my bucket list,” he says. “Asia, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Bali, Myanmar are all on my list right now.” Born in New York, Rob grew up primarily in Connecticut; he holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Endicott College certifications from ASTM, Metrc, iComply, OSHA and GAP.
“Four Seasons taught me how to always reach for being the best,” Rob says. “Never settle, never become complacent, and gain a thorough understanding of your competitors so you know how to separate yourself from them. The cannabis industry needs to get better at that, and that’s something I’m really interested in exploring with our clients.”