Wana Brands has tapped cannabis marketing professional Joe Hodas to serve as chief marketing officer.
In this newly created position, Hodas is responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of the organization’s marketing and advertising initiatives. He is based in Wana’s Boulder headquarters and reports to CEO Nancy Whiteman.
“I’ve known Joe for many years and have always been impressed with his innate abilities as a marketer, communicator and industry leader,” Whiteman said. “When we saw the right timing to bring Joe into the Wana team, we jumped at the opportunity to have him join us. With Wana’s international expansion Joe will ensure that our brand and message remain consistent while helping us deliver at the highest level on the potential that every new market expansion provides. The influence of his previous marketing work in the cannabis industry is undeniable.”
As Wana’s CMO, Hodas’ primary responsibility is to generate revenue by creating innovative and refined marketing campaigns for the organization while helping grow Wana’s brand, market share and consumer loyalty. Leveraging his extensive industry network and knowledge base, Hodas will also support new market expansion, partnerships, government relations and innovation within Wana.
“As the cannabis industry collectively enters its next phase, I look forward to bringing my cannabis operational know-how and mainstream marketing expertise to Wana Brands,” Hodas said. “My relationship with Nancy and Wana is long-standing, initially as an admired competitor to emulate while at Dixie, but also as a colleague and inspirational leader within this nascent industry. From the first moment I met my new team here at Wana, I knew they were intentional and hand-picked to deliver on Wana’s brand promise at the highest levels. I’m honored and humbled to be part of this team that has set the bar for what a cannabis brand, and company, can and should be within this industry.”
An early professional marketer in the cannabis industry, Hodas was on the team that built Dixie Elixirs into one of the first and most recognized national cannabis brands. At Dixie, he helped educate mainstream and regular cannabis consumers alike regarding edibles and responsible cannabis consumption and was engaged in local and state regulations in several markets. He drove marketing and branding via multi-state expansion, packaging, product development, communications and advertising. During his tenure, the company launched in five new markets, two new CBD brands and dozens of new SKUs.
Prior to joining Wana, Hodas was CEO at Gofire, an innovator of hardware and software IP designed to change the face of plant-based medicine and mainstream healthcare. As CEO he guided Gofire’s marketing, product development, software and sales, helping to bring the company’s first metered dose inhaler to market, while developing the company’s next generation products intended to redefine how mainstream medicine could be delivered and monitored for adherence and efficacy.
Previously, Hodas served as COO for General Cannabis Corporation, a publicly traded company consisting of several ancillary businesses. Hodas’ experience also includes positions as senior director of corporate communications for Frontier Airlines, as well as agency experience at Vladimir Jones, where he was a partner, and Ogilvy Public Relations.
Hodas has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business, specializing in strategic marketing and decision making. He graduated from the University of Denver, receiving his master’s degree in mass communications and public relations after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas.