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George Hodgin - Mission-Driven Entrepreneur

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station description Interviews with innovators of the American West
Mountain & Prairie Podcast
Duration: 01:06:03
George Hodgin is the founder and CEO of Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC), a California-based business with the mission of providing federally legal cannabis for approved researchers in the United States. Prior to starting BRC, George served as a US Navy SEAL officer, leading counterterrorism
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George Hodgin is the founder and CEO of Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC), a California-based business with the mission of providing federally legal cannabis for approved researchers in the United States. Prior to starting BRC, George served as a US Navy SEAL officer, leading counterterrorism operations in combat zones such as Afghanistan. And to top it all off, he’s a graduate of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead-Cain Scholar. With a resume like this, it’s safe to assume that George is a driven, hard-working guy. From a very young age, George knew he wanted to be a Navy SEAL. So after participating in ROTC during his undergraduate years, he began the Navy SEAL training, also known as BUD/S, immediately after graduation.  After nearly seven years in the SEAL teams, George left the military to pursue his MBA at Stanford. During grad school, while helping one of his SEAL teammates seek treatment for combat injuries, George was shocked by the inability of doctors to advise patients on the use of marijuana for therapeutic, healing purposes. Despite being legal in many states, it is still illegal at the federal level, and therefore unable to be studied by federally approved researchers and doctors. George and his company seek to change this status-quo so that cannabis can be better understood and more widely prescribed as an alternative to opioids and other drugs. The state-legal marijuana business has its roots in the American West, so I’ve wanted to speak with a cannabis entrepreneur for some time now. George offers excellent insights into the industry, discussing the challenges, governmental roadblocks, and opportunities for optimistic, innovative entrepreneurs. We also talk about why he decided to become an entrepreneur, and why he has consistently chosen some of the most challenging careers imaginable. We talk a lot about his service in the Navy, including the common traits of SEALs, the lessons learned from service, and the challenges of transitioning from the military into civilian life. Since we recorded this episode a few weeks into the Coronavirus crisis, he offers some hard-earned wisdom on how best to deal with high-stress, potentially dangerous situations like the one we all find ourselves in now. George and I were supposed to record this episode in person, but the Coronavirus had other plans. But we still made it happen-- each of us holed up in our homes and connected via Zoom-- so I hope this episode offers some entertainment and motivation during this challenging time.  Thanks for listening. --- Full episode notes: https://mountainandprairie.com/george-hodgin/ --- TOPICS DISCUSSED: 4:00 - BRC explained 7:00 - Genesis of the idea for BRC  10:15 - Decision to be an entrepreneur 13:00 - Complexity of the cannabis business 16:00 - What fuels his passion for BRC 18:00 - Early years in NC 21:30 - Morehead-Cain Scholarship explained 24:00 - Early desire to be a SEAL 26:00 - Path from college to BUDs 31:30 - Common trait of successful SEALs 34:30 - Transition from the Navy to civilian life 38:00 - Finding purpose outside of the SEALs 43:00 - Military lessons applied to business 47:30 - Main business challenge facing BRC 53:30 - Thoughts on the Coronavirus 57:45 - Favorite books 1:00:00 - Favorite Films ---- ABOUT MOUNTAIN & PRAIRIE: Mountain & Prairie Podcast Mountain & Prairie on Instagram Upcoming Events About Ed Roberson Support Mountain & Prairie
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