Take your best and your worst employee out to lunch, listen to them. Practice bottom up rather than top-down! Assign the front parking place to a different achiever every month. Eliminate Silos.

 I had the pleasure of interviewing Warren Bobrow, the Cocktail Whisperer. Warren is the 6x Author of books and he was the Mercedes-Benz (sponsor of SXSW) “Me Conference Mystery Speaker” on Health and Wellness, also held during SXSW 2018. Bobrow has written articles for publications such as Saveur magazine, Voda magazine, Whole Foods-Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service, Beverage Media, DrinkupNY and many other national and global periodicals. 

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story of what first introduced you into this business or helped you get interested in the business?

I got into this business for health reasons. I inherited glaucoma from a family member and have found that certain strains of cannabis, determined by a cannabis DNA test that I took, were able to lower my eye pressure from abnormally high to below normal in three months without the highly carcinogenic drops. Ok, I was working in the liquor business for the past ten or so years with an even longer time-line as a trained chef. That was until I opened a fresh pasta business in Charleston, South Carolina in the late 1980’s. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 put me out of business. I owed family members money and it took me twenty years of working in private banking (always smoking cannabis- it helped me survive!) to pay them off. Finally, at forty-eight, I lost my corporate job in a restructuring. I was a bank officer (imagine that!) and I had a pension and 401k, and a package. It allowed me to reinvent myself. But cannabis as a business came later- even though I’m quite experienced with cannabis and business!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

I travel all over writing for Forbes in the online space- vices is my column. I write about ultra-exceptional cannabis. The best is what I’m looking for. I’ve been doing a series on Cannagars, you know, cannabis cigars.. These pricy things start in the three figures and go up from there. If you need to know, well- you can’t afford them. I didn’t even know and I have a very storied background in fine wine and spirits, from Russia to San Francisco for rum and everything in-between! So, I fly often and try to upgrade my seats to first class when I can afford to- this of course starts conversations- not always good ones! But most of my seat-mates are genuinely interested in why a six-time loser would want to start another career at 57! When most of my very successful, (lawyer, doctor, finance) peers are charging towards retirement???? Never! So I love the conversation that I work in the cannabis industry. I’ve learned to smile about it too!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

… Funny and interesting…. working for free. It is not a good thing to work for exposure. Everyone who does that to an up and coming writer is a fool. I’ll tell them too. Do something for your writers. Buy them a Starbucks card. Or a pizza. Don’t ask people to write for free. My mortgage company didn’t appreciate free, nor does the atm take free for deposit. It’s really unfair and quite frankly, disgusting. I know it’s how I did it, but I didn’t know any better. I would have saved myself hundreds of thousands of dollars if I knew that I wasn’t going to get paid for my fine work- it would have changed my life. Some might think this funny that I would work for free at all. I learned the hard way.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Zoe Wilder is the one who does so much for so many people. She recognized my passion for craft whiskey (Barrell Bourbon to be exact) and my terroir forward approach to craft cocktails instead of sickly-sweet garbage pail drinks, poured over lousy ice with grotesquely red cherries added. Zoe cares about people very deeply and it shows in her tangible approach to people, places and most of all, cannabis.

This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?

Fewer silos. I worked in the corporate world for many, many years at a very high level as an executive assistant. The kind of job that allowed me to see deeply into what makes business work, or not work…

Can you share your top “5 Things You Need To Know In Order To Run a Successful  Company”? Please share a story or example for each.

Be yourself, smile more. As easy as that! Don’t work for free. There is a cost for everything. Your bank doesn’t take exposure for deposit. Be the best at what you do. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Always help others ‘raise the bar’ of excellence. Don’t ever not help.. Always help. Don’t do it for anyone else, let them make their own mistakes, that’s how we learn, but always guide. Do what you love and find your passion. If it’s not cannabis, then maybe rum?

Any product that offers clear and crisp dosage is a plus in my book. I want to enjoy my cannabis cocktails without being absolutely destroyed.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Take your best and your worst employee out to lunch, listen to them. Practice bottom up rather than top-down! Assign the front parking place to a different achiever every month. Eliminate Silos.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Make delicious cannabis cocktails like the Hoochy Coochie Man from my minor-best-selling book, Cannabis Cocktails. It allows you to enjoy your medicine in a pro-social fashion. Enjoying a tasty little craft cocktail or mocktail.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Twitter @warrenbobrow1

Facebook wbobrow

Linkedin Warren Bobrow

Instagram Warren Bobrow

And my gnome: @klausgnome on twitter.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Roger Ralston

    CEO of Direct View Holdings (DIRV), Security Technology Expert

    Roger Ralston is the CEO of DirectView Holdings (DIRV), a publicly traded company that specializes in providing security surveillance equipment to law enforcement, public facilities, schools, and cannabis dispensaries.