Engineer Jesce Horton on leaving his lucrative job at Siemens for cannabis

Abu Mubarik November 09, 2022
Jesce Horton. Image via Linkedin

Jesce Horton is the founder of Portland, Oregon-based cannabis company Lowd. Prior to venturing into the cannabis space, he worked as an engineer for Siemens but his passion for horticulture was too strong to keep him in the engineering field.

His company specializes in cannabis cultivation and wholesale in Oregon and his product line includes classic, more accessible strains of cannabis alongside innovative crossbreeds, according to Business Insider. In 2016 one of his strains was the winner of the Oregon Dope Cup’s best medical hybrid.

Although the Oregon cannabis market is saturated, Horton broke into the market by offering consumers low-cost but high-quality grades. This secured him an 11-month contract through the company’s 10 direct accounts, spanning 40 dispensaries across Oregon.

Horton had an experience with cannabis before venturing into it. His father served seven years in prison for a cannabis-distribution charge. According to him, his father tried to keep him away from cannabis but despite the efforts, he began using it in high school. He believed that it helped improve his ability to focus on assignments, specifically math. He eventually had three run-ins with law enforcement.

This would later come back to haunt him at General Electric where he did his internship while in college. According to Insider, he got an offer to be part of General Electric’s leadership-development program in its operations wing but the offer was withdrawn after his cannabis misdemeanor charges came up.

He later got an offer with Siemens, spent nearly two years in Munich, and was offered the chance to either work in New York as part of the company’s corporate-auditing team or in Portland in sales. He chose the sales position. 

Although he chose to be in the sales department to avoid the “whole suit corporate mentality,” it exposed him to the state’s medical cannabis market, and he was soon hooked, according to the Insider.

“I was enjoying going to every dispensary I could, picking up every different strain,” he said. After several visits, he picked up a clone or a cutting of a marijuana plant used for growing. “I took it out to my backyard and just kind of never looked back from there,” he said.

His first cannabis cultivation venture, PV Ventures, started in 2014 until 2017 when the company shut down following a new zoning regulation. He later established Lowd after gathering $5,000 to $10,000 checks from family members.

Today, he has key investors like Keith Houlemard, merchandising director for Nike and a fraternity brother of Horton’s. Horton also wants to help other Black entrepreneurs and make cannabis more inclusive.

Last Edited by:seo zimamedia Updated: November 14, 2022


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