Join us for the 2nd CannaBiz Expo in Sacramento, CA
I have been a cultivator and political advocate for the cannabis industry for 15 years and it all started when I cultivated for a legal dispensary The Green Cross in San Francisco.
When I met the founder Kevin Reed we were an instant match because we had a very similar vision in providing a valuable service to our patients and not just providing a
product for sale. Kevin is great at managing and marketing and my degree in economics was key in expanding the business, navigating regulation, and providing leadership. We just celebrated our 13 year anniversary in SF and we were the first licensed dispensary and the only business that was allotted two permits to operate in the city under the
current regulations that were formed in 2010. When forming the San Francisco industry I sat on the Medical Cannabis Task Force that was assembled pursuant to Ordinance
“the Medical Cannabis Task Force was created to advise the Board of Supervisors on matters relating to medical cannabis. During each year of its operation
, the Task Force shall submit to the Board of Supervisors an annual report summarizing its recommendations”
and we wrote regulations in subcommittees and provided them to city officials to form the rules that still regulate the city’s industry today. The Green Cross has been recognized by many awards and some of the most recent include the 2016 CA Senate Certificate of Recognition, 2016 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, 2016 SFBOS Certificate of Honor, 2016 CA Assembly Certificate of Recognition.
When I expanded my operations to Los Angeles in 2013 I took over operations of The Higher Path a legal Prop D/Pre ICO dispensary to focus on the medical side of this
industry. I targeted an older demographic that was looking for new tools to reduce chronic pain, anxiety, diseases, and autoimmune disorders. It was a difficult market to create in LA since there were/are 1000 illegal dispensaries that were all targeting the same patients and that was the heavy user of the 20-35 year-old male. I made relationships with doctors and nurses in the area and it took over a year to get to a sustainable patient base that was looking for education about medical conditions and
knowledge from experienced industry leaders. In that year the average age of my patients went from 27 years old to 40 years old and it has recently settled at 47 and this
is a testament to one of the fastest growing age groups entering the market today. I wanted to build trust and consistency with my products and my staff’s ability to advise
and connect with each patient. That connection with patients has achieved some of the highest retention rates of patients in the industry. The values of the industry have been
shifting over the years and I feel I have always been ahead of the curve and that was recognized in 2016 when The Higher Path was named Best Dispensary in LA by LA
Weekly, Best Dispensary in Southern California by Leafly, Top 10 Dispensaries in the Nation by High Times and 2015 CA Assembly Certificate of Recognition. It was an
honor to get these awards for two reasons it was a noticeable shift in what patients wanted from their local dispensary and they voted for quality and education over big and
flashy. After 2 years in LA and competing with illegal dispensaries that are not paying taxes I helped start UCBA.
(United Cannabis Business Association) to help the city of LA form strict regulation to better control the largest retail market for cannabis in the world. So as the president of
this organization we qualified an ordnance by getting 104,000 signatures and that went on the March 2017 ballot in LA and ushered the city to better taxes and regulations with an 80% voter approval. With my background in policy writing from my days in the Medical Cannabis Task Force that was pivotal in leading this group to raise 3 million dollars for the lobbyist at the local and state level, a legal team that wrote the ordinance, fund raising for local politicians, and paying for signature gatherers. As a group, we have achieved many of the goals we set out to achieve when we started and we are now a state-wide retail trade organization with over 20% of the states currently permitted retail businesses under the UCBA California banner.
While I was working in LA I was also working in Sacramento to make sure the needs of Southern California were represented at the state level. It was a surprise that no one in
Sacramento was looking out for Southern California’s needs and being a Northern California native it was odd for me to be one of the only representatives. At the state level, I sit on the Office of Technology’s Advisory Group, the Banking and Finance group lead by the State Treasurer, Governor Jerry Browns working group for the trailer bill,
and have influenced and changed regulation language and intent through the process of MCRSA and AUMA. I have conceptualized and pushed many administrative bills
through legislation and lobbied to protect the rights of the pioneers of this industry. There has been a major shift in how people at the state listen to leaders in the cannabis
industry and to sit across from legislators to discuss the best possible ways to regulate this industry has given me an immense amount of pride for the amount of work it has
taken to get to this point and to have been a part of the process is very rewarding. I operate in 5 different counties and I have played a role in every counties regulations
and will continue to offer my years of experience and leadership moving forward.