Professional background: I spent most my career working in high-tech startups.
The 15 years prior to moving into the cannabis space, my focus was on developing innovative applications for patient-focused health care.
Education: I received my undergraduate degree from Tufts University and master’s from Stanford University.
Staff: CannaCraft incorporated in 2016. Today it employs approximately 200 employees in Sonoma County.
Tell us about yourself and your company: CannaCraft is a community-oriented company that manufactures and distributes cannabis products out of Santa Rosa, California. As the largest cannabis manufacturer in the state (and possibly the country), we proudly offer over a hundred medical and recreational products under five brands (including AbsoluteXtracts, Care By Design and Satori). The company was one of the first commercial cannabis company in California to step out of the shadows and begin working closely with both the local and state governments to facilitate the industry’s transition to a regulated market.
My personal role at CannaCraft is to oversee our government relations, regulatory compliance, business systems and analytics, and clinical research.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
We’re very proud that CannaCraft brands are California’s favorites. According to BDS Analytics, our product sales represent 10 percent of the entire regulated cannabis market in the state.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
I’m most proud of our abiding love for our patients. It drives our innovation and fuels us with a sense of purpose. We invest a lot of resources in staying abreast of the preclinical and clinical research related to cannabinoids and cannabis therapeutics. And we spend a lot of time doing observational studies to understand what cannabinoid profiles and modes of administration are best suited for particular patients.
What is your biggest challenge today?
That’s easy. Taxes and nonsensical regulations—both of which are artifacts of the drug war. I won’t talk about the regulatory issues; I don’t want to bore you with our disagreements with the Bureau of Cannabis Control over the definition of “significant inventory discrepancies” and “agricultural commodities.”
But I do think the tax issue is something all of us should be concerned about. The stated intent of Proposition 64 was “to tax the growth and sale of marijuana in a way that drives out the illicit market.”
The opposite is happening. With taxes that are as much as 45 percent of the product price, the cost of cannabis is 3-5 times more expensive in the regulated market than in the black market. Thousands of cannabis farmers and cannabis consumers, who had been operating legally under the previous medical rules, are now returning to the black market for the first time in 20 years. And customers are going with them.
Words that best describe you: Hard working, for sure. And passionate about what I do. As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
For the most part, I’ve been lucky. I’ve had the benefit of a good education, and the good fortune to work with good people in environments that have been relatively free from bias or prejudices.
I did have some unpleasant experiences early in my career with what I guess you’d refer to as the “old boy network.” I walked away and left that job because I didn’t see that it was a battle I was going to win. So, I guess my approach with that particular obstacle was to focus on keeping myself intact, and look for the sort of collaborative environments that I knew I’d thrive in.
Chief compliance and information officer
2330 Circadian Way, Santa Rosa 95407
Read more profiles of 2018 Women in Business winners: nbbj.news/wib18winners