My mission has always been focused on the healing benefits of the plant, not only medically but also the enlightenment that comes with freeing your mind from incorrect historic stigmas.
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I’m a cannabis business owner and operator. I’m very passionate about the plant and advocating to correct social injustices. I am a co-founder of MD Numbers, Inc., a family of vertically integrated cannabis brands — MD Farms, Marie’s Deliverables, and Legacy Coterie. Our businesses include cultivation, delivery and distribution in the California supply chain.
When did you get started working with cannabis? What is your vision and mission for your professional cannabis endeavors?
I started working with cannabis over 13 years ago. My mission has always been focused on the healing benefits of the plant, not only medically but also the enlightenment that comes with freeing your mind from incorrect historic stigmas. MD Numbers, Inc. looks to continue to create successful sustainable companies that will give back to communities. Sustainability means several things to MD Numbers, Inc. — the first is to be equitable for all those involved, the second is caring about our environmental impact to sustain the world we live in and third is to sustain the plant that provides so much for so many by continuing to provide our clientele with the highest quality possible.
What is your personal cannabis origin journey?
My love story with cannabis started in the summer 2006. In college, I began to experiment regularly and instantly knew I wanted to make this experience a permanent part of my life. At the time, I was located in Tennessee. I knew that to have a sustainable career in this industry I needed to move to a state with friendly cannabis regulations. In 2010, I moved to California with the intention of getting into the legal market one day.
What is your Superpower?
My genuine nature is to use my resources in any capacity to help others. I transparently and graciously open my network and knowledge to those I work with and that is powerful. I am able to support others that deserve mentorship or guidance without expecting anything in return.
Women provide a leadership spectrum that is inclusive, empathetic, empowering and overall, we have more emotional awareness to bring the best out of people.
What has been your greatest obstacle in business to date – and how have you overcome it – or are you still working on tackling it?
Transitioning from Prop 215 (Medical Only) to Prop 64 (Adult Use Cannabis Regulations) was a drastic challenge. The barriers to entry for the California market are very high. The opportunities for financing and real estate can be very complex, extensively overpriced and sometimes predatory for all cannabis operators. In most aspects, cannabis businesses are charged much higher multiples than federally legal businesses. The restructured market is costly and the learning curve is short in comparison to the previous regulations. MD Numbers spent all of 2017 researching how to obtain a legal delivery permit for Marie’s Deliverables and we were able to secure a compliant opportunity in San Francisco. My brother Allen Hackett made sure to do everything in his power to ensure MD Farms was able to transition into the new regulations. MD Farms was operating prior to July 2016, paid all of its taxes on time and remained in good standing. The early 2016 start tremendously helped us because we were able to upgrade the facility in phases for expected regulatory changes. Our timing, extreme hard work and research enabled us to overcome these challenges.
What would you like women to know about entering the Cannabis industry or exploring Cannabis?
That women are not only included, but elevated to more leadership positions. Leadership in a company is very important. Women provide a leadership spectrum that is inclusive, empathetic, empowering and overall, we have more emotional awareness to bring the best out of people. Businesses need to be guided by more than market research, especially in cannabis where the market is very nascent. I would emphasize that some of these key leadership qualities have been lost in the current transition into corporate cannabis. Women can be one of the keys to breathe more sustainability and empathy back into the industry.