I didn't pick the cannabis industry, it chose me. I have never smoked, but I was the largest federally permitted importer of raw cannabis into the US from 2013-2018. Prior to that, I had 14 dispensaries and a 44 acre permitted nursery, yet personally didn't touch the plant. My calling to this industry was from a complete lack of efficiency across all components of the supply chain and a lack of integrity that was ubiquitous in leadership. I've used all of my resources for almost 20 years to change that.
I have always done what's right for the industry, even when sacrificing my personal and corporate interests. HIA v DEA 2 was a great example fo this. I put my head on the chopping block when every other company was doing a great job of impersonating an ostrich. The right thing to do isn't always easy, but my decade-plus of action on behalf of the industry displays my track record and commitment to the progress of the global hemp market in a way that is consumer-safety focused.
The most important thing a representative for this industry can have is flexibility. The coming regulatory changes will force commercial interests to change, and some of those changes will be difficult to navigate. I hope I can ease the transition through my experience in systems engineering and open-sourcing those solutions to all members.
My 17 year history has clearly shown I have put industry interests before my companies. I am no longer a cannabis executive, therefore my participation in HIA leadership will be only more focused on doing what's best for all hemp companies and members.
We don't exist without the cooperation of those who came before us. This industry doesn't survive without cooperation moving forward. It is the imperative of EVERY hemp company to be a member of the HIA, if not for personal self interest alone, as the outcome of the regulations to come will be shaped with more protections for commercial organizations if we all work together.