Senior Marketing Director
Silver Spring, MD
As a child, my family moved a lot. My father was an Army intelligence officer, and we were never in one place long enough to call it home. It was as much my family’s tour of duty as it was his call of duty. That nomadic existence is the reason I never felt like I fit in anywhere — it defined me for the rest of my life.
It’s no surprise that my professional career is a reflection of that.
I studied marketing because it was the perfect combination of my right- and left-brain tendencies. But after working at boring, staid companies, like National Journal, I vowed to find my tribe and moved to New York City. No matter that my counterparts were making money hand over fist at CPG brands and Big Pharma, I was having fun.
After stints at Playboy and Guitar Center, I joked that the “sex, drugs and rock & roll” motto pointed me next in the direction of cannabis. But I decided to take it seriously and investigate the emerging cannabis industry. No doubt about it, the sales forecasts were impressive. The U.S. cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry, projected to be worth $176 billion by 2030. More exciting was the fact that I would be in the counterculture once again. I wanted to work alongside pirates who were transitioning to legitimacy, yet still fiercely dedicated to their craft.
A recruiting agency connected me with a cannabis company called CULTA, an independently and locally owned, vertically integrated cannabis company in Maryland. CULTA is not publicly traded and, therefore, not subject to analyst expectations. I’m not naive. We have investors, financial goals and org charts, but we are still a group of merry pranksters with colorful backgrounds, including our bean counters. And, staying true to that pirate ethos, we are venturing into uncharted territories.
CULTA was the first to introduce the Cookies brand to the East Coast, the first known legal outdoor grow on the East Coast, the first tissue culture lab in Maryland and the only Maryland cultivator with Clean Green Certified outdoor flower.
Meanwhile, on the marketing front, I’m bringing over traditional marketing fundamentals, such as market research, brand health scores and SEO strategies, to name a few.
Like any new industry, there is rapid change in legal cannabis. States are reforming antiquated laws, scientists are discovering new cannabinoids, tech entrepreneurs are designing platforms to manage production and multi-state operators are gobbling up independent licenses.
It’s fast-paced work and I like it because it reminds me of my childhood: always moving.