Weekly Business Profile
Type of business:
8612 Paseo Alameda NE, Suite E
Albuquerque NM 87113
What was your first job?
I come from an entrepreneurial family, so garbageman at 8 years old. I was paid 50 cents a day and thought I was the coolest kid because of it.
How did you get started in this business?
We were living in central Oregon. My brother was addicted to Oxycontin. I had hopes that medical cannabis would help him use less.
Why did you choose this business?
It was a slippery slope. When I went into the Bend Oregon Hydroponic Shop for the first time, there were guys handing $100 bills to the lady and smiling. This was during the banking collapse, and Deschutes County was the second hardest hit in the nation. I thought to myself: I need one of these stores back home in Albuquerque. I buddied up with a great partner. One thing led to another, and bam! We are growing medicine for folks.
What is your business philosophy?
Be fair. Do right. Work hard.
What is your or your company's greatest asset?
Our humility and curiosity
What motivates you to succeed besides the desire to make money?
Our product makes a lasting and profound change on most of our patients' lives.
How is operating your own business different than you expected?
You don't get to choose your own hours; you work all the time.
What successes in the past year are you most proud of accomplishing?
I would use the word "grateful" instead of proud, and that would be that we seem to be really coming together as a team here at Natural Rx.
What do you offer that the competition doesn't?
Kind of a loaded question. In reality, people all have their favorites, and we are cool with that. I have not been to anyone else's dispensary, so I could not really say.
How do you maintain your competitive edge?
How would you define your position within the marketplace or within your market segment?
We know this business is evolving on a weekly basis and try to stay ahead of the curve. Believe me, it is not easy.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle in operating a successful business?
For this business, it's that cannabis is still illegal federally but legal under state law. But the laws are changing rapidly around the country to legalize at least medical cannabis—23 states and DC so far.
What was your best business decision?
Having my wife be in charge of filling out the application paperwork to get the license.
What is your company's greatest challenge?
Because medical cannabis is federally illegal, there is scant research going on here in the US about the effects of medical cannabis. In a perfect world, we would have more than compelling anecdotal research.
How has the internet affected your business, and how do you think it might affect your business in the future?
It is easy for folks to review us on the internet, which is helpful. With net neutrality issues in play, there is some fear about how it might affect us in the future.
In what area of your business do you invest the most energy?
Research, by far.
If you had to choose another career or start another business, what would it be?
Own a dump or a gravel pit. Fly bomber airplanes or drive a tug boat on the Columbia River!
What words of wisdom would you offer to someone starting their own business?
Make sure whoever you are getting into business with is a good fit.
What's your favorite saying or quotation?
"Of course I inhaled, that was the point."—Barack Obama
If you had a chance to live anyone else's life, whose life would it be?
For a day? Dennis Rodman.
What book are you currently reading, or what's your favorite book?
Today I'm reading Drive by Daniel Pink. Favorite is The Pillars of the Earth. I would sneak home like an addict and read it during the day.
Do you have a hero or mentor—business or otherwise?
I admire a lot of folks, including my 9-year-old daughter, who is an inspiration.
If there is one thing about Albuquerque or New Mexico that you could change, what would it be?
Loaded question, and my rarely working good sense just kicked in—don't answer the question.
What do you look for in prospective employees?
What inspires you?
I think I was born with that installed on my hard drive.
Three passions outside of work?
1.) Work 2.) Work 3.) Diving
Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity, and thank you to all our patients for believing in us. Please know that we are busting our collective butts to improve all the time.
How do you give back to your community?
We do all kinds of charitable work, and we try to get something going every month. It can be a benefit concert for Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico or other worthy organizations, canned food drives, donations and contributions to kids' education.
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