Hillary Peckham of Etain on Growing the Women-Owned Cannabis Brand
Plus, its recent packaging and brand refresh
By Tim Nudd
Hillary Peckham is chief operations officer of Etain, New York's only family-run, women-owned and vertically integrated agribusiness and medical marajuana dispensary. Hillary oversees production, formulation and extraction, as well as dispensary operations and patient education. She runs Etain with her mother Amy and sister Keeley.
We spoke with Hillary for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.
Hillary, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I am a fourth-generation New Yorker and now live with my husband in Westchester County.
Your current role in the cannabis industry, and where you're based.
I am the COO and co-owner of Etain, LLC, New York's only women-owned, family-owned medical marijuana company in New York.
Your earliest cannabis memory.
One of my favorite memories is the first time my mother—Amy, our CEO—and I decided we wanted to apply for a license in New York. My mother immediately found Women Grow, and we went to their very first meeting. It was amazing to meet other women in the industry.
A story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.
Owning a cannabis business means it has become my entire life! The best part of being in the medical marijuana industry is getting to see the life-changing impact that our products have for our customers. Anecdotally, some of our success stories include: becoming seizure free, being able to sleep through the night, and being able to get through their day pain free for the first time in years. It's really touching to be a part of a patient's recovery and wellbeing.
A favorite flower, edible, product or brand.
My favorite product is our water soluble powder that we make in New York. It's revolutionary in that it can dissolve in any liquid, it can be used in baking, it has minimal odor or taste, and it has only two ingredients. I think it's a real game changer that empowers patients to medicate in the way that works best for them.
The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.
Funding is a big issue in the cannabis industry. Being federally illegal means there aren't traditional banking resources—no loans, no credit, etc. Being able to fund your business and keep it going is very challenging in this industry.
One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.
We are just beginning to launch our new packaging that we worked with 50,000feet to develop. It took us over a year of planning and working together to get to this point, and so far the feedback from patients has been incredibly positive. It's great to be able to show all of the work we've done to patients and our employees.
A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.
We are proud supporters of Women Grow, and have been involved with them since before Etain's inception. We are additionally members of the Floret Coalition.
A recent project you're proud of.
Our brand refresh is the thing I'm most proud of right now. In the beginning stages of our company's development, we were just focused on getting products to market and keeping our stores open. Having the opportunity to look at each aspect of our company and find ways to elevate them for the market and our customers has been extremely exciting and rewarding.
Someone else's project you admired recently.
Etain recently collaborated on a Good Weed, Good Women holiday box with Jasmine Mans, who owns Buy Weed From Women. Jasmine is an incredible entrepreneur, artist and all-around somebody who inspires me every day. It's an honor to have been able to work with her, and to see all of the things she doing with her art and company.
Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things.
Gia Moron, president of Women Grow. As mentioned, we connected with Women Grow when we first started in the industry and since the beginning she's been a supporter of Etain in every capacity. From her C-suite Conversations with Gia to the Business of Cannabis Summit, she's an incredible voice and advocate for women in the cannabis industry.
A movie, TV show, music or food you most enjoy pairing with cannabis.
My favorite movie is School of Rock, but admittedly I don't have much time for TV these days.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.
I am a huge pet-lover—mostly dogs, but I love all animals! I am sure I would have found a way to work with animals if I weren't in the cannabis industry.