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AUTHOR: Heather Allman
PUBLISHER: CANNABIS LAW REPORT
About Etain Health
Etain Health is New York’s only family-run, women owned and operated medical marijuana company. Etain was founded in honor of the matriarch of their family, Frances “Granny Fanny” Keeffe: during her battle with cancer, they saw first-hand the strength and comfort that medical marijuana could provide.
Their mantra, “Take a moment with Etain”, embodies the spirit and belief that their products meet the diverse needs of their community by delivering the highest quality and purest products so customers feel good about investing in their own health and wellbeing. At Etain, they grow four proprietary strains (Dolce, Mezzo, Balance, Forte) which each contain a particular ratio of CBD and THC, ensuring excellent product consistency.
Hillary Peckham is Chief Operations Officer of Etain, overseeing production, formulation and extraction, as well as dispensary operations and patient education. Recognized as one of New York State’s “30 Under 30” business talents in 2016, Hillary has managed the rapid roll-out of Etain’s successful manufacturing and dispensing operations throughout the state.
In her April 2021 interview with Cannabis Law Report, COO of Etain Health, Hillary Peckham discussed her start in the cannabis, her mentor, and her insight on how customers have evolved over the years.
As an essential business, Etain Health offers a range of products that help to target treatment to a licensed patient’s specific needs based on their lifestyle and condition. Their product range includes vaporizers, capsules, tincture, sprays, lotions, water soluble powders and lozenges which are unique to the brand.
Celebrating their 5 year anniversary this year, Etain Health has managed to not only succeed but thrive in a male dominated industry and a pandemic year.
As a part of the brand’s continued growth, Etain Health has increased their retail presence with the opening of their New York City flagship in 2020 and will be introducing a line of CBD products this year in addition to rebranding and product reformulation.
CLR: How did you get started in Cannabis?
Hillary Peckham: In 2014, while my sister and I were in college, New York State passed legislation allowing the use of cannabis for medical purposes. My mom Amy, immediately jumped into business mode with me, and soon after tapped my sister for her knowledge of horticultural therapy which she was in the process of studying at Tulane.
Together as a family, we quickly put together a team to build our business with the goal of securing a cannabis license from the state to ensure a way for other people suffering with chronic pain or illness could find easy relief during a time of need.
In June of 2015, we were one of 42 companies that applied for a cannabis license. The highly competitive application process involved preparing over 1,000 pages of documentation in 30 days, including details on where the company would plan to have our dispensary lease, full growth plans, and construction plans for a manufacturing facility.
Together, Amy and I printed all of the paperwork, boxed up multiple copies of the application, and dropped the boxes off in-person in Albany for consideration. Once approved, we were chosen as 1 of the 10 companies with licenses in New York state.
CLR: Who taught you about or how did you learn your entrepreneur and business skill set? Do you have a mentor, concerning the cannabis industry?
Hillary: It’s been really amazing to see my mother Amy transition from a ‘just’ to watching her in a leadership and business role at Etain, especially when she and I were starting the business alone.
We were driving around New York state with a desire to fulfil our dream and it’s something I will never forget.
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of this with my mom and witness our business grow together.
CLR: How is your actual job different than the job/role you thought it would be?
Hillary: I was surprised by how much advocacy and education has to go into every cannabis operation and the industry as a whole.
We have had to really focus on educating our communities to embrace cannabis as a viable option that can bring them a greater quality of life.
CLR: How have consumers changed since you started in the medical cannabis space?
Hillary: With the expansion of the medical program and greater adoption of cannabis over time we have seen a shift in the consumer from people who were turning to cannabis as a “last resort” and instead embracing this as a normal and accepted part of treating their conditions.
In New York, initial patients were often critically ill and had exhausted all other traditional paths of treatment prior to seeing us, and now we have customers that would prefer to come see us for treatment first rather than try traditional pharmaceutical medications.
CLR: What do you enjoy most about your job? The upsides?
Hillary: Something that has helped us to succeed in a restrictive market is that we have a group of people working together that are committed to each other’s success, and to the overall business’ success.
I’m very proud to say that my family has been able to do all of this together.