Marijuana Business Magazine January 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | January 2019 48 BACKSTORY Algorta took an interest in hemp while seeking a crop to compete with soybeans in Uruguay. She encountered Ecofibre, an industrial hemp company with diverse genetics, while in pursuit of the best seed for the Uruguayan climate. Today, the agronomist serves as the company’s representative in the South American nation. WHY TOWATCH Ecofibre will be listing on the Australian Securities Exchange early this year. Research will continue to be Algorta’s focus in 2019, primarily establishing a seed bank of strains that grow best in Uruguay’s climate and soil. Expansion will be gradual, as Algorta tries to ensure the crop is profitable for farmers who join the project. Much will depend on how the regulatory framework for hemp evolves in Uruguay and how fast the market for hemp-derived prod- ucts opens up. – Alfredo Pascual BEST BUSINESS ADVICE “Education still needs to be done for consumers and public institutions to truly understand what this plant is all about. It is our responsibility to deliver the message properly and to manage the plant with the most sustainable, eco-friendly practices.” Maria Belen Algorta Agronomist and Uruguay representative, Ecofibre Limited | Oversees Uruguay operations for Australia-based Ecofibre BACKSTORY Gullickson jumped into the cannabis industry at 26 and ran her own consulting firm from 2010 until 2018. In those eight years, she helped clients secure marijuana business licenses in more than a dozen states. Her busi- ness, Dispensary Permits, was acquired in late 2018 by Item 9 Labs, the company she now heads as CEO. WHY TOWATCH Last year, Gullickson pivoted to the plant-touching side of the industry, taking the reins at Item 9 Labs. The company operates a 50-acre outdoor medical marijuana grow in Arizona. It’s also focused on the development of technol- ogy and products that administer MMJ via an intranasal delivery system. Under Gullickson, Item 9 Labs will serve as a parent company for multiple brands, including Nevada-based cul- tivation, processing and distribution firm Strive Wellness. In addition, Item 9 Labs holds plant-touching licenses in three U.S. states, and Gullickson’s goal for 2019 is to acquire licenses in up to 10 markets: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington state. – John Schroyer BEST BUSINESS ADVICE “Slow and steady wins the race. I see so many people try- ing to get rich quick. If you work hard, remain dedicated to your core values and make savvy business decisions, profits will follow.” Sara Gullickson CEO, Item 9 Labs Corp. | Scottsdale, Arizona Women to Watch: Cultivation & Hemp