Priscilla Vilchis says she’s primed to construct a cannabis enterprise empire.
The proprietor and CEO of Premium Produce, a marijuana cultivation and manufacturing facility in Las Vegas, Vilchis, 32, labored within the well being care enterprise in her native California till a number of years in the past, when she observed a chance.
Flash ahead to immediately, and about 50 individuals work at her cultivation facility close to the Strip — turning out Reina model lip balms, CBD oils and edibles. Vilchis additionally has a sister firm in California and plans for an operation in Los Angeles County.
Why did you get into the cannabis enterprise?
I used to be working with physicians, managing their practices and ensuring they had been as much as par with all of the legal guidelines (in California). I used to be in my mid-20s and I noticed a standard factor in each physician’s workplace — when sufferers got here in for ache, medical doctors would prescribe remedy.
Sufferers had been changing into aggressive, and we might catch them promoting (their prescriptions). I began to consider whether or not the world knew that this was changing into one thing so loopy. I phoned my lawyer, Steve Silverman (now Premium Produce’s chief compliance officer), and I stated, ‘I want you to search out me the perfect state for medical marijuana, as a result of I consider that it’s going to be the choice for opioids.’ You possibly can’t overdose on marijuana, however you possibly can die on opioids.
So, you determined to guess on the cannabis business and guess on your self, profitable a medical marijuana license in Nevada in 2014. Did that really feel like an enormous threat?
I knew we shouldn’t be giving these individuals all these opioids. It wasn’t going to be a very good factor for them. (Silverman) really helpful investing within the state of Nevada as a result of they had been coming on-line. I stated let’s get a group collectively. I knew if we may give physicians another, they’d take it. After placing in $250,000 in charges per license (three utilized for, two granted), I ended up profitable. I used to be the youngest feminine Latina to win a license after competing in opposition to all these millionaires and billionaires. I used to be 27 on the time. That’s how my imaginative and prescient began.
What’s it like being entrance and heart in an business that’s maturing earlier than everybody’s eyes?
For me, I noticed the business approach earlier than everybody else did. I had the imaginative and prescient years in the past. That’s why they name me the genius now. Earlier than, they referred to as me loopy. I stroll proud now as a result of I do know this business goes to be equal to, if not larger than, alcohol and tobacco.
You’re not the one feminine marijuana enterprise proprietor in Nevada, however there are definitely extra males in management positions. What’s it like being a younger lady within the cannabis enterprise?
It’s male-dominated. I go to my rivals, and it’s often a gaggle of older males of their 70s. These are outstanding businessmen who’ve finished plenty of issues and constructed casinos and been profitable, however right here I’m. I need ladies and minorities — black, white, Latino, everybody — to see me and know something is feasible. I need individuals to know that if others name you loopy, simply take a look at what I’ve finished.
How will cannabis combine with the on line casino and resort enterprise because it continues to mature?
Alcohol and tobacco had it tough, too, years in the past. After we discuss prohibition, they had been in the identical boat as marijuana is now. I place confidence in the system that marijuana will get there. I do know proper now you possibly can’t smoke in public, however you should purchase marijuana. I inform individuals to be affected person. We’ll get there.
Nevada’s marijuana licensing course of has come beneath scrutiny this 12 months via a sequence of lawsuits which might be nonetheless being sorted out. What’s your view of that course of after having gone via it?
I believe the state is doing its greatest and dealing on daily basis to get higher. I consider Nevada will likely be, at some point, the perfect state for marijuana. Nevada waited a bit to see what different states had been doing earlier than popping out with its personal program, which I believe was good. I hope everybody honors what the state has put on the market and obeys it.
The place does your confidence come from?
Should you consider in something and also you’re passionate, you’ll obtain it. I consider that. I believe it’s crucial — particularly for a Latina lady — to do not forget that your phrase is your honor. The chances could be in opposition to you, however no matter you place on the market, it must be correct. It’s a must to achieve that respect and ship on what you say.