Mari Geier is the Chief Education Officer at Luna CBD. She is leading the charge in terms of clean ingredients, clear labeling and clear messaging and continues to be the trusted educator in the retail cannabis space for hemp derived CBD –rich hemp extracts. She also runs the squeaky-clean, cannabis-friendly Instagram nutsnberriesatl.
How did you get involved in cannabis?
You might say I have been working my entire career to get to this point. From college, I knew that the cannabis plant would play some role in my future. I obtained a BS in Horticulture and a BA in Anthropology while at Penn State University, studying how people used plants for medicine. I have always been fascinated with botanical remedies since my grandpa introduced me to them at an early age. He was always using some tincture or tonic to promote his health and he lived a long 88 years.
After graduation I moved to Atlanta in 1998 and went to work in retail, but quickly knew that I wanted something of my own. Not ready to venture out alone just yet, I took a job at a start up internet company and after 6 months of working with a group of MBA and Goldman Saks investors, I knew that some additional education was needed.
In 2004, I completed my MBA in finance from Georgia State and the next year I stated my first fitness business. 15 years later, I now own three successful business and have returned to my passion of education. But now I get to talk about one of my first loves – cannabis.
What is your mission with @nutsnberriesatl?
At Nuts ‘n Berries we are working toward a new organic revolution. We connect people to local farmers, suppliers and those that intentionally create products with wellness and healing in mind. And at the center of that mission is education. Of not just the consumer, but of our local communities, of the small businesses that make up our communities and of the talented people making the products we sell. Clean ingredients, clear labeling and messaging that educates. And cannabis is helping us to reach an entire new generation of people to introduce them to alternative, non-conventional options that will help them take control of their own health rather than leaving it in the hands of the health care system.
Where do you see yourself in the industry in 5 years?
I hope to be leading the charge in terms of clean ingredients, clear labeling and clear messaging. I want to be the trusted educator in the retail cannabis space for both CBD –rich hemp extracts and as the southeast turns cannabis of all forms.
What's the biggest challenge of working in the cannabis space and the biggest reward?
I describe the cannabis space as the top of a cliff. You look out and you see all the opportunity that a brand new industry affords. You look down and you see the sharks in the water and jagged cliffs. Working in the cannabis industry is a risk.
From issues with banking to credit card processing to battling that false stigma and brainwashing that the media and government introduced so many years ago. But the biggest challenge is overcoming all the misinformation that is being generated every minute between the now hemp industry and the “marijuana” industry.
Of course risk brings reward. And at Nuts ‘n Berries we have seen hemp derived CBD products save our struggling business. It has introduced a brand new set of customers that not look to use for all their health needs, not just CBD and this is affording us the opportunity to fuel our new organic revolution and educate the next generation of healthy consumers with transparent information.