Sara Presler is a top consultant in this industry with a background in law, business, and government. She goes by the Marijuana Mayor, and she an attorney and consultant in the marijuana industry. She consults for companies, government leaders, and investors in the areas of strategy, licensing, and compliance. IRL she was twice elected Mayor of Flagstaff, and she was the first woman to hold this office.
She has served on the Arizona Dispensaries Association Board and now Compliance Committee Chair. She’s the General Counsel for Mohave Cannabis Co. and Debbie’s Dispensary—a multi-state, vertically integrated marijuana company.
We caught up with the marijuana maven to learn more.
How did you get involved in cannabis?
I've had a pretty awesome career as with experiences like the CEO of a women's foundation, a lawyer for children, and as the Mayor of Flagstaff, Arizona. In 2015, I was looking at commercial real estate to open a juice business, and bumped into a buddy from high school that owned a cannabis business. He was looking for cannabis real estate at the same site. He invited me to come check out his successful family business in our hometown and the rest is history.
"Who says you can't go home?" (--Bon Jovi) It's been the best move ever to get involved in cannabis. I've developed a strong skill set in the areas of licensing, business strategy, and compliance. I love to learn new things and teach others, too. That's the sweet spot right now and the spark for @MarijuanaMayor.
What is your mission with @marijuanamayor?
To empower entrepreneurs to fulfill their marijuana business dreams with inside tips, education, and inspiration.
Where do you see yourself in the industry in 5 years?
Continuing to help my clients strategically grow, and sell their cannabis businesses. I also would like to teach cannabis law and business at a university. That sounds fun!
What's the biggest challenge of working in the cannabis space and the biggest reward?
Cannabis regulations and business strategy are always shifting and changing. It takes a strong focus and excellent strategies to be successful when there's so much change. That part is fun for me, but it is a challenge. The biggest reward is being part of an emerging industry and coach businesses leaders to success in a highly regulated, changing market. I enjoy working on something from start to finish and find myself thriving in that "quarterback" role for a client. To boil it down, working in the cannabis space doesn't feel like "work" and that's the biggest reward of all.
Do you have any advice for any fellow cannapreneurs?
This industry is moving really fast. This means extra hours and a heavy workload. I have one year old triplets and I'm working a ton of hours. My spouse is a rockstar and it's definitely a team effort! Marry up and surround yourself with people who make you better. I also try to prioritize my life in the following order: 1) health, 2) love, and 3) money. Follow those priorities in that order and you'll win every time.