What inspired you to get into the Cannabis industry?

Nearly ten years ago I saw two older men playing chess and sharing a joint in Amsterdam and it totally changed my perspective. Cannabis use at home had to be kept secret, but in Amsterdam it was universally open and acceptable. I loved it so much that it inspired the vison to open cannabis café back home.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? How do apply these values day-to-day?

Colette Frayne, PH.D was one of the most enlightening professors I was blessed to learn from. She herself is a really strong leader and challenged every single student in our class. She inspired me to collect all the information, listen, evaluate and present my findings in all decision making. She taught me to respect all views but always be evaluating and questioning my stance on the subject at hand. Today I crave input from all members of our team and truly want to hear all perspectives. I don’t believe that there is only one right way to solve a problem.

What are the mission, core values or vision for The Novel Tree?

I want to create a space for the cannabis community to come and enjoy the products on-site. The vison for The Novel Tree would allow for on-site consumption in a really comfortable, fun, universally appealing space.

What makes The Novel Tree special?

We really care about the people, the cannabis and the shop atmosphere. We take a personal approach to every transaction, as well as sourcing the best cannabis products available. It’s also really important to us to give back to the community and get involved with local causes.

What is the biggest challenge you face today?

The biggest issue we are confronted with today are the federal laws that prohibit us from operating as a normal business. But we do our best!

Where do you think/hope the industry will be in 3-5 years?

If and when cannabis becomes federally legal, large distribution networks are inevitable in the market. I would hope that the industry continues to maintain as much focus on small-local (“Home-grow”) business as it does today. We will always want the emphasis to be on quality and diversity rather than yield.

How do you encourage creative thinking within The Novel Tree?

In our experience, group problem-solving where free-thought is encouraged inspires creativity. We give our staff ownership over their roles and empower them to also find their own solutions.