The Verdes Foundation medical cannabis education advocacy – Albuquerque Business First

See Correction/Clarification at end of article

In May, Albuquerque Business First revealed the companies that made our new Top 100 New Mexico Private Companies Awards.

Business First is highlighting a handful of companies that are new to the list this year.

Albuquerque-based medical cannabis dispensary The Verdes Foundation has a laundry list of efforts that have nothing to do with the plant. They’ve also made the cut for our Top 100 Private Companies List for the first time. Founders Rachael and Eric Speegle outlined their visions for the future.

"We’re here for New Mexico, we support New Mexico," Rachael Speegle said.

One of their most aggressive efforts has been giving back to the community.

The dispensary does "Community Fridays" where 10 percent of the day’s revenues are given to various grant recipients. Last year, Verdes gave over $153,000, according to the Speegles.

"Doing the right thing is good for business," Eric Speegle said.

The duo emphasized that they want their customers to feel like they are contributing to the community in a positive way by shopping at their dispensaries. They are also pursuing advocacy initiatives.

Eric and Rachael Speegle recently founded the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce and are planning to host the third annual New Mexico Medical Cannabis Conference next spring. They said their key goals are to protect the medical cannabis program and be a voice for legalization efforts.

They are also looking to expand their production and retail efforts. They relocated to San Antonio Drive in October of 2017 and opened a Rio Rancho location in 2016, according to previous Business First reporting.

The Verdes Foundation brought in about $6.5 million in revenues in 2017 and expect to rake in around $7 million this year, according to Eric Speegle.

They also recently partnered with New Mexico medical cannabis company Southwest Organic Producers and will be managing 450 of their plants, as well as selling some of what they produce. Consistency is key, according to Rachael Speegle.

"Safe access means continual access," she said.

The company also is teaching its customers and community about cannabis. It regularly hosts an event called Lunch and Learn where physicians are invited to learn about the benefits of the plant. They have other arrangements as well.

"We are really special in creating the first cannabis nursing program," Rachael Speegle said.

Christiana Davis, a customer service representative, said they see a wide array of patients, both in age and prescribed ailment. Some of them have little or no knowledge about cannabis.

"We really take our time with those patients," Davis said.

The program will potentially be a joint effort between The Verdes Foundation and Central New Mexico Community College, but was originally spearheaded by Verdes.

To make sure those customers are adequately informed, The Verdes Foundation takes measures to ensure each employee knows a lot about their products.

General Manager Stephanie Corral said training takes anywhere between three weeks and two months.

The Top 100 Private Companies encompasses the top-performing independent companies, including wholly owned subsidiaries and nonprofits, that are based in New Mexico. Companies submitted their information by survey to be considered for The List of New Mexico Private Companies. The List is ranked by 2017 New Mexico revenue.

This new event will highlight the work of New Mexico’s private sector and will include lots of fun surprises and recognition, including the new Company of the Year Award.

Join us June 14 at the Albuquerque Convention Center as we celebrate the many companies thriving in New Mexico’s private sector.

The Top 100 New Mexico Private Companies Awards is sponsored by Bank of America and Meals on Wheels.

Medical Marijuana Companies

Ranked by Gross receipts

Rank Company name Gross receipts 1 New Mexico Top Organics – Ultra Health $4.88 million 2 The Verdes Foundation $4.60 million 3 R. Greenleaf Organics Inc. $4.18 million View This List

This article has been updated to clarify the partnership arrangement of The Verdes Foudation’s planned cannabis nursing program.

The Verdes Foundation has made several recent moves, many of which have nothing to do with their retail operations.

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