As the first female co-founder of a medicinal cannabis company in New Zealand, Holly Wright is a pioneer, leading the way for other women in the medicinal cannabis industry. Holly’s goal is to make medicinal cannabis part of a more holistic and wellness-centred approach to treating people suffering from chronic pain and mental health challenges.
In the last five years, next to raising two beautiful daughters, Holly has been working in Digital Design and Marketing, helping clients from the beauty and wellness industries to visually tell their stories. Since Co-Founding Organic Genetics last year, together with her husband, Holly has dedicated all of her time connecting with experts in medicinal cannabis from all over the world to create Organic Genetics and develop the best possible medicinal cannabis products for New Zealanders.
Holly’s initial interest in medicinal cannabis was sparked by the opportunity to improve the quality of life for terminally ill patients without opioids, after witnessing the negative side effects opioids can have. Holly’s main focus is to further research into how medicinal cannabis can be used to minimise, or even replace, the use of opioids. To help achieve this goal, and further build on her extensive knowledge of the cannabis plant, Holly undertook postgraduate studies in 2020 to successfully complete a series of papers in Medicinal cannabis at Auckland University of Technology.
Holly also has a strong interest in the research of products catering to women’s and children’s health, and wants to explore how Organic Genetics can help treat the chronic issues that NZ women suffer from every day, such as endometriosis, insomnia and anxiety.
Paul’s vision for Organic Genetics is to bring together a talented and passionate team of experts within the medicinal cannabis space to cultivate New Zealand’s most premium line of medicinal cannabis products. An entrepreneur by nature with a passion for business, Paul has been involved in the direction and management of a number of software solution businesses from initial conception through to mature, well-established companies in New Zealand, Australia, Egypt and the US.
This includes being a National Sales Manager at ForteConnect, Australia; National Manager at Zintel (Evoice) New Zealand; and Director of Sales at Avanser in Australia and New Zealand. In the medical sector, Paul led New Zealand Medical Testing (under the Hemosure/WHPM umbrella), which brought in colonoscopy cancer testing, drug testing and pregnancy testing instruments into New Zealand. Paul worked closely with the government and Labtests to introduce the new form of instant colon cancer testing to the country. In the last two and a half years, Paul has been running his own telecommunications business, Telo, that specialises in inbound toll free communications by providing a portal and call center services for several big organisations in New Zealand.
Paul’s key strengths are: developing investment strategies, project management, contract negotiation, sales, marketing and business strategy.
As Organic Genetics’ Quality & Compliance Director, Michael will be overseeing the whole production process from picking the initial strains to putting the final product on the shelf, making sure every step of the process follows the highest quality measures and complies with all regulations. His goal is to make high quality medicinal cannabis products affordable and available for New Zealanders.
Michael’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Otago and over 12 years working in the pharmaceutical industry. He owns and operates four pharmacies in Auckland; namely Glenavon Pharmacy, Epsom Medical Care Pharmacy, Avondale Medical Pharmacy and Botany Superclinic Pharmacy, and employs 20 trained professionals.
Michael has a particular interest in palliative care and his pharmacies work closely with more than 15 rest homes and hospices across Auckland. Knowing that there’s a big segment of the population that does not react well to opioids – he is optimistic about the potential for medicinal cannabis to provide pain relief for that group.
Next to his work, Micheal currently acts as the Chair for the Glenavon Community Trust, where he organises food parcels for people in need, and offers a book library, employment assistance and events for the local community.
As the executive assistant to the leadership team at Organic Genetics. Rael skilfully manages administrative duties whilst providing comprehensive support to our Director and CEO. She ensures the smooth flow of office operations, serving as the primary contact for the coordination of meetings and investment inquiries. Rael also assists with special projects including producing documents, reports, and presentations for Organic Genetics, as well as looking after communications through our social media outlets.
Prior to her position at Organic Genetics, Rael served five years as a government employee under the Ministry of Social Development. During her time with MSD she has obtained a proven track record in interpersonal communication, caseload management, public communications and strong performance in high-volume, high-pressure environments.
Rael is currently studying a Bachelor of Natural Medicine at the South Pacific College of Natural Medicine and in future hopes to explore the use of medicinal cannabis through naturopathy practices. Her interest in medicinal cannabis stems from her passion for natural and herbal medicine, and is interested in exploring the science of medicinal cannabis further in the hopes of being able to help people take control of their health in a holistic way.
Michael’s background is varied and he has worked in manufacturing, operations, and marketing. With a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design from the University of California, Berkeley, he is also passionate about creative industries. Most recently, Michael worked in sales for Leafly, the world’s largest online destination to learn about cannabis, find cannabis strains and products, and buy them from legal, licensed retailers.
In his role at Leafly, Michael drove sales and revenue through the acquisition and development of businesses to partner with Leafly. Michael has robust experience in online media sales, building and growing client relationships, and excellent understanding around a range of advertising offerings to grow a business.
In addition to his extensive experience in the cannabis sales and marketing industries, Michael has developed strong international ties to the US, UK, and Asia cannabis markets, Michael will be helping to develop the Organic Genetics brand globally and is the key point of contact for our international partners.
Widely known as one of the best professional basketball players in New Zealand, Corey is nothing short of extraordinary. Having played professionally for over 10 years, in New Zealand and overseas, Corey is very passionate about sport and wellness. Also a strong advocate for alternative healing, his role with Organic Genetic will be to inform and engage the NZ sports community about the benefits of CBD for promoting mental, physical and emotional health.
Rakaa Taylor has over 20 years of experience in applied creative communications as a visual artist, curator, event host, and founding member of Hip Hop group Dilated Peoples. He holds a BFA in Advertising with an Art Direction specialization, and has done extensive work as a creative strategist, brand director, and experiential marketing consultant.
Being an active musician and designer helped to shape Rakaa’s global network, which opened up many doors in the cannabis world as well. This led to producing multiple DNA Genetics x High Times parties (for the legendary High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam), co-ownership of a Humboldt County, CA farm, and reconnecting with DNA Genetics as their Director of Marketing. Rakaa’s corporate portfolio includes Supercell, Red Bull, Capitol Records, and Intel, and he has done private consultation for advertising agencies in the US, South Korea, and multiple European countries.
This combination of traditional and non-traditional experience gives Rakaa Taylor a unique perspective, a potent toolset, and extensive connections in media, cannabis, tech, and lifestyle that directly benefit the select brands he works with.
Alice is an award-winning marketing executive who has held emerging market and business development leadership positions in the cannabis industry. She was recently responsible for strategic partnerships, experiential marketing, and brand management at Weedmaps, and has worked for Leafly for the past 10 years. Alice has been an integral force in the entrepreneurial growth of the cannabis industry utilizing her marketing expertise to help successfully launch brands into new markets. By leveraging her well-renowned network of contacts within the industry, Alice is connecting start-ups and small businesses with the introductions they need to generate capital and drive revenue.
Arthur Han is a Los Angeles native, who next to working with Organic Genetics also owns and operates a cannabis cultivation facility in Los Angeles, California. Arthur brings with him a wealth of knowledge in business management, operations, cannabis cultivation, and cannabis product development.
In addition to working in the medicinal cannabis industry, Arthur is also the President of the real estate holdings operation called Trust One Enterprise. Arthur’s qualifications consist of a Bachelor in Business Administration, and over 10 years of experience working in investments, real estate and entrepreneurship.
Arthur is passionate about the wellbeing of children and helping those in need, and through his work with the Han-Schneider International Children’s Foundation he helps provide basic needs like food, water, clothing and education to children and orphans in impoverished countries around the world.
JJ has been in the cannabis industry for over a decade. A majority of his tenure has been as a key executive of Weedmaps, where he led multiple teams to the success of the Weedmaps brand, the first cannabis SaaS platform listed on the Nasdaq. While leading Weedmaps, he was instrumental in establishing and executing winning brand and monetisation strategies for clients in the fledgling cannabis industry. These clients are now globally recognised brands and multi-state operators.establishing and executing winning brand and monetisation strategies, to the success of securing key clients. These clients are now globally recognised brands and multi-state operators. JJ has travelled the world working in every cannabis consumer market, spending a significant amount of time identifying and building relationships with leading operator across multiple sectors. Since his exit from Weedmaps, he has founded Kind Future – a purpose-driven company with projects in energy, hospitality and cannabis. Prior to Weedmaps, JJ was a thought leader in branding and marketing, founding one of the first agencies that focused on data to drive consumer behaviour. Combined with his early years in the entertainment industry and his extensive contacts, JJ’s portfolio of work grants him the ability to leverage relationships and help Organic Genetics establish profitability and awareness.
Gary is the Co-founder and current CEO of FarmCeutica and has two decades of concrete construction management experience in the development, implementation and operational handover of some of the largest commercial, residential and industrial projects in Canada. He was also a key component in the construction efforts at Flower One, a 40,000m2 hybrid THC greenhouse and 10,000m2 processing and extraction facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gary will be directing our business development team, and his expertise and knowledge in facility construction and distribution strategies will help alleviate mistakes and growing pains made by a majority of new cannabis ventures ensuring the success of Organic Genetics.
Matt is a former college and professional football player. He was an NCAA All-American and holds multiple NCAA records. He brings the same intensity and dedication to his work in business. After his playing days were over, he was the top national producer for a $100+ million dollar retail company. He developed the sales playbook that was used to train all new hires in various sales methodologies (Direct, Wholesale/Retail, and Consultative Selling).
He then spent the next 10+ years in business consulting for Fortune 100 companies with a focus on applying the Theory of Constraints to accelerate growth. He managed on and offshore development teams utilizing Agile and Scrum to deliver key differentiators that helped those brands modernize and disrupt. He was part of the Executive Team at EMC when they were purchased in the largest-ever IT integration /acquisition in the technology sector. Matt was recruited by Weedmaps in early 2018 to help build out Brigade Partners (in-house Weedmaps consulting division) which later became Kind Future.
Josh has been in the Consumer Products Goods industry in strategy roles for his entire career, working with companies such as Altria, Kellogg’s and Anheuser-Busch. In his first role with Anheuser-Busch, Josh leveraged big data analytics to uncover key strategic opportunities. During this time, he also designed an app utilising a machine learning algorithm, which considered a game-changer for the commercial business.
As a result of this early success at Anheuser-Busch, Josh received the unique offer to work as a partner at the C-Suite level, with a goal of building strategy with a focus on portfolio architecture, innovation, marketing and sales. After multiple wins and securing his Six Sigma Black Belt, Josh became the youngest executive in the company’s history to be named Head of Sales for 32% of the US business. In his first year at this role, he led a 72-person team to the best company performance achieved since 2009. At Kind Future, Josh leads operations and project management. He will be utilising his expertise in Six Sigma to build a strong process infrastructure to optimise operations, ensure quality execution, and enable continuous improvement across the organisation.
Thomas’s experience as a Chief Technical Officer, means he’s been primarily responsible for the implementation of data-driven methodologies to improve quality and yield of extracted products. Successfully leveraging Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, his strategies reduce risk, waste and turnaround time, leading to improved life-cycle sustainability, quality and margins across cultivation and extraction operations. Thomas received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at the California State Polytechnic University and his Master’s degree in Materials Science & Process Engineering from California State University.
As a Director of Engineering within the Aerospace and Defence sector, he has authored and won multiple federally funded BAA and SBIR/STTR proposals, serving as both Principal Investigator and Project Manager with over US$20m of profit and loss responsibility to stakeholders inside the Department of Defence (DoD), Department of Energy (DoE) and NASA, as well as commercial and financial partners in the private sector serving as the technical point of contact. His experience in the biopharmaceutical, medical device and aerospace and defence industries revolved around research, design, development and standardisation of manufacturing processes.
Julius is the Managing Director of FarmCeutica Wellness. With a Master of Science in Finance from EADA Business School in Barcelona and a joint Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economic and Politics from the University of Manchester, he became heavily involved in the cannabinoid industry since 2017 and has since built a wide network in both the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. In his role, Julius ensures that FarmCeutica Wellness take a ‘science first’ approach to the industry which values quality and consistency. In line with this, the company conducts their own independent research to allow for complete transparency with their clients.
Paul is Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Construction Officer at FarmCeutica. Over the past 20 years, he has owned and operated within the residential, commercial and cannabis construction industries. Paul’s extensive construction and management experience over a wide variety of projects ensures that every project of his is in good hands. Working within the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) system in Canada since 2013, Paul also has extensive knowledge of cannabis facility construction, cultivation systems and facility management.
Dr Brian King, Ph.D. is the Chief Scientific Officer at FarmCeutica Wellness. Dr King is currently conducting the largest ever cannabinoid toxicology and stability dual study, in conjunction with KCA Labs and Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) Neuroscience Centre in Kentucky, US. This contract research organisation is a GLP-compliant facility which has the expertise for regulatory toxicology studies required for full Novel Food submissions.
King holds dual doctorates in Plant Biochemistry and Crop Science, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology and a Master in Business Administration – all from the University of Kentucky. He also held positions at the university as senior laboratory manager at the Plant Physiology and Biochemical Laboratory and Department of Agronomy (affiliated with Phyllotech) from 2004 to 2011. Dr King’s experience has given him an advanced academic and empirical approach to all aspects of medical cannabis cultivation, extraction, biochemical fingerprinting, genetics and product formulation for both nutraceutical and pharmaceutical purposes.
Marc Mitchell joined the Organic Genetics Board advisory board in July 2021. Marc is an attorney and entrepreneur who is currently an owner and Executive Board member of the New Zealand Breakers, a member club of Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL). He also is a Venture Advisor at Watertower Ventures in Los Angeles.
Mitchell earned his AB in International Relations from Stanford University, where he is still actively involved, and a member of the Stanford Associates and the Stanford Undergraduate Cabinet. He earned his JD from New York University.
Mitchell is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an Edmund Hillary Fellow, and a member of the Young Presidents Organization. He currently sits on the Brain Trust 2.0 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and from 2017-2020 served on the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.