Each of us has a unique cannabis journey, and no matter where it began, we’re far from finished.
The Plant pays homage to the original masters of the craft by drawing from the practices forged by this emerging industry. Preserving them, and extending their reach by blending in competitive new technology and leading bio-scientists, devoted to unlocking the potential of this plant for the masses.
Our ethos begins with direct and honest communication. Above all, we deliver what we say we will, when we say it will happen.
Meet the Team
Sales & Marketing Director
Matthew Hawes - Sales & Marketing Director
Embedded in the cannabis culture as a Bay Area native and with deep ties to Detroit, Matthew has had the privilege to spend his journey working alongside the many walks of life this industry represents. Professionally and personally he embodies that experience in every facet of the business he touches.
Matthew has proven himself in the cannabis industry as results driven sales leader, he’s built sales teams and strategies for top companies in cannabis such as Select (Curaleaf) and Ganja Gold by uniquely positioning them with a steady, data driven, growth oriented agenda. Matthew possesses the unique blend of business acumen to lead our sales department using a deep understanding of the industry, while having mastered the intangibles of navigating its continued duality.
Chase Huff - Lab Director
Chase is a proven leader in the cannabis industry, who bridges the gap between science and business. His unique skill set and industry experience have allowed him to create innovations in cannabis production, while also leading teams to produce top tier products at scale.
Chase earned his B.Sc. in Molecular/Cell Biology and Biotechnology with a Minor in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. Chase moved to Denver, CO in 2014 and quickly jumped into the cannabis industry to apply his knowledge towards advancing the science of cannabis production. Chase has been hands-on with every aspect of cannabis production; including tissue culture propagation, cultivation, extraction and processing, product manufacturing, and packaging. On the scientific side of things, Chase has been an innovator in the industry; developing intellectual property and novel SOPs in extraction and product manufacturing, as well as plant tissue culture. He was the first to bring wiped film distillation into a hemp processing lab, and was performing ethanol extractions before there were ethanol extraction systems specifically designed for cannabis. In addition to his industry specific experience, Chase has the business and operations skills required to lead manufacturing operations. As a lover and advocate for the cannabis plant, Chase has made it his mission to set the bar higher for cannabis product quality and believes that consumers deserve to have products that are safe, effective, and enjoyable. In his free time he can be found chasing after the flow state through snowboarding, surfing, yoga, and playing music.
Max Levine - Procurement Director
Since 2013, Max Lavine has been using his natural leadership abilities and analytical thinking to make cannabis organizations more effective, profitable and exciting.
An enthusiastic student of experience, he has developed a holistic understanding of this unique industry by working across its many facets from retail to manufacturing to procurement and sales. Leveraging his experience and skillsets, Max combines a deep understanding of the cannabis plant and its products with an authentic enjoyment of investigating and uncovering what drives value in the market—Combined with his network of strong relationships with cultivators and distributors throughout the state, he’s honed that special and often elusive core competency of knowing what to look for, where to find it, and how to get it where it needs to be in the unpredictable and highly nuanced world of legal cannabis. As a key part of this process, Max has built comprehensive SOPs for testing and product purchasing focused on quality control, minimizing risk, and ensuring top-quality material at competitive market rates.
Client Services Director
Susan Wiedemann - Client Services Director
Product Development and R&D/ Food Scientist, Susan Wiedemann brings over a decade of food industry experience and relationships to the cannabis consumable product market, developing products from concept to completion that are innovative, safe, and create an enjoyable consumer experience. Susan Wiedemann received her bachelor’s from U.C. Davis in Food Science with an emphasis in Food Microbiology and Food Safety. In 2015 she attended one of the top culinary schools in the nation, The Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA, and graduated with honors. Susan has worked for the past ten years as a Senior Food Scientist in Research and Development for two major national brands and a top product development consulting agency for consumer-packaged goods. She has a wealth of experience in product innovation, contract manufacturing, prototype development, consumer sensory testing, shelf-life evaluation, and ingredient sourcing, especially within the confections and beverages space. Susan saw a huge opportunity in November 2017 when California legalized the recreational use of cannabis and began applying her product development experience to consumable cannabis products. Over the years, Susan has developed a vast network of relationships throughout the food and cannabis industry that she utilizes for her cannabis clients and is excited to be a part of The Plant’s founding team.
Dr. Monica Vialpando
Dr. Monica Vialpando
Dr. Monica Vialpando is a pharmaceutically trained product development scientist, specializing in the formulation of poorly water-soluble compounds such as cannabinoids. Since founding Via Innovations in 2017, she drives the development of safer, more consistent and efficacious cannabis products by harmonizing pharmaceutical technologies with a variety of natural medicines. She brings seven years of pharmaceutical formulation experience with US and European based companies and four years of nicotine development and regulations in the United Kingdom. Monica holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from KU Leuven, Belgium and serves as an advisor to multiple international cannabis organizations, adjunct professor, thought leader, recipient of several cannabis science awards and certified yoga teacher.
Dr. Robb Flannery
Dr. Robb Flannery
Dr. Robert Flannery is the first PhD in the United States with the technical training and expertise in commercial Cannabis cultivation.
Dr. Flannery has a Ph.D. in Plant Biology with an emphasis in Environmental Horticulture and a specific expertise in hydroponic crop optimization for cut-flower production from UC Davis. Dr. Flannery has managed commercial horticultural cultivation since 1999.
While working on his doctorate, Dr. Flannery began advising Cannabis cultivators throughout Northern California on modern horticulture practices. As Production Director at SPARC in San Francisco, Dr. Flannery managed the largest department in the company and supervised every segment of Cannabis cultivation, packaging, & delivery of final product to retail.
In 2016 Dr. Flannery started Dr. Robb Farms in an effort to bring affordable, safe and high-quality cannabis to the greater California market. Dr. Flannery has grown many, many tons of clean cannabis and has never lost a crop. He has lectured all over the world about Cannabis cultivation production and has advised hundreds of cultivators on commercial Cannabis cultivation. Dr. Robb Farms is currently developing a campus of 7 Hybrid Indoor™ facilities in Desert Hot Springs, California that comprise 260,000 square feet of cultivation and manufacturing space.
Dr. Flannery is very active in both the research and legislative aspects of commercial Cannabis production in California. Dr. Flannery holds the following leadership positions:
- Mentor at Gateway (a startup incubator located in Oakland that is focused on launching companies in the Cannabis industry).
- Co-Chair of the Agriculture Committee for the California Cannabis Industry Association.
- Board Member for the Cannabis Tech System – End User Advisory Committee, which is where he advised the administration of California’s Track and Trace program.
- Advisor to the Dean of Agricultural Sciences at UC Davis and her advisory council to discuss the research opportunities in California Cannabis production.
- Spearheaded the effort to make SPARC the first ASA (Americans for Safe Access) certified dispensary in the United States.
- Board of Advisors for a Venture Capital group (Salveo Capital), which invests in the ancillary space for the industry.
- Consultant for SCI Consulting where he speaks with local municipalities to give them an understanding of what to expect from a regulatory standpoint for cultivation.