Saturday, May 18, 2024
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FRANNY TACY

FRANNY TACY, THE FIRST FEMALE HEMP FARMER IN NORTH CAROLINA IN OVER 75 YEARS

Do whatever you want to do. As long as it is for a bigger purpose than self

-Franny Tacy

In 2012, Franny Tacy, CEO of Franny’s Farmacy bought uncultivated land in Leicester, North Carolina, creating Franny’s Farm. Franny’s agricultural background and professional career in sales and marketing prepared her for the magic that was soon to happen.

In 2017, she planted hemp varieties for food and fiber, and without knowing, became the first female hemp farmer in North Carolina in over 75 years. In 2018, Franny pivoted to hemp varieties grown for cannabinoid production and opened her first Dispensary in downtown Asheville NC.

MORE ABOUT FRANNY TACY 

Franny Tacy has degrees and work experience in Forestry and Education and has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over a decade. She is now considered one of the preeminent experts of all things hemp, participates in the hemp Research Trials with North Carolina State University, has a TEDx speech on hemp, and is a founding member of the Women in Hemp non-profit. 

As an inspiring farmer who developed into a catalyst for the U.S. hemp scene, Franny has developed Franny’s Farmacy into a vertically integrated brand involved in growing, processing, manufacturing, distribution, and franchising in 6 states, and expanding CBD dispensaries across the U.S. – all with the intention to deliver easy and safe access to quality products from seed to shelf, with an emphasis on hemp and health.

Franny shares, “On a regular basis, I travel all over the country speaking and educating people about how hemp has, is and will continue to change the game when it comes to health and wellness, business, and our economy. The Franny’s Farmacy Franchising model has helped us rapidly scale, grow, reach more people along the east coast, and empower others who are eager to join the industry while empowering them with the proper education, tools, and resources.”

She regularly hosts Discovery Days to show people how much potential there is within their franchising model. Franny’s Farmacy was also the first-of-its-kind to use UPC and QR codes for tracking COA’s. They continue to grow by offering wholesale, franchise, and private labeling opportunities.

 CHALLENGES AT FRANNY’S FARMACY

It has been a lifetime of careers for Franny. Each career between forestry, education, and pharmaceuticals had a make-or-break turning point that all led her here. Now, her goal for the future is to see cannabis in everyday life, and for every human to have access to it in the United States, first. She is on track for doing so. Even the Dispensary model, which has CBD and its medicinal uses, will eventually expand into a THC category. Her home office also houses Hemp Wood in its sustainable designs, there is a CannaCafe, and she also sells hemp clothing. It is what they are doing to bring hemp into the mainstream.

“One of the biggest challenges was that this (Hemp) was an illegal and unregulated industry. The biggest challenge was the two years it took to develop a North Carolina Hemp Commission and to be able to get our industrial hemp pilot program up in running in North Carolina. That itself was probably the biggest obstacle in just being able to enter the industry. Once we were in the industry, I ended up buying out my partner, which was obviously a big challenge, to take over as CEO of my company and operate this with the mission and integrity it is meant to have,” asserts Franny.

Franny believes in taking a risk, whether that be jumping out of a plane or quitting a job at one point to get on a bike and ride from Seattle to California (that was decades ago). The biggest risk she ever took was leaving the pharmaceutical industry to enter hemp farming. That was most definitely a leap then look moment.

CHANGES IN THE INDUSTRY 

The industry is dramatically different than what it was when Franny first started, and still is even since the pandemic. The brand has seen an entrance into the market, the boom, the bust, the year of the pause through covid, and now the reemergence of where corporations would be taking over and entering the market. It is going to be a big year of buyouts.

Franny states, “With all the uncertainty of the industry, I wish I would have been able to own and communicate more from a position of clarity, expertise, and sovereignty. I give myself grace in the fact that there are no experts in the industry, even yet, three years after national legalization. There’s not really anything I could have changed. I had to leap and then look, which is a very uncomfortable place to be, yet it’s proven to be the best place to be.”

ORGANIZATIONAL ETHOS 

Franny is the proudest that she has always stuck to the core values of bringing the best, trusted qualities throughout all of her products, experiences, and education. Seed to Shelf, Hemp and Health – that’s the motto. With that said, the products are traced all the way back to the farms where they began. Another achievement that she is deeply proud of is that they incorporated an NC State research model for genetics. She also helped start the Women in Hemp Non-profit to create the education, research, and support along with the retail aspect of the business.

Franny’s team is empowered to be creative, they have project management teams, pilot programs, and rotations since they are vertically integrated and have everything from farms, manufacturing, distribution, and multiple dispensaries in multiple states. There are lots of opportunities for the employees to be the best because of their experiential knowledge. They are the ones who have been driving a lot of the continuous improvements in the dispensaries. While the executive team is really dialed in on the big picture.

Franny emphasizes, “Smile, be open-minded, be compassionate. Lead with your heart. Remember, your mind is the slave and not the master. There are so many things that we are trained as leaders to think, interact, and go by such as spreadsheets and reports. However, there is something we need to know and the most important thing is that you have to lead with heart and create a team that you support and in return supports you.”

MISSION, CORE VALUES, OR VISION 

All three are the same at Franny’s. It is part of leadership. They cannot segment any one thing as more important or less important than the other. Everything is interconnected, without their core values, there is no mission and there is no vision. It’s really what motivates the brand, the team, and their story. Their core values are in any and everything they do from what’s written on the walls, to opening meetings with thoughts on leadership and values in the weekly calls. It is integrated into all they do.

“With mission, vision, and core values, I’m super curious and thoughtful. I’m always leading with questions that Google can’t answer. One of my greatest attributes and characteristics would be a cautious risk-taker,” shares Franny. 

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