AC Braddock: Eden Labs
Today, we’d like to introduce you to an industry executive who has taken it upon herself to open the lines of communication between businesses in the space, unify our industry as a whole, and move us forward as a collective effort. Since she has assumed the role of CEO of Eden Labs in 2010, she has grown the company by 500% and she’s certainly not stopping there. AC Braddock is the woman of the hour. She’s powerful, intense, and driven beyond belief, and she’s here with us today to talk business, ethics, and the beauty of whole plant medicine.
What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?
It was in the late 90’s when I read Dr. Andrew Weil’s book called The Natural Mind. I was in Miami at the time and had just moved there from the Northwest where I had lived for quite some time before. But it was definitely after reading this book that I became very interested in the plant as medicine. The author, Andrew Weil, was the one who convinced Harvard to do the first study on cannabis since the 1800s and it was really intriguing to read about what the entire pharmaceutical world has done to our plants, like how they are losing the efficacy of the plant by only taking certain small components from it. The plant is obviously here to help us heal, so why take only pieces of the plant?
The plant is obviously here to help us heal, so why take only pieces of the plant?
So, I moved back to Seattle to get a degree in Nutrition, and although I got a little sidetracked from that, I ended up meeting Fritz Chess, the founder of Eden Labs, in 2000 and he was trying to get into a dispensary, the first dispensary any of us had ever heard of before, in Vancouver B.C. He was having a tough time getting in and since it was all women-run, he asked me to reach out on his behalf and make an introduction. It was then that I just sat back and said, “Wow! This could be huge” and I’ve been part of this industry ever since.
What were you doing before?
I was a real estate agent for large incoming construction projects and was the manager for sales and marketing for that endeavor in the state of Washington.
Tell us about the point in the time you realized the coming of the ‘green rush’?
I think the moment when I had the first inkling that the ‘green rush’ was ahead of us was in the year 2000. It was, again, realizing that this all women-run dispensary existed in Vancouver B.C. Being from Seattle, I went up to Vancouver B.C. quite often, and seeing that there also opened my eyes to the blossoming industry that began to grow from it. You could go to a seed bank and pickup different strains of seeds, you could go to the pot cafe and openly smoke. It just seemed to me that this was just the beginning, that this was something that was just going to happen inevitably.
Right now, where are you guiding your passion and energy towards?
Educating our community about safe extraction methods, the paradigm shift in how businesses can be run in this industry, and just about the application of whole plant medicine.
Describe your work ethic to us in one word.
Who is a person that you consider as a role model? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
I think it would be Andrew Weil, M.D. His books and how he views plants as medicine and social responsibility and building business around that is pretty powerful. The other company that we like to try to emulate is Patagonia because of their sustainable business model, their commitment to balance between sports and work, and they don’t have packaging for a lot of their products. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the book, Let My People Go Surfing, but it’s a very powerful book on how Patagonia formulated their business and became the company we know them today. It’s a very interesting book!
What book have you read that you’ve been inspired by? Any particular read we should put on our list?
Like I’d mentioned above, I would definitely say, The Natural Mind by Andrew Weil, which was the motivating factor that led me to get involved in the industry in the first place. I would say, The Strength Finders by Tom Rath, which is a whole business philosophy that we strongly adhere to here at Eden Labs. And of course, anything published by Malcolm Gladwell, but in particular, Blink.
Tell us about an esteemed achievement of yours.
Well, I became CEO of Eden Labs in 2010 and I’ve probably grown the company by 500%. I’m a founder of Women of Weed, an organization here in Washington and we are an industry sponsor of Women Grow, the national business organization for women in the cannabis industry. A personal focus of mine and something that I am very good at is arranging partnerships that help unify the industry. I am constantly working to keep the lines of communication open and keep everyone conversing, so that we can move forward as a unified industry.
I am constantly working to keep the lines of communication open and keep everyone conversing, so that we can move forward as a unified industry.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Keep focused on the goal. Keep your eyes on the goal. All the small things that lead up to that won’t matter when you get there. If you can keep focused on the goal, it will happen!
What is the most important thing for us to know now about the legal cannabis industry?
That the medical realm is what’s going to move all of this to the next level and as far as whole plant medicine goes, concentrates are the cornerstone to making that happen.
If we are sitting across from each other a year from now, how will our conversation about the ‘green rush’ be going?
Well, we will be talking about the international markets, social responsibility, how this industry has changed the banking and medical industries, women in business, and that the ‘green rush’ will be quite so much a ‘rush’, but more about science and R&D. We’ll have bettered this entire movement. We’ll be moving this into a new generation, a new century. It is the next great American industry. So, a year from now, I feel like it will be on a fairly solid foundation to move forward in that direction.