If Amy Peckham could point out that pivotal moment that made her decide to enter the marijuana industry, it would have to be the death of her mother, Frances Keefe. Suffering from motor neuron disease, Frances suffered a painful death two years ago, despite a cocktail of painkillers that did not seem to work and even made her sicker.
“Doctors recommended medical marijuana. She was adamant that was something she didn’t want to try because it was illegal,” said Hilary Peckham, Amy’s daughter and Frances’ granddaughter, in an interview with News.com.au. “And we couldn’t have procured it because she would have needed an extract, since she couldn’t use her mouth.”
That was what prompted Amy to go into the marijuana business together with her daughters, Hilary and Keeley. Thanks to their established family business, Peckham Industries, the Peckham women have the money to back up the venture, coupled with the eagerness and determination to help people living with chronic illnesses.
Hence, Etain was born.
Etain was one of the five companies that won a dispensary license for medical marijuana in New York. From the very beginning, the company looked like a strong contender among 1,800 applicants, which were eventually whittled down to the top five winners.
“We spend 18 months building a team and my mother and I worked for 18 hours a day,” Hillary said. “The properties are established with base agreements and we’re fully capitalized. The construction diagrams are ready to go.”
Being part of Peckham Industries sure has its perks. Because of the company’s trustworthy reputation, they were able to find unused properties through Peckham Industries and also hire 500 staff across New York.
“We have to have one main site and four dispensaries. In terms of startup, that’s an immense amount of locations,” Hillary said.
Though the family was mindful of the initial stigma of working in the cannabis industry, they received nothing but support from their family and friends. “We’ve got support on every level, from our two brothers and our dad, from the counties and at every town meeting I’ve been to, and from local and state politicians,” Hillary said.
Despite the challenges on the marijuana industry, Hillary believes that medical marijuana should be made “available to everyone, but in a highly regulated manner.”
Etain hopes to open its manufacturing facility by January 2016.
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