Q&A with Flower One Board Director, Molly Hemmeter
Molly Hemmeter, Flower One’s newest Board member, joins us today for a question and answer session to discuss her background, her views on corporate governance, and what excites her about joining the Flower One team.Molly, you recently joined a couple of boards. Why did you decide to join Flower One? What excites you about your new director role?
There are many things that excite me about joining the Flower One Board of Directors. Cannabis is an emerging industry in the health and wellness space, and I look forward to being part of an entrepreneurial team that is forging new ground in a safe and responsible way. I’ve always been attracted to high-growth ventures that provide an opportunity for accelerated learning and encourage out-of-the-box thinking as a result of facing new challenges and opportunities, and Flower One is no exception.
I also firmly believe in Flower One’s business model. The team has decades of experience in high quality, low cost cultivation of vegetable crops throughout North America using the latest technology, agronomics, and food safety and quality standards. I am confident that Flower One can transfer this deep and accumulated knowledge to deliver the highest quality, lowest cost cannabis in the U.S. market. With an intense focus on what they do best – cultivation and production of cannabis – Flower One will be one of the winners in the cannabis space.
Last, but certainly not least, I am very eager to learn more about the potential health benefits contained within the complex cannabis plant. As deregulation unfolds, more resources will be released to invest in scientific research to explore the true potential as well as the limitations of cannabis. Flower One can play a vital and leading role in bringing these untapped health benefits to the public in a responsible fashion.How will your background as CEO, President and Director at Landec Corporation (NASDAQ: LNDC), a publicly traded innovator of diversified health and wellness solutions, add value to Flower One’s long-term mission?
My background as both CEO and Director of a publicly traded company in the health and wellness space is extremely applicable to Flower One. As a board member at Landec, I gained extensive experience in corporate governance areas such as structuring efficient committees, implementing processes for effective risk mitigation, assessing capital allocation strategies and establishing performance metrics for proper financial oversight – all of which will be applicable to my role at Flower One.
As CEO of Landec, I led two operating businesses: Lifecore Biomedical and Curation Foods. Lifecore Biomedical is a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for FDA-approved pharmaceutical products. Just like Lifecore, Flower One has positioned itself to be a full-service contract production and fulfillment partner for premier brands in a highly regulated environment. At Flower One’s 55,000 square-foot production facility, the Company develops final product for leading brands by leveraging state-of-the-art extraction, formulation and packaging capabilities.
Landec’s second operating business, Curation Foods, is a branded natural foods company that works closely with its large family of growers to bring fresh foods to stores throughout North America. Flower One operates a technologically advanced 400,000 square-foot greenhouse and a 25,000 square-foot indoor cultivation facility in Northern Las Vegas where it grows some of the highest quality, lowest cost cannabis in the market today. As a Director of Flower One, I hope to leverage my experience with innovating, marketing and distributing branded, plant-based products at Curation Foods to support Flower One as we navigate the opportunities and challenges inherent in the agricultural industry.
Further, during my tenure at Landec, we also created the Company’s first-ever Sustainability Program, which officially launched in January 2019 through the issuance of a publicly available Sustainability Handbook. The Sustainability Program was developed over the course of several years and included defining and quantifying select operational metrics based on a framework of the 3P’s: Product, Planet and People. I look forward to working with the Flower One team in further building out the Company’s own sustainability efforts.You will be the first female director to join Flower One’s Board. What do you think about that?
Flower One has an impressive board of directors with decades of experience in greenhouse operations, finance, business development and private and public companies. I hope that my experience can complement the skills already in place, while also increase the depth of public company experience and add a dimension of diversity to the Board. I am a true believer that diversity provides a broader perspective from which rich insights, innovation and culture can flow. Inclusiveness of all genders, races and ethnic backgrounds should continue to be the goal.As of this January, companies with headquarters in California are required to have at least one female director on their Boards under state ruling SB826. Flower One is not headquartered in California, but you yourself reside in the state. What do you think of SB826? What is your impression of female representation on Boards today?
I am a proponent of SB826 and believe that female representation on boards today is too low. Many say it is difficult to find qualified female candidates, but I truly believe there are many amazing and qualified women who could add value on corporate boards.What do you think of Flower One’s current corporate governance policies? Do you believe the company is ahead of the industry in terms of employing governance best practices?
Solid corporate governance can be defined in multiple ways from the establishment of proper committees and company performance targets to the development of principles of diversity and provisions for financial, ethical and policy oversight. While I am new to the Flower One Board, I can already see that the Company has a solid corporate governance foundation in place, especially for such a young public company. Flower One is positioning itself to partner with leading cannabis brands today and other leading pharmaceutical, food and beverage brands in the future, and, as such, strong corporate governance principles will remain essential to its progress.What one phrase would you use to describe Flower One’s flagship greenhouse?
If you’ve ever had the ability to visit Flower One’s flagship facility in Northern Las Vegas, you would know that it is difficult to describe it in a single phrase. However, if I had to sum it up succinctly, I would say that it is “a true union of science and technology with the power of plants”.