Zeta provides leadership and guides the vision of the company as Green Rush Consulting’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. The founding of one of the industry’s first consultancies is backed by Zeta’s practical experience in cannabis cultivation, manufacturing/ processing, and dispensary operations for over two decades.
His official entry into cannabis began after moving in 2001 from Virginia to California in pursuit of a music career, when Zeta managed large commercial gardens for collectives. Eager to move on to less risky ventures, he transitioned into selling online advertising to doctors, lawyers, and dispensaries for an early online platform targeting the cannabis industry. In this role he not only learned web development and SEO, but honed his marketing and selling skills overall – expertise he continued to build in subsequent positions within the industry. Zeta’s path took him through supporting the expansion of a hydroponics retail chain and designing and building mobile grow trailers, while along the way he built industry relationships from coast to coast.
In 2010, when Oakland was planning 4 large cultivation centers, Zeta was called upon to explain the process to Fortune 100 executives over the course of a summer. Only later would he discover that his insight served as the basis for many of the policies and best practices used nationwide by the industry today. While the Oakland process didn’t pass at that time, other states used the city’s proposed foundation to guide the forming of their own local programs, solidifying Zeta’s reputation as an industry expert and pioneer. One year later, with a self-made website and a Google voice number, he founded Green Rush Consulting.
Zeta is most passionate about helping people overcome problems using creative solutions. He’s particularly proud of GRC’s client successes in Maryland, a true test of his, his team’s, and his network’s abilities that resulted in the winning of 8 licenses – a 100% approval rate and capturing 10% of the marketplace.
When he’s not working Zeta still plays drums, enjoys gardening, and loves to barbecue.
As Green Rush Consulting’s Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer, Sarah ensures that all facets of the business are running smoothly, from sales to project delivery and everything in between. She embraced this role after working to support GRC’s growth and development in the background since 2011, applying skills she learned years before as a solo entrepreneur and community organizer.
Originally from St. Louis, Sarah relocated to California in 2007 to launch a career in photojournalism working with Mother Jones Magazine. While living in a San Francisco hostel she received a firsthand glimpse into the Bay Area’s cannabis scene, witnessing cannabis as commerce for the first time as cultivators visited regularly to sell to travelers. Sarah continued to focus on photojournalism, freelancing with local and national publications such as the LA Times, New York Times, Imbibe Magazine, and launching a handful of photography businesses including a photo summer camp for at risk youth.
By 2014, Sarah joined GRC with her partner Zeta Ceti. From a simple press release, Sarah booked 44 client meetings in one week for the Illinois application process, solidifying GRC’s presence as one of the first consultancies in the industry. Her support tripled revenues in her first and second years with the company. Sarah’s organizational support helped win and open the first state approved dispensary in Illinois. At the same time in Missouri, her mother was sick from cancer – her subsequent passing was followed 2 days later by the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, a few miles away from her family’s home. Sarah was haunted by the consideration that had others embraced the connection to cannabis, health reform and social justice, perhaps both of these people would still be alive. Her full transition into cannabis was inspired by a soured business partnership, fueling an ongoing mission to protect the vulnerable in this emerging industry.
Social justice has always been integral to Sarah’s life, and each GRC client represents an opportunity to influence the development of cannabis businesses that serve their communities. With community organizing at the root of her passions, she founded the East Bay Cannabis Community Facebook group with a over 2K members (and growing), founded the free First Friday Cannabis Social on Lake Merritt drawing crowds of 200 people monthly, and the Green Room Cannabis Community Center as a means to creating safe cannabis inspired spaces for people to step out of the shadows of prohibition.
In her spare time Sarah loves adventure, climbing mountains, exploring new places, gardening, and raising their growing family.
Vikash brings decades of sales, marketing, and cannabis industry experience to his role as Green Rush Consulting’s Director of Client Relations. He joined GRC in 2017 after guiding the sales and marketing programs for a variety of companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500. In tandem, Vikash continued to foster his love for cannabis cultivation for years before launching his own commercial marijuana operation. As Owner/Master Grower, he oversaw everything from facility design and construction to staffing and payroll, and experienced firsthand the challenges of maintaining compliance under the thumbs of Federal prohibition and an unjust Drug War. Vikash appreciates the opportunity his background affords him to educate people about the healing potential of cannabis, and is dedicated to helping clients operate their businesses with the highest level of professionalism and integrity. He counts bike riding in glorious places, being active in the gym and outdoors, and gardening among his loves.
Once an adjunct professor, Tom pivoted into the cannabis industry when he joined Green Rush Consulting in 2015. As Business Application Manager, Tom assists clients with the development of their businesses in addition to offering guidance on local permitting and state licensing applications. He loves helping bootstrapped entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams with limited resources to become owners of their own compliant businesses. Tom is inspired by the opportunity this industry has to create a new business model that embraces the advancement of women, people of color, and others from underrepresented groups. He is guided by a firm belief that there is still a place for compassion in this industry, and encourages entrepreneurs to find ways in which to run their businesses that will benefit everyone. In his spare time, Tom enjoys reading pretty much anything, walking around and exploring places he’s never been, and writing nonfiction.
As Client Relations Manager, Thomas guides prospective clients through a range of Green Rush Consulting services – from informing them about their chosen region’s current cannabis laws and regulations, to guiding them through the onboarding process. He joined GRC in 2016 after building a 15-year career in the ground transportation industry from the bottom up. A self-described people person, Thomas saw in the burgeoning cannabis industry the perfect opportunity to apply his commitment to great customer service and strength as a relationship builder. His favorite GRC success story involves a client whose ever-changing circumstances kept delaying plans, but by simply staying in touch throughout the months where progress was slow, Thomas fostered what became a successful and longstanding professional relationship. He is most passionate about educating clients about cannabis and its benefits, and encourages them to explore and share what they learn with others. Thomas’ loves include winetasting, making people laugh, and impersonating his co-workers.
Shaprese joined Green Rush Consulting in October 2016 and oversees everything from making sure the office runs smoothly to managing the busy schedules of the executive team. Shaprese’s role is fueled by an appreciation for medical cannabis tracing back to a documentary she viewed as a child. A career in healthcare eventually exposed her to the plant’s holistic benefits for sufferers of Parkinson’s and other diseases, and Shaprese tapped into this knowledge when she successfully advocated for a cannabis recommendation on behalf of a family member diagnosed with cancer. This enthusiasm for helping others and fostering a supportive environment where everyone has what they need to be happy are what guides the work she does every day, and she is most passionate about maintaining the humanity in this fledgling industry. Shaprese loves adventure and exploring new things, spending time with family, and enjoys cooking so much that she is co-founding a catering business.
Lee Hopcraft joined Green Rush Consulting in 2017 as an accomplished cannabis activist and entrepreneur from Washington, D.C. With a lens on communications strategy and business administration, his work has focused on fostering social use and implementing policies across the country to counteract the injustices of the Drug War. Lee collaborates with premier cannabis companies, media outlets, and celebrity influencers to develop exciting, high-profile programs and events nationwide. He’s committed to building this industry by merging community and business and as the self-proclaimed company “Gatekeeper,” he factors this perspective into each conversation he has with GRC prospects and clients. Lee welcomes every opportunity to embolden others in the pursuit of their goals and thrives on developing strategies rooted in integrity and advocacy. Lee is deeply passionate about community organizing and pragmatically developing cannabis businesses, but occasionally slows down to smell the roses.
Lauren joined Green Rush Consulting in 2017 after two years as an expert Advisor for the company and its clients. As Senior Regulatory Analyst, she helps the company’s editorial team navigate through ever-changing legal and regulatory settings, interpreting complex laws and identifying opportunities for clients within their chosen city, county, or state. Lauren’s roots in the cannabis industry trace back to 2005, when she worked for and eventually lobbied on behalf of MAPS to garner support from the US House and Senate for FDA-approved medical cannabis research. Lauren’s focus eventually broadened to include providing guidance on application processes, and educating people about ways to approach government about changing laws. She embodies GRC’s commitment to serving clients and loves that every application is an opportunity for individuals to use their voice and effect change in government. Lauren enjoys community organizing (whether for a cause or a friend), reading, and is a serious baker.
As Client Advocate, Laura is the primary liaison between clients and Green Rush Consulting’s Editorial and Client Relations departments. After learning about medical cannabis in 2012 when her mother was diagnosed with bone cancer, Laura pursued an education in geriatrics and is now is a certified Health Advocate for seniors/elders. After a longstanding museum career she joined GRC in 2016, honing her skills as a project manager during the busy Pennsylvania application period. Laura is most passionate about hearing clients’ ideas for cannabis businesses and supporting them in the pursuit of their dreams, and her focus is on maximizing internal tools and systems to make the client experience as seamless as possible. She continues to advocate for senior health as founder of the East Bay Senior Cannabis Social Club, a monthly group where seniors can teach and learn about cannabis. For fun, Laura loves seeing live performances, being in nature, and enjoying meditation in community.
Kyle joined Green Rush Consulting in 2012 initially as a web designer. Since the then-fledgling business was growing quickly, Kyle tapped into his background in business management and as a personal assistant to don many hats across sales, IT, human resources, marketing, and more. Kyle became interested in the medical cannabis industry after seeing friends and loved ones use the plant to counteract the side effects of pharmaceuticals. His first industry job with a mobile dispensary taught him how to educate and advise patients, and ultimately become a turning point in his career: he wanted to help people. He will do anything he can to assist GRC clients, and his proudest moment was flying solo to Maryland (with virtual support from Oakland) to help clients complete and submit 20 applications by the due date – successfully achieved with literally one minute to spare. Kyle loves good food, being outdoors, and playing music with any instrument.
Karen is an entrepreneur and expert in CPG branding, strategy and business scaling who has built category leading global brands with Fortune 500 companies to launching and mentoring business start-ups. In 2013, she shifted her consultancy focus to Illinois’ medical cannabis pilot program, knowing this emerging industry could benefit from her professional expertise. Karen found inspiration through helping guide applicants seeking Illinois permits, advising licensed companies on branding, and working in a patient advocacy clinic. She eventually spent months on the road immersed in the regulated cannabis markets of multiple states before deciding in 2016 that California is where she belongs. Karen joined Green Rush Consulting in 2017 where, as Director of Editorial & Marketing, she leads overall workflow for two departments ensuring project managers and marketers have everything they need to deliver incredible results for GRC’s clients and community. For fun she enjoys the arts, socializing with friends, and life as a newly-certified sailor.
After meeting people in the community and educating herself about cannabis, Kaisha transitioned 7 years of consumer product marketing and vast copywriting experience into this blooming industry in 2016. As Green Rush Consulting’s Marketing Manager, Kaisha develops strategies and initiatives to help reinforce the company as a brand and an industry thought leader. A writer since childhood, she believes in the power of words and is passionate about creating content that reflects an accurate view of cannabis and steers away from longstanding stigmas and outdated stereotypes. Since joining the company in 2017, Kaisha has witnessed firsthand the dedication and commitment that GRC’s core team puts into every project. She is proud to be part of an organization doing its part to usher in a legal cannabis industry with roots firmly planted in advocacy. In addition to writing, Kaisha loves dancing, and hanging out with her husband and two cats.
Hadas joined Green Rush Consulting months after graduating with a law degree from Berkeley in 2016. Her first role in the industry, she welcomed the chance to blend her personal interest in plant medicine with a passion for using the law to explore the many unknown variables present in this new industry. As Legal Consultant, Hadas researches and assesses regulatory requirements nationwide, then collaborates with Editorial and Client Relations on identifying the best opportunities for GRC clients. She appreciates having found in GRC a well-balanced work environment with smart, fun people doing high stakes work with heart and humor. Hadas loves being outdoors, yoga and all forms of body movement, and enjoying cannabis with friends.
Business Application Team Manager Gwen keeps the editorial team on track with deliverables and deadlines integral to the state application process, while managing the day-to-day client communications. She joined Green Rush Consulting in 2015 after working in conflict research in her native Canada, studying wars and their aftermaths. Gwen appreciates that cannabis is rooted in social justice, and embraces every opportunity she has to help people entering this industry stay mindful of the continuing need for advocacy. She is inspired by the potential for legal cannabis to transform our prison system, assist sufferers of addiction, and become more accessible to patients. Gwen truly enjoys analyzing regulations in pursuit of practical implications for patients and entrepreneurs, and regularly takes the time to comment on draft regulations – one of the few opportunities she has, as a permanent resident, to influence policy.
When she’s not reading regulations Gwen loves playing video games, and enjoying the outdoors.
Freeman is a Master Grower, Healer and Herbalist whose cannabis industry experience spans four decades. An expert at cannabis breeding who has developed his own proprietary strains, Freeman advises growers on their operations and is frequently consulted as a rescue specialist during crisis moments. From tapping into his vast knowledge of cannabinoid and terpene profiles, to advising on regenerative farming and sustainable practices, Freeman’s mission is to support the growth of clean medicine full of positive healing energy with minimal impact on the environment. He is passionate about educating new entrepreneurs working to enter this industry, and is most proud of the successes that all of his clients have had with securing their required local conditional use permits. In his spare time Freeman loves being outdoors, helping people explore holistic healing, and participating in the ceremonies of various different indigenous cultures.
Andrea is a dedicated patient advocate and entrepreneur who came to the cannabis industry through her work as a former bond analyst for Moodys. In this role, she researched and published numerous pieces about the industry before starting her own business, delivery-only dispensary StashTwist, in 2014. An entrepreneur with deep roots in the community, Andrea spends much of her time working at the local level to build relationships with policy makers in Oakland and neighboring cities, collaborating with local organizations to build awareness and to support entrepreneurs within the cannabis community. As a direct result of this work Andrea co-founded Supernova Women, an organization that educates and promotes the advancement of individuals and businesses owned by people of color in the cannabis industry. For fun she enjoys the elevated experience that edibles bring to a live viewing of La Traviata, growing cannabis with her partner, and being entertained by her two toddlers.