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.
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.
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.
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.