Meet Todd Stevens, The New Director For The Cannabis Control Division

Meet Todd Stevens, The New Director For The Cannabis Control Division
Meet Todd Stevens, The New Director For The Cannabis Control Division

Sep. 3—Todd Stevens did not all the time know he’d be within the hashish trade, not to mention main New Mexico’s Cannabis Control Division.

From a small city within the Midwest — Harrisburg, Illinois — Stevens, the brand new director for the CCD, grew up the son of a choose and was a three-sport athlete in highschool. He went to Blackburn Faculty, the place he obtained his bachelor’s diploma in secondary training and performed NCAA Division III basketball.

His early profession path took him to the Wabash and Ohio Valley Particular Schooling District, the place he served as a job coach by serving to particular training seniors transition into the job market.

“Some of (those students) had aspirations… to be a manager at Walmart. Some of them might have just been, you know, ‘I really want to work at McDonald’s,'” he stated. “And so we worked with those students to build soft professional competencies — how to write a résumé for some of them, how to conduct an interview, how you dress for an interview, how you shake hands and things like that.”

Stevens then discovered himself in Florida, educating at a center college for 5 years and serving as a basketball and observe and discipline coach and pupil authorities coordinator.

However Stevens stated his “pioneer spirit” led him to Colorado, the place he was decided to make a profession within the hashish trade.

He began on the backside, working face-to-face with clients in a dispensary at Native Roots Cannabis Co., earlier than shifting up the ladder to supervisor of coaching {and professional} improvement. In that position, which he assumed in 2021, Stevens designed and developed custom-made and interactive classroom and e-learning options.

Now, Stevens leads the regulating entity for the state’s hashish trade because the second official director of the CCD. He comes into the job at a time when his division has ramped up compliance enforcement, an effort aimed toward eliminating dangerous actors within the trade. That, he says, is one thing he seems to be to proceed.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Journal after his first week on the job — throughout which he met leaders within the trade, lawmakers and his new employees — Stevens touched on how he obtained into the trade and what his hopes and targets are in main the CCD.

This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.

You went from educating to hopping into the hashish trade in Colorado. I am curious to know what sparked your curiosity in making that change in your profession.

“The interest was the pioneer spirit. It was this fledgling industry that I had an opportunity — that once in a lifetime, once in a generation comes up where you can get on the ground floor in an industry.

“I informed my father, who was a choose, that I used to be leaving public training, getting near tenure and shifting into this trade. And he checked out me and stated two issues: ‘Primary, you are still going to be serving to individuals, you may just do advantageous.’ After which he stated, ‘In the future, (you and) all your pals, you are gonna have footage and you are going to be those who began this all just like the 49ers, like pioneers.’ And it is what I discussed to my employees — that we get to make historical past.”

So your experience in cannabis comes with mostly one company in Colorado, Native Roots. From your résumé, it seems to be that you worked your way up to management from the bottom.

“Once I joined the trade, I joined entry degree. And to be sincere … with my background, my diploma, and my potential to construct groups — I in all probability might have utilized for managerial positions.

“I only know one way to lead, and that is from the front and by example. And so it was an opportunity to feel out and see what the folks that I was going to be managing what their experience was, what their challenges were, what their successes were. … And that was really important for me.

“I additionally wished to actually be taught the trade, and so while you stair-step up, it is type of like going to varsity. I obtained 100-level programs as a gross sales affiliate, I obtained 200-level programs as an assistant supervisor, after which retailer supervisor actually ready me for a job like this. I couldn’t have been on this position 5 years in the past as a result of I’d have made managerial errors that I did not know I did not know. …

“Then the opportunity for the manager of training and development came up, and that was something that I worked with the company to kind of expand that role. One of my ‘whys’ — why I do things — is I’m a lifelong learner, and I love to see others succeed. So I was able to take this background where I have a passion for educating people and leave breadcrumbs in a path for people that you can enter this industry at the bottom of the barrel and work your way up. And I’ve always wanted to be able to do that for people, to blaze the trail and lead to the path to show others that this is possible that you can come into a new industry and build yourself up.”

Did you see your self working your manner up the ladder like this within the hashish trade?

“Yes and no. I don’t think anyone sees themselves hoisting the trophy, so to speak, because you account for how you can get beat, how you can make errors. But I did have a five-year plan that I did expand once I got to store manager to 10 years. This position is kind of something that I was aiming for and not really knowing. … I have often said (that) I will never be the most talented person in the room, I’m not the smartest person in the room, but I’m willing to outwork people and take the path less traveled, so to speak. …

“Nonetheless, I’ll inform you I’m out of chess strikes at this level. …I must sit down (and) create one other five- or 10-year plan. However I’m simply so excited to be on this position and need to serve on this position so long as the governor can have me and any future governors that will appoint me once more. It aligns with my ardour; it aligns with a few of my beliefs. And I really like the New Mexico spirit of type of pioneer and do-it-yourself.”

How do you see this role of director of the CCD in terms of shaping the cannabis industry?

“My objective … in all probability might be summed up in three issues: I need to create truthful enterprise practices for everybody. I need to be certain that (hashish) stays out of the arms of the youth. And I need to assist be certain that each tax greenback goes to New Mexico and that we’re limiting the illicit market that is harmful to public security.

As New Mexicans, we’re not getting our tax {dollars} with that illicit market. We’re additionally operating the chance of getting a product that isn’t protected for consumption.

So these can be my greatest issues. I feel if we do these issues, I feel we’re gonna have a really profitable division that can rival anybody within the nation.”

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