In the cannabis industry, it’s not unusual to see companies that are unique in some ways. But few stand out in the way that California-based Sparx has done in the legal marijuana market.
They are a family-owned business that considers themselves a “Mom and Pop” business. However, the Sparx company has become thought leaders in how to market and manage a cannabis company. And they have also supported diversity, promoting a woman to one of the top spots in the company.
The products, though, are how all cannabis companies are judged. Sparx has excelled in this area, as well, providing marijuana-based products using sustainable methods while becoming one of the largest cannabis cultivation and distribution companies in the state.
The Family Behind Sparx
Sparx is headquartered in Monterey County, California. They produce the Sparx Cannabis brand Excite, which is pre-rolled cannabis that “complements your everyday active life.” Excite is advertised as the perfect complement for jumpstarting your morning routine, taking a hike or finishing a big project.
Everything about Sparx is local and sustainable. The company is family-owned. None of the cannabis flower used by Sparx is outsourced. The company cultivates everything themselves. They have more than 100,000 square feet of operational space on the Central California Coast.
Sparx also is committed to solar power and other sustainable energy sources and growing practices.
The company is led by CEO Howard Helfant, who has years of experience as an entrepreneur. His businesses have included the Kosher Mosher deli in Manhattan, The Rotisserie in Coral Springs, Fla., and the Skinny Senorita cocktail mixer brand. Dr. Jared Helfant is co-founder and president, while Jordan Helfant is also a co-founder and director of sales.
Clearly, it’s a family affair. But the Helfants are striving to redefine what being a “mom and pop” business means in the cannabis industry by becoming leaders. The mission of the company is to “remove the stigma and stereotypes that are associated with cannabis by showing how cannabis fits into the motto “Everyone, Everyday.”
Former Firefighter Becomes VP
Another notable member of the team is Trish Hansen, a Carmel Valley native who became the state of California’s youngest certified firefighter at the age of 16. Hansen is now vice president at Sparx.
Between those two events, she trained to become a paramedic. She shifted into the cannabis industry initially to have a more consistent schedule, which helped her as a working mother of three. She eventually held jobs overseeing day-to-day operations in scheduling, human resources, payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable.
Her hands-on attitude has helped her become a successful female executive in cannabis. In an interview with Green Entrepreneur, she said that “I have never expected or asked for a handout. I pride myself in getting to where I am at because I worked just as hard or harder as any other man or woman that would strive to be in my position.”
Hansen also said the biggest obstacle in working in the cannabis industry is “the ever-changing laws and rules. As a cannabis company, we all need to be on top of the regulations and ensure our team members are up to date as well.”
She added, “This is an industry that is continuing to evolve and you have to be incredibly flexible and incredibly prepared for whatever might be thrown at you.”
Thought Leadership in The Industry
Sparx also has positioned itself as a thought leader in their industry. In an article written for Green Entrepreneur, Jared Helfant wrote that cannabis businesses face a challenge in the highly regulated cannabis market.
He wrote that too many become “another California cannabis casualty.” He wrote about key areas every cannabis business should focus on:
- Sufficient funding
- Understanding restrictions and requirements
- Building a strong brand
- Getting to know the competition
- Understanding banking issues with cannabis
Speaking of brand, Sparx has created one not only with their pre-rolled cannabis but also with a variety of merchandise. That includes hats, hoodies, sweatpants, and T-shirts. The company has launched a YouTube channel to promote their products and approach to running a cannabis business.
Sparx stands out from other companies in how it has changed what being a “family-owned” business means. They have earned a leadership position in the cannabis industry through hard work, offering a quality product and hiring creative leaders. They are showing that the future of cannabis is not necessarily corporate or bigger – just better for the consumer.