St. Louis Based Cannabis Consultant on Passion, Place and Purpose

Zach Greene, an Advisory Board Member for Homeplan, completed this interview with EQ last year, but for various reasons I’d not gotten around to publishing it. Noticing that it was #420 on the internet today, now seemed a good time to introduce him and his consulting company, Quarter Coast, which specializes in highly regulated domestic cannabis markets.

How did you first get involved in the local startup community? Were you involved in other entrepreneurial communities before this one?

I moved back home to STL from DC in 2016, at the time I was working for a large consulting company and I came home to work for a startup in the medical cannabis space.

This wasn’t a very lively scene in STL at the time, but that quickly changed as medical cannabis was legalized in 2018.

I hadn’t had much entrepreneurial experience prior to moving back to St. Louis.

Your Passion

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

The ability to wake up and inspire others to be better people. I am so grateful to have been raised in a loving family, and I feel it is my calling to spread that love to both family, friends, and strangers in this world we live in. There are so many challenges in this world, and we can take a glass half empty approach so easily, but flipping that switch completely changes the game, and that’s the game I prefer to play!

What keeps you up at night?

All of the challenges that families across the world face, social equity, sustainability, gun control, etc. The list doesn’t stop! It is hard to stomach and fathom how we have gotten to this place, but yet as grim as it can seem at times, we still can make a difference every day and change these hardships in the long run. We have to take a step by step approach, because tackling it all at once can be very daunting.

What’s one thing youโ€™d love to learn and why?

I want to continue learning more about our mind/body relationship, and how our entire society can further tap into this relationship and ultimately change the collective consciousness of this world.

What can people find you doing when youโ€™re not in โ€œwork-modeโ€?

Cooking, Yoga, Working out, hanging with family and friends, going to sports games, playing golf, reading. I have many hobbies, and a very large network of family and friends so it makes time fly, like many I would kill for a few more hours each day! I don’t understand how people can ever be bored!

What places would you recommend newcomers to the St. Louis startup ecosystem and innovation scene should go and explore?

Well, the Cortex is top of mind, especially in non-pandemic times. There are so many exciting areas in STL, I love Cherokee St. and the Grove, as I feel that they both offer so much upside and potential. I also really love Dogtown, as I called that area home for the past few years!

Your Purpose

Would you consider yourself a startup entrepreneur?

Absolutely, and I am so happy to be an entrepreneur. It means that every day, I wake up, and I have the potential to either create the life of my dreams, or sit stagnant and do nothing. I am an incredibly competitive person, so I believe the life of an entrepreneur was made for me. With that being said, over the years I have truly learned the value in community, and I love how many entrepreneurs are constantly looking to collaborate to help not only grow personally, but to grow their local communities.

Name three qualities of character that you feel really make a difference in business:

Authenticity, Transparency, Honesty.

These are all very similar, but I feel that these are the most important traits one can exude in business and life. An authentic person will always let you know what is on their mind, and that is the way we should all live. Same with transparency, if someone is hiding something from you, especially in the business world, no thank you, that is not the person I want to deal with. Lastly, honesty is a characteristic that is a must for me. If you can’t show me that you are honest, time after time, then I will not be interested in working with you.

Who are your local role models in the St. Louis startup innovation community?

Sebastian Jones. This is someone that has worked incredibly hard after moving back to STL from California a few years back, where he was incredibly successful in the music industry before venturing into the Startup world. In coming home, he has prioritized two things, family and hard work. To me, that says it all right there. That is someone that I look up to, and I want to work with and for.

Who do you think are the hidden heroes of St. Louis?

All of the small business owners that continue to put their blood, sweat, and tears into their business day in and day out. This city is nothing without them.

Your Place

What put St. Louis on your map as a place to expand to?

This is my hometown, I wish I had a better answer for you. That being said, it’s a great hometown and seeing the growth of the city as it relates to the startup scene has been great to witness!

Can you describe the moment you decided to really commit to what you’re doing now?

2016. When I joined the cannabis industry, I started hearing stories about the patients that were truly helped by this plant. When I moved back to STL, and started seeing this first hand, my passion was truly awakened. At that point, I was all in and knew I was in it for the long haul.

What are the problems, issues or opportunities that youโ€™re addressing?

Opioid abuse, Social Equity issues, and many more. These issues are incredibly prevalent here in St. Louis, and the medical cannabis space is doing its’ part in trying to address them. With that being said, there is a long way to go as it relates to creating an equitable and just marketplace in medical cannabis, not just in Missouri but in the Country.

Does our innovation ecosystem offer any unique advantages?

I can’t say, as all of my experiences have been based in STL.

Where do you see it going in the next five years?

I see tremendous potential in St. Louis. Spending time at the Cortex especially, I see all of the potentiality this city has. Being around Forest Park and seeing the WashU students and all of their upbeat optimism, it brings a smile to my face. We have such hope in this city, even though there are challenges abound everywhere you look.