In business, just as in nature, change is not just inevitable; it’s necessary for growth.

For BeLeaf Medical, leadership changes over the last several months signal a pivotal shift towards a brighter, more fruitful future. A return to form and passion-driven leadership has pushed the BeLeaf house of brands back toward the top of the Missouri marijuana landscape.

Recently, Greenway spoke to Co-founder Kevin Riggs and Joey Pintozzi, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, to discuss the reshaping of BeLeaf, diving deep into their strategic vision, and the importance of creating and maintaining a culture rooted in trust and quality.

Leadership transitions can often reflect a company’s readiness to embrace a new direction.

Kevin Riggs | BeLeaf Medical

“As in all things, change at times can be uncomfortable. But growth and progress usually come from those uncomfortable moments and decisions,” Pintozzi explained. “The Beleaf culture is a strong culture. One that, through these changes, is focused on the growth of this company and its people.”

“We’re constantly moving forward,” Riggs stated. “But, for Mitch Myers, Tom Muzzy, and I, stepping back into leadership, our first focus was on our guiding principles, “for the love of the plant”.

“As long as that plant is in the care of anybody in our organization, we owe it to our consumers to treat it with the respect and kindness of any living creature. We expect our people to be talking to it, singing to it, and nuturing it. We expect them to be letting that plant know from that from infancy until we hand her off to our consumers how grateful we are for her and all that she gives us.”

“That’s the basis, that’s the foundation,” Riggs said. Riggs, Myers, and Muzzey represent a significant portion of the true roots of legal cannabis in Missouri.

BeLeaf was the first company legally able to grow cannabis plants in the state under the CBD laws, well before medical marijuana was legalized and even ahead of federal hemp legislation.

From there, BeLeaf was looked at as the darling of Missouri marijuana brands early on, originally bringing SWADE, Sinse, and Phytos to market at the birth of legal marijuana, But as staff and leadership changed, BeLeaf seemed to head the route of corporatization.

With decisions that often seemed to point in opposing directions simultaneously, BeLeaf appeared to lack passion.

The resurgence of founding members in leadership and the addition of key new personnel, like Pintozzi, who believe in the mission, has BeLeaf poised to reclaim its place as atop the mountain.

BeLeaf is a team of people who genuinely care about cannabis and the people,” Pintozzi told Greenway. “It was an easy transition,” he continued. “The people of this company got me excited about this opportunity.”

“From my prior dealings in cannabis here in Missouri I had spent time working with the BeLeaf team and a lot of the faces I now get to call my teammates. After spending time with Mitch Myers, Kevin Riggs, Tom Muzzy, and some of the brilliant operators and creatives in this company we easily aligned.”

Joey Pintozzi | BeLeaf Medical

In his role with BeLeaf, Pintozzi contributes to the marketing, retail, and wholesale divisions. Bringing his expertise and flair for impactful brand building and engagement to a company that aims to reintroduce itself to the cannabis community, revitalized and impassioned.

In discussing the new direction and reinvigoration of BeLeaf, Riggs’ passion is evident. He speaks about cannabis and the company with love, reflecting on where the company has stumbled at times – not with malice, but instead with a clearly defined path of where he sees the company headed, and where he clearly does not want it to tread again.

It’s what we were rooted in. It’s in our name, we are BeLeaf Medical” Riggs said. “That’s who we are. Now, we have some course-correction to get there. I think admittedly too without casting any dispersion backward, going through the growth spurts that it took to fire up med and then to fire up rec. This is our third company. The first company was CBD, the second was medical, the third company is recreational. And make no bones about it, they are drastically different companies because they’re drastically different operations. But who we are at our foundation is, BeLeaf Medical, a company that is passionate about the plant and the people.”

For BeLeaf, adult use legalization has created another opportunity.

“[Adult use legalization means] access!” Pintozzi exclaims. “With that access now being given here in Missouri it is our job to go above and beyond with high-quality products, a resonating customer experience, and a convenient method or process of getting the products you seek. Whether it’s our stores, e-commerce, or now home delivery. It is our job to provide access to the plant to the masses who now have that access due to legalization.”

A look inside the Sinse cultivation facility | Halle Cornelius

For Riggs, the adult use legalization and the “third company” as he put it, mean an opportunity to complete the vision. “Now, we’re directing the culture. We have expectations of accountability in the culture. I think if you look at some of the additions that we made, they are culturally befitting to what people would have expected us to be,” he explained.

That revitalized culture and a team full of leaders who buy into the mission are what leave Pintozzi enthusiastic about the opportunity to reclaim and reposition the BeLeaf brands in the market. “The most important strategy we can utilize is trust,” he stressed. “Trust among our communities and the people, our industry, all retailers, and patients and customers who purchase our products. And most importantly our teammates here at Beleaf. If you take care of the people first while working toward incremental changes and consistency the revenues will take care of themselves.”

Riggs echoes Pintozzi’s sentiment about the importance of the teams and people under the Beleaf umbrella and addresses one of the key changes that have taken place alongside the changes to leadership.

“Our goals are always just to keep being the best we can be, and I think we’ve still got a little bit of time to keep engraining that into our mindset. We had a very siloed culture when we stepped back in. Marketing didn’t talk to dispensaries, dispensaries didn’t talk to sales. I mean, it was all centralized, and then those decisions were made and then passed down. Now, we’ve created more of a matrix or a web of decision-making and communication,” he continued. “ We have to support that for a little while. Because [the team] isn’t going to buy that change until they’ve gotten to give input and be heard and supported.”

Sinse on display

“That takes some time to integrate,” Riggs stated.

“From hospitality to cannabis and through all my past business failures and successes, I have learned to zero in on what is important. In business, there are a lot of things out of your control. Coming together as a team and determining what it is you want to accomplish, and most importantly how to get there is everything. The team is intact and they are passionate and ready. I hope my background of grit, focus, and with the emphasis on the team will contribute to successfully accomplishing our objectives over the upcoming years. Most importantly, let’s have fun.

Looking ahead, Pintozzi summarizes the future in two words. “Opportunity & Growth.”

“We strive to be among the most trusted vertically integrated operations here in Missouri and wherever the journey may lead us. If people always think of trust and quality when experiencing our cultivated & manufactured products, or get a feeling of trust and enjoy a resonating customer experience at our retail locations, then we are in the right position,” he said.

As the interview came to an end, Riggs reiterated the importance of the ethos that is being rebuilt at BeLeaf. “I believe that at the end of the day, your culture is a huge part of what you can offer the consumer. I don’t ever want to be involved in an organization when the culture doesn’t matter,” he said.

As BeLeaf continues to reclaim its footing as one of the state’s top cannabis companies, Riggs and his team have even more reason to be excited.

“We have never had all of the tools in place to be this good,” Riggs said with a smile.

Leadership’s commitment to its people, quality, and community remains unwavering. “2024 will be an exciting year for BeLeaf,” Pintozzi promised, teasing new offerings and innovations on the horizon.

As BeLeaf Medical reshapes its future, the shared vision of leadership for a company that not only adapts to change but thrives because of it signals a new chapter – one filled with promise, growth, and a dedication to fostering a culture that values the cannabis plant as much as other companies value the cannabis industry.

The post Reshaping BeLeaf: Defining a vision for the future appeared first on Greenway Magazine.