4 Questions With Holland Green Executive Sales Lead Sabin MacPhee
Born and raised in the famous Emerald Triangle, cannabis has always been a part of Sabin MacPhee’s life. Little did he know a lifestyle and career change geared toward health and wellness would set him off on a winding path through nutraceuticals and back to cannabis.
Now, as Holland Green Science’s executive sales director, Sabin is eagerly looking to help bring the legal cannabis industry into new domestic and international markets, always with an eye on the cultural and community-based aspects of the plant that he grew up with. Learn more about Sabin’s background, how he got back to the cannabis industry, and how he expects Holland Green Science to make an unforgettable impact in the cannabis extraction space.
Q: How did you first get involved in the cannabis industry?
Sabin MacPhee (SM): I grew up in the Emerald Triangle, in Mendocino County [California]. I’ve just been around cannabis my whole life. That’s how we all supported ourselves in the legacy market. So, as far as the roots of it and the lifestyle goes, I’ve been there since Day One.
I went to UC-Santa Cruz and graduated with a BA in digital film and video production, but once I graduated college, I decided I wanted to get more into the world of business. Shortly after that, I went through a bit of a health crisis. The doctors didn’t tell me much about it or how I could have prevented it, and I was pretty frustrated. So I decided to learn more about health and wellness on my own and landed a position at a health food store that valued employee and customer education.
From there, I worked my way into the nutraceutical field and that’s where I got my chops in sales. – I worked in the nutraceutical space for about 15 years. I ended up as sales manager for a couple of brands, helping to launch some brands, and eventually got into research and development (R&D) formulations of raw materials.
In 2016, I was headhunted by a large, well known cannabis company in Sonoma County. They were looking for somebody to help with the sales team and work directly under their sales director.I ended up going because I was ready to get back into the cannabis game. At that point, cannabis had been medically legal for a while and was fairly well established, so I thought it was time to merge my two skill sets: my cannabis background and my sales background.
I was promoted to Sales Director and eventually R&D and product development. But I had also been talking to the founder of a well-known equipment manufacturer in the cannabis space and eventually he offered me a job. I really did want to know more about botanical extraction, so I ended up joining and building the sales program there. After a couple of years, I left (following an acquisition), and ended up meeting Michael, joining him at Holland Green Science.
Q: What is your primary skillset, and how does that influence your role on the Holland Green Science leadership team?
SM: I have a lot of experience in looking at organizations and seeing where the gaps exist in their process. My role is to identify gaps in the existing process, streamline workflows, and educate staff around the new process accordingly. In that way, I make sure we could go out as a team and accurately represent our products and services to customers and partners.
At Holland Green Science, my role is much the same, but we’ve already got such a strong foundation and foothold in international markets that it makes it really easy just to build purposefully toward the future. We don’t really need to go back and retrofit anything because the infrastructure is already sound. So, it’s exciting to really be able to lead from the front and do it at a company that I think not only understands the roots of cannabis culture and the community that started this industry, but also the global landscape and how the global legal cannabis industry will evolve in the next 5 to 10 years.
Q: What role do you see Holland Green Science playing in the advancement of the cannabis extraction space?
SM: I see Holland Green Science as filling two voids, both of which are very exciting to me.
The first is to bring well-designed, high-quality products to market that are well-built and cost-effective for our customers. And the space really needs it; there are some companies that are really high-end but they’re expensive, and then there are others that are cheap but the products fail after about a year’s time. Holland Green Science is going to come in and fill the void between those market segments.
The other thing is honoring the culture of cannabis, understanding where it came from and where it’s going. Who paved the way and paid the price for the current opportunity that we all have? That’s really big for me because I feel like a lot of current players aren’t really there or don’t care to honor the culture. They either lack respect for the culture or then they lack the necessary professionalism.
Additionally, I think Holland Green Science is going to really excel internationally. I’m watching the market mature here in the U.S. It’s less of a “green rush” now and more that you have MSOs buying up assets in each state. Things are changing drastically in the states and in Canada. But we are currently seeing that “green rush” happen across the globe. All these regions are rushing to be the latest and greatest player in cannabis and everyone wants to export to Europe – there’s a lot of activity and opportunity out there.
Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the cannabis extraction space and how does Holland Green Science help meet it?
SM: The cannabis industry is going to be all over the globe. There’s a lot of money to be made and business to be done out there, but many capital goods producers aren’t ready for it. Very few have their GMP standards in place. And many certifications are missing, too: Most cannabis companies don’t have ISO 9001 certification, so they cannot achieve CE certification, and they can’t ship to Europe. And even if they did, they don’t have the regional service teams in place and cannot offer local or regional support to their international customers.
What excites me about Holland Green Science is we’re already international and have already taken these standards into account. For the mom and pop shops that are still out there, or the people who are transitioning from the traditional market to the legal market, they have to start somewhere. Most of them rely on the people selling them the necessary technology to be experts in the field. At Holland Green Science, we’ll teach them the SOPs and teach them how to do it with safe practices. I think that’s hugely important.
Keep up to date with Sabin and Holland Green Science
Get the latest news, updates, and information from Sabin and all the leadership at Holland Green Science. Connect with Sabin on LinkedIn to learn more about Holland Green Science extraction equipment availability and pricing.