Stereotypes might lead one to believe that the world of cannabis is all about testosterone and men. Priscilla Vilchis turns that assumption on its head, as she has quickly become a major player in the cannabis industry. Vilchis is the owner and CEO of Premium Produce, a recreational and medical cultivation and processing company.
Premium Produce has operations in both Nevada and California — and she’s flourishing in two of the largest legalization-leading states in the country. Vilchis’ companies also hold delivery and distribution licenses in California, and she was the first in two important categories in two states: She was the first minority female to get a cannabis license in L.A. County and the youngest female minority to have a license in Nevada.
Vilchis started her business in Nevada because they had comprehensive, common-sense regulations. She expanded her operations into her home state of California when their industry regulatory framework was implemented.
Passionate about aligning the law with reality while also creating safe and effective cannabis products for medical marijuana patients and responsible recreational consumers, Vilchis chose two burgeoning markets. With huge market demand, Los Angeles is predicted to be the largest cannabis market in the world, with Las Vegas following as the pinnacle in cannabis tourist destinations.
Part of this cannabis entrepreneur’s success is a result of effective marketing — Vilchis has a knack for making cannabis products attractive to consumers on multiple levels — part of her success is marketing her products to consumers where they not only appear healthy but also sexy and high-end.
Her products aren’t only sought after by women, either. After less than a year on the market, Vilchis’ weed brand, Reina, is one of the top sellers at Planet 13, the largest dispensary in Las Vegas. While her sleek glass containers make for attractive packaging, her best-selling stains are Ghost Train Haze and Wedding Cake, and sales between men and women almost evenly split.
Before diving into the cannabis industry, Vilchis formerly worked in healthcare, managing physicians in her life before becoming the Cannabis Queen of the Desert. She transitioned into cannabis as a response to the opioid crisis she witnessed first-hand.
With her success in the world of weed, it’s hard to realize Vilchis was raised in a conservative Roman Catholic family, where marijuana was demonized and the television channel was changed whenever the ‘devil’s lettuce’ was referenced. Needless to say, attitudes toward cannabis in Vilchis’ family has changed — today, three family members are on her business team, including her father, who handles security.
And, in a marketing move where personal and familial transitions into professional, Vilchis has drawn from her Hispanic heritage and has a line of edibles in the works.
Future Looks Bright
While marketing strategies might change and new consumers enter the marketplace, she remains true to her initial motivator — that the use of medical cannabis will result in health insurance savings. Her goal to use her expertise and success to generate reimbursements for medical cannabis remains.
Vilchis has high hopes about the future of legal cannabis across the country — for starters, it’s the fastest-growing industry in the United States, and it appears that federal lawmakers are heeding the call of legalization.
Despite the progress, Vilchis noted that continued federal prohibition has created a fragmented and broken regulatory system that is very hard to navigate. She remains optimistic however, with the developments on the banking side of the equation, which in her opinion would lead to more transparency within the cannabis industry.