Uniting People and Science in Cannabis: Meet Michelle and Garrett

Caroline Morris
October 29, 2018

Michelle Whitmore and Garrett Cropsey represent two huge sectors of the cannabis industry: people and science. As our Director of People, Michelle loves the diversity of the cannabis industry and working with the unique blend of people who have banded together to advance the movement. Garrett was attracted to the industry from the science side, having graduated from CU Boulder with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Both team members are working to shape the future of the cannabis industry on a national level by serving on two different National Cannabis Industry Association Committees. Get to know them beyond their resumes and see why they are such valued members of the Canna team!

Michelle Whitmore, Director of People

What is your role at Canna Advisors?
I’m responsible for all people programs, including HR programs, administration, and recruiting.

What inspired you to work in the cannabis industry?
I’ve always had a love for emerging technology and services and have a career that is almost exclusively based in start-ups. I love building and creating, and where better to do so than in an industry that didn’t even exist a few years ago?

What job(s) were you doing before joining Canna Advisors?
I’m typically a department of one, creating and managing an HR department from the ground up. My roots are in the video game industry, but I’ve also worked in other high-tech organizations as well as some roles within technical recruitment agencies.

What’s the best thing about working at Canna Advisors?
The people! It’s truly my professional ‘home’ where my success is only limited by my own aptitude and effort.

Tell us something you do every day, without fail:
Maybe not quite without fail, but I try to start every day with some type of workout, whether it’s running or taking a class at the YMCA. Helps me get up and going, ready to slay the day.

Where are you from? If not from Colorado, what brought you here?
I’m originally from Rockford, IL which is near the greater Chicago metro. After graduating from the University of Illinois, I met my husband in my very first job out of college, which happened to be in a video game studio in downtown Chicago. We’ve lived in many cities in many states since then, and his job brought us to Boulder where we’re now firmly settled.

What cities have you lived in?
Rockford, IL – Urbana, IL – Champaign, IL – Chicago, IL – Seattle, WA – Austin, TX – Los Angeles, CA – Tulsa, OK – Santa Clara, CA – San Francisco, CA – Boulder, CO
I’d like to think this is our forever home, but who knows where life will take us next!

What do you do in your spare time?
What is this spare time you speak about???

When I do get the chance to do something just for me, you can usually find me adventuring in whatever game I’m playing. Currently, my level 50 Warlock is running around the Destiny 2 universe.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have a wonderful husband, John, for 19 years and counting. We have two kiddos—our son, Ian, who’s 10, and our daughter Rearden, turning 6 this month.

We also have two cats, Banshee and Ghost. Fellow gamers will recognize these names as vehicles that can be found in Halo.

What are you watching right now?
Mostly football, but the Eagles and the Bears have been equally exciting as well as infuriating.

Interesting/little-known/unique fact(s) about you?
Time travel confounds me. Truly. I can’t wrap my head around how the rules change in a given show or movie, why some things are okay but others mess with a timeline and completely screw up the universe. It’s inconsistent and I’m getting angry just writing this…

Favorites
Favorite quote: Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Favorite author(s): Ayn Rand, Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman, Tim Powers, Iain Banks, John Scalzi, just to name a few. I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like, but when I do, I immerse myself in someone’s sci fi world.
Favorite smell(s): Clean laundry. Anything citrus-y.
Favorite sound: My kiddos laughing! Also the quiet of the house as I get ready to start waking the family for school or work.
Favorite place: Home.
Favorite way to consume cannabis: My Pax 3 is always at hand.

What do you order at a bar or coffee shop?
Always wine. Although, in the month of December, a peppermint mocha from Starbucks is my guilty pleasure.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
The ability to make irrational people become rational! (and if that’s not a superpower, it should be!)

Garrett Cropsey, Project Manager – Delivery

What is your role at Canna Advisors?
As a Project Manager at Canna Advisors, I write and develop custom content for competitive cannabis business ventures. I work with clients directly, managing internal and external resources, to ensure the materials we produce uphold Canna Advisors’ high standards and the client’s own vision for their business, all within the regulatory constraints of the city and state in question.

What inspired you to work in the cannabis industry?
I was inspired to work in the cannabis industry because it forms a unique intersection of different interests of mine: biology, history, and anthropology. Cannabis’ expansive pharmacology, unique history, and intense debate surrounding its use all make for a far more interesting line of work than almost any other!

What job(s) were you doing before joining Canna Advisors?
I spent time working in both the geoscience and biotech industries, amongst others, prior to beginning work in cannabis. The knowledge I gained as a result of that work has definitely informed my perspective within the cannabis industry and I’ve been able to translate a lot of useful practices, especially from biotech, from one to the other.

Favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my role as Project Manager are the diverse projects I get to work on and helping clients bring their ideas into sharper focus. The unique challenges presented in each project offer problem solving opportunities that make each day a little different, and that variability keeps me engaged in my work.

What’s the best thing about working at Canna Advisors?
The Canna team really emphasizes cooperation to support each other during challenging situations and tight deadlines. It always feels good when a group can work together towards a common goal and share in the rewards and sense of accomplishment. Also, Friday happy-hours are pretty great!

Describe a really big accomplishment:
On September 13th, 1959, the United States first put a man on the moon! As for my personal accomplishments, I’m most proud of:
• Having my senior thesis published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal;
• Making the cover page of Maximum Yield Magazine with an article I wrote on soil health;
• Winning the Rocky Mountain Battle of the Bands in the Rock category with my old band; and,
• Getting appointed to NCIA’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

Where are you from? If not from Colorado, what brought you here?
I’m from Massachusetts originally and moved out to Colorado to attend CU-Boulder in 2006.

What cities have you lived in?
Longmeadow, MA – Dunedin, New Zealand – Boulder, CO

What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy hiking, camping, skiing, making cocktails, collecting records, and learning how to DJ, amongst other things.

Travel Wish List?
I’m fortunate to have travelled quite a bit with family and friends over the years. While I’d welcome the opportunity to travel most anywhere, at this time I’m interested in increasing my fluency in Spanish and exploring Central and South America. I’ve only been as far south as Costa Rica but my experience there and on my recent first trip to Mexico really piqued my interest for the region as a whole!

What are you watching right now?
The Great British Baking Show, Westworld, Black Mirror, Game of Thrones, and a few others off and on.

Interesting/little-known/unique fact(s) about you?
I can solve a Rubik’s Cube!

Favorites
Favorite quote(s): “All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” – Leo Tolstoy.
“Be still and the earth will speak to you.” – Navajo proverb.
Favorite author(s): Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, Philip K. Dick, and Michael Pollan.
Favorite smell(s): Petrichor – the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.
A hardwood fire.
Fresh basil, mint, or really any herbs.
Favorite sound: *Rap Air Horn*
The silence of skiing trees on a powder day.
Rain on a roof.
Favorite places: Squam Lake, NH.
Science and natural history museums.
Record shops.
Botanic gardens.
Open air markets.
Favorite food(s): Indian, Mexican, fresh seafood, but I really just love trying new foods!
Favorite way to consume cannabis: Vaporizer and edibles. Spliffs if I’m with the right crowd and feeling indulgent.

Will you name a few items on your bucket list?
Travel to the remaining continents I have not been to yet, Antarctica last!
Ski in Canada, Europe, and Japan.
Go on safari in Africa.
Climb all the 14ers in Colorado.
Own my own business.

What do you order at a bar or coffee shop?
At an “ok” bar: gin and tonic. At an “ok” coffeeshop: black coffee. At a “good” bar: any Tiki-style drink or their most interesting cocktail or bartender’s choice. At a “good” coffeeshop: a macchiato or an exotic coffee french-press / pourover.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Telekinesis, Kyle!

If you were a MLB player, what would your walkout song be?
Colder Than Ice – POND

What else should we know about you?
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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