Location: Earth City, MO
Industry: Medical Cannabis
“I have had several jobs that were major departures from what I had been doing and seemed very risky. At the time, everyone thought I was crazy. Now they think I was actually ‘lucky’ to have gotten involved. We’ll call that perspective,” said Mitch Meyers, the first licensed cannabis producer in Missouri.
Mitch Meyers spent several years in accounting right out of college. With financial fundamentals under her belt, she gravitated toward sales and marketing and landed a job with Anheuser-Busch. There, Meyers launched Bud Light, still the largest-selling beer brand in the U.S. Meyers also introduced the now-iconic Spuds MacKenzie mascot, moving ahead despite an initial “no go” from leadership, who told her the Clydesdale was the only animal who would ever represent the company.
After leaving Anheuser-Busch, Meyers and several partners formed The Zipatoni Company, a marketing and brand development agency, and by 1996 she was named AdWeek's Advertising Woman of the Year. She and her partners built the agency to 350 employees with offices in five states and $42 million in revenue annually. In 2001, Zipatoni was acquired, and Meyers ostensibly retired.
But retirement didn’t really suit, and after a while she became intrigued by the medical cannabis industry. Always a lifelong learner, she studied up and was among the first to win a medical dispensary license in Illinois in 2013.
Soon after, in 2015, she applied for a cultivation, production and dispensing license in Missouri, specifically to cultivate cannabis high in CBD to treat intractable epilepsy patients. In 2019, she led a team to participate in the state’s full medical cannabis program, receiving 10 licenses to cultivate, manufacture and dispense. She also continues to consult with companies around the country on cannabis business. Meyer’s seasoned marketing expertise, coupled with her passion for the plant and products and the ultimate patients, makes her one of the leading faces of the cannabis industry nationally.
“Beleaf believes in the power of natural plant medicine to support human health and wellness,” said Meyers. “The goal is to bring cannabis out of the black market, and into the legal, taxed and regulated market to provide safe, tested and reliable medicine for those in need.”
Up next, BeLeaf Medical is poised to participate in the adult use market in early 2023. This will require further expansion of its cultivation facilities and a 25% increase in staffing. The company is poised to grow from $23 million in revenue to over $80 million in the next year or two, employing over 200 people in the St. Louis area.
To meet expansion needs, BeLeaf raised all its capital from local Missouri individuals and entrepreneurs who wanted to be involved in the new industry. “It was more time consuming than other investment options,” Meyers said, “but it created more opportunity for people to have a stake in this new, growing market.”
Mitch was a member of a three-person team at Anheuser-Busch that introduced Bud Light in 1982. She worked with her Ad Agency to create a mascot, Spuds MacKenzie. When she first presented the idea to Senior Management, they did not initially support the concept. In a few months she pushed forward with the idea and the rest is history.