Today we’d like to introduce you to Nadeem Al-Hasan, Thomas Rimbach.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Nadeem and Thomas. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Thomas and I come from broken families. Thomas’s mother had passed away just before I met him from a pharmaceutical drug overdose and I grew up in a household of drug abuse and an abusive alcoholic stepfather. Thomas having gone through such a loss made it his mission to combat the abuse of pharmaceuticals which led him down a path of learning about medicine and in line with a goal to become a doctor.
I had moved here to Arizona soon after I saw my college wrestling coach use cannabis as a medicine. This really caught my attention considering I used it recreationally. My coach was my idol at that time. A badass wrestler and who would all of a sudden be crippled by an IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).
Thomas and I had met in 2009 through a shared love…(cannabis). We learned about each other’s upbringing and past experiences which only strengthened the bond leading us to become best friends but had no intention of forming an edible company.
In late 2009, Thomas had made the decision to join the Navy where he served for 4 years. Soon after, he had left Arizona had legalized medical marijuana and I was among the first to grow here in Arizona under the AMMA laws. I had learned as much about cannabis as I possibly could which led me to move to Washington state where I had managed a dispensary and grow for a little over a year. I had moved back to Arizona once Thomas returned from the Navy.
Upon returning, he had used what he earned from the Navy to continue pursuing his initial goal of becoming a doctor and started schooling. During this time I was caregiving and providing for patients throughout the Phoenix area and was attending what used to be known as the Medical Marijuana Farmers Markets. This was a place where patients could access medicine long before the state-licensed dispensaries had come around. At these farmer’s markets, we noticed how inaccurate the edibles being provided by vendors were. There would be cookies, brownies, and all kinds of edibles put in sandwich bags slapped with an Avery label that read “1000mg”. Which having been in Washington state where the market was way ahead of Arizona in regards to testing we knew that was bullshit. There was NO way there was 1000mg in that single edible.
With Thomas learning about chemistry and biology and myself having been involved in cannabis cultivation and learning about the plant we saw an opportunity and we had officially begun Baked Bros in 2014. We were driving down the I-17 when the Event Coordinator for the High Times Cannabis Cup called needing a name for our booth. It just clicked after a little brainstorming, and we loved it because it spoke to where we were at that stage in our lives. We were best friends who loved cannabis.
Fast forward to today, we are Arizona’s #1 Edible Company, we have more than 35 employees, and can be found in 80 dispensaries through the state of Arizona and are soon to be operating in CA under our own license.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A smooth road? HA. More like jumping out of an airplane at 20,000 ft while putting the parachute together on the way down. Thomas (30) and I (29) are young. We’ve had to develop and put practices in place in order to stay humble and not get ahead of our selves. Practices that are unconventional such as having our executive team learn each other love and apology languages or Start, Stop, & Continue practices where we each choose something about one another that we should start, stop, and continue doing. Exercises like this that focus on leveling up each of our EQ (emotional intelligence) has been tremendous for our growth. Developing a strong team that has clear and open channels of communication is a constant project that we are focused on growing and making better daily.
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