Conversation with Liz Conway, President of goodblend Pennsylvania, Parallel | Sponsored | Sponsored Content | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Conversation with Liz Conway, President of goodblend Pennsylvania, Parallel

Liz Conway, the President of goodblend, Pennsylvania, a cannabis growing, processing and retail company, is a dynamic woman with a mission to bring cannabis wellness to Pennsylvania. We sat down to ask her what inspired her to join a cannabis company, what her vision is for goodblend, and how goodblend is poised to bring new jobs to the area.

What inspired you to go to work for a cannabis company?

When I was fresh out of law school, I worked with people with HIV and AIDS. Their cannabis use was something I worried about until I came to understand how cannabis helped their appetite, neuropathy, anxiety, and sleep. It was such an eye-opener that I became an advocate for cannabis legalization. After working in IT and health care, I was excited to take skills I learned in startups as well as in blue-chip health care and translate them to a well-being company in an industry I am passionate about.

What was the path to your current role as the President of goodblend PA?

In 2015, I started a company that helped startups emerge in highly regulated environments. Cannabis quickly became a large portion of that company’s portfolio and my partners, and I helped numerous cannabis companies in their domestic and foreign strategy and operations. I joined Parallel, the parent company of goodblend PA, and one of the largest privately-held multi-state operators in the country in 2019. I originally worked as a Director of their California market operations, and then was promoted to President of the Florida market. When Parallel won the license to operate in Pennsylvania, I jumped at the chance to lead the roll-out of our business in Pennsylvania.

As President of goodblend Pennsylvania, I’m leading the roll-out of Parallel’s new operations in this high-growth cannabis market. It is exciting to launch our vertically integrated operations — the growing, processing, and retail sides of the business, where every step of the way, we are helping to pioneer well-being and improve the quality of life through cannabis.

How does it feel to be a woman at a high profile cannabis company?

Parallel has women leaders at every level, so I’m in good company, and we have the support of a leadership team that values diversity.

Why the name goodblend?

The goodblend brand promise is to make customers feel so good about their experience that they come back again and again. The ethos of goodblend is based on Parallel’s commitment to compliance, quality, consistency, and innovation, and on our actions to improve diversity, inclusivity, and economic empowerment in the cannabis industry, and to be a great employer and local community partner.

What do you think makes goodblend PA stand out in the cannabis industry?

We stand out in a couple of ways. First, our clinical research project is really special. goodblend’s parent company, Parallel, was granted a Clinical Registrant license in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in August 2020. The Clinical Research Partnership with University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, one of the leading medical research schools in the world, will initially focus on the impact of medicinal cannabis on various symptoms of sickle cell disease and chronic pain.

Our vertically integrated capability is also a standout. We will carry a variety of great products from many amazing cultivars that I will be proud to share a shelf with. And, we will always know that our goodblend products have our commitment to quality from seed to sale.

What we are doing with the community is also standout. Who we reach, recruit, hire, and train should infuse some of the local economies and those disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs. We are hiring local, people from all backgrounds. In an operation that has agriculture and science and manufacturing and transportation and sales, there is something for everyone.

What is the employee work culture you’re building at goodblend PA?

Our culture is hard-working and dedicated, and we bring our whole selves to work with integrity in every decision and execution point. We want a culture of trust and truth, and that means we support the Parallel mission, vision, and values in every interaction. This is not always easy, and I will be the first to say, I fail at sometimes when I get going too fast, but a steady effort makes a difference, and the humility to say I am sorry and start again are crucial. We focus on collaboration, accountability, inclusivity, alignment, and agility all with a priority on well-being for our people and the communities we work in. Without these, we would not be where we are in this very dynamic industry.

What is the role that social equity plays in building goodblend in PA?

goodblend is committed to advancing social equity through meaningful actions and partnerships that positively impact our communities — actions that address diversity and inclusion, as well as competitive salaries, benefits, and job empowerment. We’re honored to be partnering with companies such as the Bidwell Training Center and the Minority Cannabis Business Association to host educational webinars, expungement events, and more throughout the year.

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