Leaf Trade sat down with Kevin MacConnell and Timothy Phillips, co-owners and founders of Yamna based out of Massachusetts, to discuss why a micro-business licensure was the right choice, how they’ve grown with the support of local community, and how they’re leveraging Leaf Trade to increase operational efficiency.
The Yamna Namesake
Inspired by a nomadic culture from the late copper age who touted the benefits of the cannabis plant throughout travels across Eastern Europe and Asia, co-founders Kevin MacConnell and Timothy Phillips could think of no better name to represent their mission upon founding their company. The Yamnayan people are most widely-recognized for being amongst the first to utilize the wheel, and one of the first historical records of society’s use of cannabis – fast forward 6,000 years and Yamna was born!
What Does It Mean to be a Micro-Business?
A micro-business is comprised of three licenses combined into one, including a Tier One cultivation license, a manufacturing license, and a transportation license. Through this merger, a small business category is created in the cannabis sector, allowing smaller shops to stake ownership in all facets of the organization, giving them more ownership and a broadened understanding for the category.
At the onset of Yamna, MacConnell and Phillips were in their mid-20s and wanted to have a heavy hand in every aspect of the enterprise. Building a business from the ground up with an obsession for the details, from the strains they produce to the way they grow their product, a small business licensure was the only authentic option for them. Not did they strive to be the second fully licensed micro-business in the state of Massachusetts, but they undertook the entire application process on their own. From developing standard operating procedures, to completing the applications and legalese, all without the assistance of outside consul and no venture capital backing!
Phillips has come full circle since his days of interning with the Uxbridge Police Department 12+ years ago, where he recalls a heavy focus on seeking out cannabis users and sellers, even when it was decriminalized.
“The town built a new school back in 2009 and they were hurting financially because of that, but it gave kids in the area a better place to go to school with a new building, new equipment, new sports equipment,” says Phillips. “So to see the town really get past that [prejudice] and understand that this is a business and it will help the town with their financial struggles…that’s the coolest part.”
A Bright 2022 Ahead
With the recent award of second place in the High Times Cup for their “cannagar” as the best pre-roll in Massachusetts, Yamna’s future of innovation is looking bright. The cannagar (cannabis cigar) continues its stronghold as their best-selling product, featuring a hollow hole down the center that allows for a precise air flow and a very smooth, even burn for over 60 minutes according to Yamna fans.
Yamna is also introducing a limited release of their flower pre-packaged in 4-gram glass jars that are as beautiful inside as they are outside. Their latest innovation are vegan, plant-based capsules called “Tea-H-Cannacaps” featuring green tea machi extract for a natural caffeine addition and encouraged to enjoy as a daily pick-me-up supplement to support active days.
Yamna is staying true to their self proclaimed title of being “genetics nerds” through the acquisition of new genetics that offer medicinal and recreational values, even if they’re difficult or slow-to-grow. Some of the latest and greatest Yamna is highlighting at the top of 2022 are Mach One Caps Cut, GMO Skunk House Cut, Big Blocks from Symbiotic Genetics, Pineapple Cake from Surfer Seeds, and Point Break from Surfer Seeds.
“We want to make a home here where all plants are welcome, so we want to bring some infusions Into our cannagars – our #1 selling product in 2021 – and we’re starting to see that the market is ready for some hash with their weed,” says Phillips.
Why Leaf Trade?
“We’re excited to have some help growing organically after doing pretty much everything ourselves,” says Phillips. “We need help with e-commerce, sales, and getting word-of-mouth out there and once we found out about Leaf Trade and the platform and what it has to offer, it just made sense,” Phillips continued.
MacConnell agreed and stated, “There’s obviously already a lot of customers on the Leaf Trade wholesale marketplace, and I think it’s just going to give us that extra boost to get our name out there to people who haven’t heard of us yet, and start bringing in more sales.”
Both co-founders are looking forward to leveraging Leaf Trade’s CRM database to help increase the operational efficiency of sales teams, as Yamna looks to broaden that department and offload those tasks to under support. “It helps [the sales team] with tracking, who they’ve called, when they’ve emailed, who they need to follow up with,” says MacConnell, “As well as generating invoices, because up until this point i’ve just been using Word! This is very convenient that it links directly to Quickbooks.”