Create a free Cannabis Equipment News account to continue

Kyle Neathery: Leading from an Ivory Tower Doesn't Create Impactful Change

Leaders who won't spend time on the floor don't have accurate opinions on their company's challenges.

Editor's Note: Download the audio version below and click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

This week, Kyle Neathery, CEO of Samson Extracts, joins the Cannabis Equipment News Podcast to discuss how he moved from a cannabis operation in Michigan to running a massive hemp processing system in Alabama and all the challenges he encountered along the way.

Kyle Neathery got his start in the cannabis industry in late 2019 at High Life Farms in Michigan shortly after the adult-use market launched. He was working for Southwest Airlines at the time but when a friend presented an opportunity to work in cannabis, he jumped at it. He said despite the obvious differences, cannabis and aviation are similar in terms of facing heavy regulation, which made Neathery uniquely prepared to deal with regulator intervention and other things that can occur.

But he did admit that he still had a lot to learn about cannabis cultivation, particularly in regards to the art of growing indoors. Neathery recalled one instance when his grow operation needed to replace one camera and it ended up causing a hermaphroditic transformation in every plant because the camera had an invisible infrared light.

All that experience helped lead Neathery to becoming the CEO of Samson Extracts, an Alabama-owned and operated manufacturer of CBD products that uses a proprietary extraction system and GMP-certified operations. The company is one of the largest low-cost hemp processors in the nation, producing winterized and decarbed crude, full-spectrum distillate for a range of products, including an upcoming CBD skincare line.

Neathery said part of his reason for leaving High Life was the desire to move back down south. But he also saw an opportunity to bring his experience and expertise to Samson's medical cannabis program, which was working to breakthrough in a state where cannabis use is more taboo.

Jump around:

  • Unexpected problems during indoor cultivation. (4:32)
  • Making micro-movements. (6:16)
  • Managing expectations amid exploding demand. (10:02)
  • Splitting work between CBD and medical cannabis. (13:07)
  • The scale of Samson's hemp operation. (16:33)
  • Dealing with failures. (20:54)
  • The phases of scaling up extraction production. (23:40)
  • As legalization expands, is CBD becoming an afterthought? (26:56)
  • Delta-9 adoption. (30:08)
  • Temperature issues with outdoor extraction equipment. (34:34)
  • How to make outdoor operations easier to deal with. (37:45)

Please make sure to like, subscribe and share the podcast. You could also help us out by giving the podcast a positive review. Finally, to email the podcast or suggest a potential guest, you can reach David Mantey at [email protected].

More in Video