Brad Bogus

Employee Spotlight: Macey Hames

There’s one person that EVERY Happy Cabbage customer knows in our company: Macey Hames, our Customer Success Manager. While she’s well known here, most don’t know her actual story.

We’ll tell her story here, including her experience, struggles, and achievements as a woman in both the tech and cannabis industries.

Macey was born in a VERY rural area of Texas, the kind of extremely small town where most of the citizens don’t leave for generations. 

That was not Macey. Macey was always itching to leave, grow, and experience all that life and the world had to offer.

Travel influences a lot of who Macey is; it’s how she analyzes herself and improves. She seeks different experiences and lifestyles to learn how different people live across the world. And one trip at 22 truly changed her life.

In Cape Town, South Africa, on a trip with a mixed bag of people with varying ages and backgrounds, Macey met a man named Ricky. He was a Black man that lived through Apartheid, “a beautiful soul” as Macey describes him.

The week was hard for Macey when she met Ricky. She was struggling being out of touch and out of community with her loved ones. For a 22 year old, they were big issues. But they obviously pale in comparison to living through Apartheid.

Ricky saw her sitting alone, kinda dealing with it all, and came over to console her with a joke. He told her a long story about a matador fight in Spain, the punchline of which she can’t quite recall other than it having to do with a cock and bull, and it got her laughing hysterically in an otherwise sad disposition.

Ricky didn’t ask what was on her mind or try to compare mountains to molehills, he just told a joke that had helped him in dark times. It taught Macey to look for joy even in the tough moments, no matter how big or small. It was such a great lesson for her that she still carries his business card in her wallet to this day to remind her.

Unfortunately, Ricky passed at the beginning of COVID, 3 years after her trip.

Macey’s Path in Life

As with many that have nomadic tendencies, Macey isn’t what she would call “a planner.” She went to Texas State University to study Business Management, mainly because it seemed the most broadly applicable education for the most options.

She initially took a job after college working in sales and account management at an IT / data solutions company, in a very traditional and formal business environment. “As a young woman without a lot of relevant experience, I was given an opportunity to interact with and lead conversations with people who were very senior in their role - and in turn I dealt with a lot of imposter syndrome.”

Macey learned at this company that she had a seat at the table, she just had to pull it up herself. While that was a learning experience itself, she also felt the struggle of being heard and respected as a woman in a male-dominated field, like tech and also cannabis.

“Talking about the differences in the experiences people have is important to bring change. We have to acknowledge that women still don’t get paid equally to their male-counterparts. Women have to be more diligent about managing our communications than men so as not to be written off as “emotional.” We are frequently talked down to, interrupted, or asked to take notes (i.e. be seen and not heard) and it’s just….normalized.

Girls don’t necessarily see themselves growing up to be president because there have not been any female presidents. Watching other women in leadership positions, as a kid, those were my celebrities, female entrepreneurs and CEOs. Seeing women run a business and be respected. It’s necessary to see people like you in the roles you want to have.”

Getting into the Cannabis Industry

Macey took a trip to Denver, visited dispensaries, and realized cannabis was a real industry with legit jobs selling weed, so she started to consider it as a next step in her career. Being in TX limits your options, as she couldn’t work in a dispensary at the time, so she took her skills in tech over to Blackbird, a distribution and software company, in 2022.

She was on a sales team of 10, it got her into the industry, and she met fantastic people; some of which helped her get an opportunity with Happy Cabbage.

During the transition, she took stock of where she was, and enjoyed that it was in the cannabis-tech space. However, she wasn’t feeling it as an account executive. Sales didn’t fuel her fire in the way she wanted her career to, and Happy Cabbage gave her the opportunity to pursue what she liked and didn’t like; Customer Success is where her passion and skills met.

She likes being nosey in retailers’ businesses, helping people, and getting in the weeds to solve problems and succeed. With what she does day-to-day, Macey finds satisfaction with being able to help legitimize and grow the industry, even if it’s from behind a screen in Texas.

“No day or conversation looks the exact same way. You get such a variety of experiences from people who operate in different states or cities, at different types of stores, and in different roles. I get a multidimensional view of the industry rather than just seeing it all through the lens of a single brand or retailer.”

Perhaps most importantly, being in the cannabis industry allows Macey to be her authentic self. The imposter syndrome has fallen by the wayside, giving way to a confident woman who makes an impact on our customers every day. 

We know this because when Happy Cabbage ever does actually lose a client, though rare, they apologize to us on the way out and make it a point to praise Macey as the best person to work with, that she is in no way responsible for them leaving. Most customers leave software platforms disappointed or disgruntled. Our customers that leave are mostly apologetic, and they all love Macey. This is no accident. She’s amazing.

Cannabis is Legitimate Medicine

A family member of Macey’s suffers with Parkinsons. When Macey joined the industry and began talking to her family about the wonders of cannabis, it made this family member feel it was legitimate enough to try as a treatment for their condition. They found a doctor in TX, and cannabis worked like all the prescriptions couldn’t in managing the symptoms.

By her getting a job in the industry, it made this person open enough to try cannabis and find a real medication that worked.

“This qualifies as a career goal. Helping people is a foundation for what I do, I don’t care about helping one person or 1 million, I’ll take it!”

Macey’s Vision for the Cannabis Industry

When asked what her ideal cannabis industry would look like, Macey was quick to address the medical aspects of the plant. In fact, if it was hers to do over, the medical side of the industry would have developed far more quickly than the recreational side.

This is not to say she has a beef with rec, quite the opposite: she wants to see cannabis TRULY regulated like alcohol, where you can buy it in any store where alcohol or other products are sold. But focusing on the medicine is where her passion lies, and is the lens through which she sees the rec market ideally developing; a far cry different from our current environment.

“At the end of the day, this is a plant that was advocated for because it’s a medicine. I deal with panic attacks, and if I were in an ideal medical market, I would be able to talk to my doctor about cannabis and get a prescription for a medicine that helps me in a way that traditional pharmaceuticals haven’t. Through scientific research we can learn so much more about how cannabis affects each body and identify what strain, consumption method, terpenes, etc. are best for your specific needs.”

Macey lives in Austin, TX and loves being able to support the industry remotely from a state that still has so far to go in providing its citizens with access to cannabis.

If you’re reading this from TX (or anywhere, really), connect with Macey and talk some shop! She’s infinitely curious, which is her superpower.