The Women's Journal

The MM Industry: Widening The Career Path

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 Mark Lally, Delaware’s medical marijuana pioneer, is CEO of First State Compassion.

When First State Compassion (FSC) opened Delaware’s first medical marijuana dispensary in Wilmington in 2015, it was revolutionary. We paved the way for a robust and sustainable Delaware industry that set the bar as a model for the country. Today, we are focused on widening that pioneering path even more, especially with our diverse leadership team and the significant role women play in our organization. 

The workforce at FSC has a genuine passion for the industry: they quickly let you know they are fierce advocates for the natural healing powers of the cannabis plant and strive daily to reduce the stigma around treatment. Beyond that, they all share two particular common denominators: empathy and a love for helping people in pain have a better quality of life. Meet the Delaware medical marijuana industry’s next generation of female pioneers:

Morgan Hewes is our Human Resource Generalist. “I’ve hired about 45% of the FSC workforce. These employees are what get me up and going to work every day. Their hard work, dedication and passion to help our clients get better is incredibly inspiring to me. They’re unstoppable!” 

As our Compliance & Purchasing Senior Manager, Deborah Springer wears a couple of different hats. “The entire seed-to-sale process is so interesting; the different plants, the extraction process, the strains and products – so much to learn. I definitely feel I’m in the right place to help with the growth of this company.”  

Haley Schell, our Director of Regional Retail Operations, oversees the overall wellbeing and efficiency of the dispensaries and the employees that work there. Giving back by finding solutions through holistic healing options is one of her driving forces. “This is an exciting and rewarding industry with endless opportunity from the ground floor up.” 

“I wanted to be part of the industry for many reasons, but primarily to help people and spread knowledge about cannabis.” That’s how our Wilmington Senior Manager of Extraction & Packing, Natalie Landolfi, describes her inspiration for working with medical marijuana at FSC, where she is mastering the various techniques for marijuana extraction, refinement, formulation and infusion. 

Unique Richardson, our Senior Manager of Inventory, is responsible for making sure each department gets enough materials to meet the needs of the 9000 patients served monthly. “It’s a thrill every day that I’ve helped someone with a medical condition feel less pain or even walk again in comfort! Once we have our culinary facility built, helping with recipes, the bakery and kitchen is like an open door for my future!”

Senior Communications Manager Lauren Foraker collaborates daily with my office and the regional director of retail operations on advocating for medical cannabis treatment. It was interaction with a patient that gave her new insight. “I was telling an elderly patient that I could relate to her chronic pain and could help her. The feeling I got afterwards was the moment I knew I had found my new career.” 

Sheila Cole is our Wilmington Manager of Quality Assurance & Control. She runs audits to make sure product is properly packed, and ensures testing is done to ensure no contaminants are found. Numbers are her life, unsurprising after her former role working 47 years in the banking industry. After retiring, she wanted a change of pace but something that still involved helping people.  

Gina Davis is our Wilmington Dispensary Manager. She started work in the ‘pack and trim’ department, then promoted to Patient Advisor and Lead Patient Advisor before her current position. “I’m amazed at how hard people work, from growing the plants to taking care of patient needs.” 

Savannah Phillips, our Lewes Dispensary Manager, was looking for work that would make a difference to people’s lives. “After completing my Human Services degree, I knew I did not want to go in the traditional route working for social services but still wanted to make a positive impact on the community.”  

One of the biggest and best changes in the medical marijuana industry has been to the stigma associated with cannabis. These women, like our entire staff, have dedicated themselves to helping patients and doctors alike start to understand and appreciate the life-changing benefits medical marijuana can bring to the pain and suffering of qualifying conditions like cancer, arthritis, PTSD and epilepsy. I am very proud that their commitment to this medicine and to patient needs have already opened doors for a more inclusive industry.  

Call us at 302-543-2100 or 302-281-4888 or visit for more information.

302-543-2100     37 Germay Drive, Wilmington, DE

302-281-4888      12000 Old Vine Blvd, Unit 102, Lewes, DE