Women to Watch: Alex Paulakovich
Nuthera is a cannabis manufacturing and cultivation facility located in Riverside, MO.
Nuthera Labs has built its brand and reputation on handcrafted staple brands including Panda, Panda Fruits, Infinity, Medusa, and Indi.
Now, the company prepares the first harvest of flower from the Nuthera cultivation facility.
Above everything else, Nuthera is a Missouri company. Founded in Kansas City and rooted in Missouri. The team behind Nuthera is built in the same way, operated by Missourians with talents not just in cannabis but also confection, marketing & merchandising, renewable energy, service and hospitality, and more.
Alex Paulakovich embodies Nuthera, born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Paulakovich serves as Director of Operations for Nuthera.
“I have been with the company since the application phase of the program, leading the charge in the commencement of our facilities and from there, turning my efforts to the operations and success of Nuthera. My day-to-day is never the same. One day I am trying to track down input material, implementing operational efficiencies, the next I am discussing and choosing the next product launch, followed by being creative within the packaging designs, and then other days you find me interpreting new rules and regulations as well as a million other things that keep me very busy,” Paulakovich said. “I am engrained in all aspects of our ever-growing brand. ”
As a company, Nuthera believes in being approachable and accessible to a wide range of patients and consumers while maintaining the ultimate goal of consistently providing quality products. “Nuthera likes to have fun and thinks cannabis is pretty tight – so focusing on de-stigmatizing cannabis while maintaining the culture is something we always strive for,” Paulakovich explains.
Paulakovich shares that same spirit. A consummate professional with a love of travel and nature, and a bevy of hobbies – Paulakovich can be found going to concerts, playing music, and enjoying a good round of golf, Paulakovich finds common ground and talking points with everyone she meets and is passionate about sharing her joy and enthusiasm for both Nuthera and cannabis in general.
“At Nuthera Labs, we deliver the highest quality, approachable cannabis medicine. We pride ourselves on being an advocate for the people; making cutting-edge products that provide solutions and educating the masses on industry-leading research.“
Legalization has been a great step forward for both Paulakovich and Nuthera. She has always believed cannabis should be legal and available to everyone, so seeing that happen in her home state has been an incredible full-circle moment.
On the flip side, it has come with many challenges: navigating through state regulation and compliance, scaling a business, and finding ways to still be creative and efficient under the constant changes.
“I knew the market would change overnight, and we had prepared for a large bump, but didn’t expect Missouri to catapult to one of the best cannabis markets in the country. It has challenged my thoughts, abilities, and determination.”
Outside of Alex’s career, she had been a cannabis user for her entire adult life. When she was 21 years old, cannabis became legal in Colorado. She packed up and moved to Denver to chase, what was, at the time, a wild dream of working in the cannabis industry.
“I literally started my cannabis career on the trim table at a grow in Denver and worked my way up from there. I have seen a lot of highs and lows, successes and failures in this industry, having been in it for 10 years at this point – but there is nothing else I would rather be doing.”
Cannabis has been influential in my life. I have always found solace in cannabis and find the broad capabilities of the plant fascinating. The way it flows from pheno hunting, to plant growth and maintenance, and how it can then be transformed into a variety of other consumable options that can be tailored to very specific wants and needs of a wide range of patients and customers is a beautiful process.
What is it like being a woman in your field?
Being a woman in the cannabis industry is a captivating journey filled with opportunities, growth, and empowerment. It’s a space where grit, grind, and determination not only allows you to thrive but excel. The industry is still so young, and the possibilities are so endless.
I always say cannabis is female and that starts at the plant itself and extends to the industry as a whole. There are so many amazing women in the cannabis industry who are trailblazers and forces to be reckoned with. The cannabis industry has embraced women and women within the industry support and encourage each other to success. That mentality isn’t just woman to woman – I have so many awesome and supportive male mentors, friends, and colleagues in this industry that I will be eternally grateful for. I truly believe that all-n-all the cannabis industry is respectful and accepting of the feminine.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my team. I really believe in the people I work with. What we do takes a village and I continue to be inspired, motivated, and challenged by the group of people surrounding me.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in the drive and determination of those around me and throughout the industry. There are so many awesome people and companies working towards the same goal of providing Missourians with unique, and quality cannabis. It’s beautiful to see at the helm of making cannabis more accepted because of their passion for the plant.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by the feedback we get on our products. I am always humbled by the incredible testimonies about how our products play a role in our patients and consumers day to day lives. Whether it’s how it helped them sleep, manage pain or anxiety, etc or hearing that people simply love enjoying our products recreationally with their homies. These types of things are just reassurance on why I have dedicated my whole life to this plant.
What advice or encouragement would you give to other women in the cannabis industry?
A common saying I always use is, “Sometimes you gotta be the rock and sometimes you gotta be the water, baby.” By that I mean there are moments that you have to go with the flow and there are moments to take no shit. Choose wisely.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest professional accomplishment has been building Nuthera from an idea on a piece of paper to a respectable, growing force in my home state of Missouri.