Maddi Pearcy chosen as both Woman of the Year and Executive of the Year by Greenway readers

Maddi Pearcy chosen as both Woman of the Year and Executive of the Year by Greenway readers


Best of the Industry 2024 – Woman of the Year, Executive of the Year

In an industry that’s as dynamic and rapidly evolving as cannabis, it takes exceptional leadership and vision to not only thrive but to also make a significant impact on society. Maddi Pearcy, the Director of Operations for Heartland Labs, embodies these qualities through and through, making her selection by Greenway readers as one of the Best of the Industry that much more understandable.

In a year of remarkable growth and success in the Missouri marijuana market, Pearcy was named Woman of the Year and Executive of the Year. Under her leadership, Heartland Labs has navigated the complexities of the Missouri cannabis industry, and its explosive growth while staying true to the company’s roots.

“2023 was a great year for Heartland and the Missouri Cannabis Industry as a whole. With the implementation of adult use, the benefits of cannabis became readily available to a whole new group of people. Our team really pulled together to scale up our operation while not sacrificing the quality of our products,” Pearcy said. “Missouri’s adult use program means so much more than just recreational cannabis. Thousands of Missourians can have their records expunged and the tax revenue (from adult use) provides additional funding for our veterans, drug addiction treatment programs and adding to the state’s public defense program.”

The launch of adult use in Missouri meant that cannabis could positively affect more lives than ever before. As Heartland Labs scaled operations to meet this new demand, the company embraced the opportunity to collaborate with industry partners and offer new and diverse products catering to all customers. The result was a more inclusive approach to cannabis that highlighted both its medicinal and recreational benefits.

Pearcy views the cannabis industry as a unique amalgamation. “The cannabis industry is unique in that it allows space for business and passion to come together. As an industry we have an opportunity to help people while simultaneously changing the perspective on cannabis and cannabis users,” she explained. “My passion for cannabis comes from my passion for helping people. I have had friends and family members who could’ve benefitted from the medicinal value of cannabis, and unfortunately, some of them didn’t live long enough for legalization. I genuinely believe in the medicinal value of cannabis and that we are helping people every day. There is a place for, and I have an appreciation for recreational cannabis; but getting feedback from medical patients really lights my fire.” 

Maddi Pearcy | Heartland Labs

Success to me is receiving an email from a medical patient expressing gratitude for how our products have changed their lives,” she stated.

Pearcy’s passion for people extends beyond the cannabis industry to active involvement in community organizations, such as the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri and the DAV.

Professionally, Pearcy’s focus lies with her team, she is quick to pass credit on to those around her. “The achievement I am most proud of in 2023 would be how everyone on the Heartland team took on adult use. Everyone stepped up to the challenge and worked together to make it all happen as smoothly, compliantly, and timely as possible. There were growing pains at times but to be a part of a team that supports each other the way we do, and to have navigated the learning curves together has been rewarding.” This, for Pearcy, exemplifies true success and the essence of leadership. “A good leader has to be a team player. I would not ask anyone at the lab to do something I wouldn’t do myself. It also is really important for people to enjoy where they work and to know how valued and appreciated they are,” Pearcy said.

What advice would you give to others in the cannabis industry?

“I would say to never stop learning, as cheesy as that sounds – it’s true. With our industry being as young as it is, there are new products, processes and research being developed every day. Staying on the front line of education enables your company to stay relevant and make the best products possible.”


What about your Heartland Labs differentiates it from other companies in Missouri?

“We are all Missouri natives and a family-owned and operated company. We use homemade recipes and have sourced as many local ingredients as we can. Instead of partnering with some of the bigger national brands we have partnered with family-owned and operated companies such as Synergy Skin Worx and locally owned Elder Farms.”

With the launch of adult use, how has Heartland grown and what changes have you made to stay competitive?

“We have scaled up our operation to keep up with demand. We have put in a lot of effort to pay attention to what the adult use customers want out of products while still providing what the medical patients need out of cannabis. We have put a large emphasis on the medical value of cannabis and by producing products that no one else in the state makes helps to keep us relevant and competitive.”

A Woman’s Perspective in Cannabis

“The cannabis industry is disproportionately male-dominated which can leave gaps in meeting the needs of female patients. Being a woman in the cannabis industry provides me the opportunity to advocate for products unique to women’s needs,” Pearcy said. While being one of the women at the top of her field allows her to advocate for the needs of other women, it does not come without its own set of barriers.

What, if any, obstacles have you faced as a woman that you feel men in the industry do not?

“Being a young female in the industry has presented challenges in that I have had to go above and beyond to earn credibility.”

What advice would you give to other women who are active in or want to enter the cannabis industry?

“Advocate for yourself. Women have such different perspectives in most facets of life than men do, so take advantage of that. Bring your creative thinking and ideas to the table and demand to be heard.”

Maddi Pearcy’s journey in the cannabis industry is a testament to the power of passionate leadership, a focus on serving customers and team members, and a steadfast commitment to making a difference. As she continues to lead Heartland Labs into new frontiers, her story serves as an inspiration for current and aspiring professionals in the cannabis industry, especially women who seek to make their mark in this field.