Rachel Hazlett has been rolling social justice into Lucky 420s from the beginning.
Her company cranks out groovy, black-tipped, retro-vibe prerolls, packed in a stylish box like something you’d pull from the roller rink vending machine circa 1979. But Lucky 420’s mission isn’t to revel in the past—it’s to help people break from it.
Hazlett has made it Lucky 420’s mission educate Californians about how to clean up past criminal records related to marijuana.
“The legalization of cannabis represents a major societal shift toward sane drug policy and humane laws, and that was really exciting to me,” says Hazlett, who launched Lucky 420’s three varieties of packaged prerolls (indica, sativa, and hybrid of course) just last year.
The slim, cigarette-like packs aren’t the only retro thing about Hazlett’s brand, whose messaging, photography, and tone speak to the CEO’s social-justice streak.“It resonates deeply with all of us,” she says.
Staffers recently volunteered at a legal event in San Francisco aimed at helping Californians clear misdemeanor possession and cultivation charges. The Lucky 420 website includes easy-to-follow directions and links for how California residents can petition to have marijuana convictions reclassified.
Bringing change to the ever-changing cannabis industry.
Hazlett is building a progressive, socially conscious company in a rapidly evolving industry, which is exactly what she set out to do.
A former journalist and marketing executive, the 31-year-old entrepreneur knew she wanted to start a new kind of company and “shake up the status quo around how business was done.” She had friends who worked in cannabis and thought, “What better place to make radical changes than in an industry that’s radically changing itself?”
Its ever-changing nature makes it a rich environment for fresh ideas, like building social justice into a burgeoning brand. While Hazlett describes Lucky 420’s initial approach as “marketing-forward”—spend some time on its website or Instagram account, and you’ll get the idea—she’s found room for new ways of doing business throughout the company.
“It requires creativity in a lot more departments than just the marketing department, because things are constantly changing,” she says. “There’s no formula … and there are a lot of obstacles, so it requires creative thinking and unique solutions.”
The newness of the cannabis industry has also allowed women to thrive, Hazlett says. Because California’s legal cannabis companies all started around the same time, men don’t have the long-held competitive advantage they do in most businesses.
“I think it’s actually opened up the opportunity for more women to step into positions of leadership, because there’s less of an old-boys’ club in a brand-new industry,” she says. “It’s a pretty open playing field.”
Most investors are still male, she says, but Hazlett’s not alone among female CEOs: “We do a lot of work with other female-owned, female-led companies.”And it’s both energizing and gratifying to work in such a progressive industry, she says.
“It’s really exciting to step into it and create this brand and these products that we feel really good about.”