Q – Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. What your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/cities.
Stephen Stearman: Elevate Holistics is an online cannabis clinic serving patients in Oklahoma and Missouri that allows qualifying residents to get their medical cannabis certification in 30-minutes or less using your smartphone or computer. These are exciting and challenging times for cannabis as an alternative to the opioid epidemic – and telemedicine as an option during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our goal is to offer an easy to use platform where people from all walks of life can have access to cannabis doctors and even help them fill out their state application with state regulatory agency.
Our major emphasis is on educational content for patients. There aren’t enough easily digestible resources for the average patient to feel like they truly understand the medicine. Elevate Holistics provides webinars, blogs, videos, and events.
Elevate Holistics also offers professional cannabis nurses who have been trained in the use of cannabis as a medicine. We’re currently serving patients, doctors, and dispensaries in Oklahoma and Missouri with offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City. We’ll soon be in Jefferson City, Cape Girardeau, Kirksville, and St. Joe’s Missouri.
Q – Kindly give us a brief description of yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Stephen Stearman: I’ve earned my MBA and worked in tech startups and non-profits, but my girlfriend will tell you I wasn’t ever stressed about anything until starting cannabis advocacy work with patients, doctors, and legislators. I truly love the challenges and opportunities that the cannabis industry offers for alternative health, economic development, and criminal justice reforms. I’m passionate about helping people, I’m passionate about cannabis, and I’m passionate about how technology can improve the outcomes of healthcare.
Q – What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Stephen Stearman: Inspiration is a key element to Elevate Holistics. A business partner and mentor who owns a health care practice in Tulsa called me one day saying he had an idea and needed someone to run the business. I jumped on a plane and the following week we incorporated. It’s been a wild ride building a brand that supports the cannabis industry. Patients need a safe, secure, and compliant way to get their medical marijuana cards. Some competitors use systems and processes that leave their data up for grabs. Not us! In addition to Elevate Holistics’ medical clinics, we’re opening supplement lines, partnering with local CBD farms to sell their products on our website, and doing everything we can to properly educate patients.
Q – What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Stephen Stearman: I wish I knew! I’d like to say treating people right and running a good service will get us there; however, there are plenty of businesses that do all the right things and still fail. We’re going to do what we can to support the patients to the best of our ability, give back by supporting those in need, and operate with excellence so we keep waste to a minimum. Hopefully, that will achieve long term success.
Q – Where do you see your brand/industry/your business in 5 – 10 years?
Stephen Stearman: In 5-10 years we’ll see federal regulation around cannabis. These are historical times that are hard to underestimate. Cannabis has thousands of uses from fuel, fiber, food, adult use, and medical. One can expect cannabis to become a global commodity with multiple lines of progress and regress as legislation and nations craft new global policies.
Q – Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Stephen Stearman: I greatly admire Yvon Chouinard and his company Patagonia. They showed people that employee engagement is a business competitive advantage and not a resource cost.
Q – How important have good employees been to your success?
Stephen Stearman: Good employees are the greatest resource any company can have! Even in today’s tech-driven paradigms, it is the human touch that adds care and compassion.
I can’t speak highly enough of the team around me. I can say 100% without a doubt that without my patient coordinator, Crystal, we wouldn’t be so poised for success. My Missouri manager, Russell has also been a godsend in helping the company stay on the trajectory.
Q – What motivates you?
Stephen Stearman: Equal rights and cannabis rights go hand in hand. Justice is a common motivator with our organization. I am motivated by the amazing reviews we get daily, I’m motivated by the stories of patients who call in needing help, I’m motivated by the healing stories of cannabis I hear from patients, I’m motivated to be a category leader in our industry, and I’m also motivated to bring justice to people in need of alternative health choices.
Q – How do you define success?
Stephen Stearman: Success is best defined by one’s happiness – not wealth, but by a true sense of purpose and betterment of our society. Elevate Holistics is building something great that is helping thousands of patients! Having a strong team culture is also a component of our success. Our online medical marijuana doctor’s portal has facilitated and helped patients across Missouri and Oklahoma – that’s a success!
Q – What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Stephen Stearman: Mistakes are hard to talk about. Perhaps the greatest mistake we’ve all made as a nation is the beginning of the prohibition of cannabis. The trickle-down effects have not only stunted medical and supplemental development of marijuana as a medicine or part of a healthy lifestyle but also created the largest per capita prison population. It’s an American tragedy that we are ending right before our eyes. With each new patient, we serve, it’s one step away from our tragic past as a nation.