A decade ago, a twenty-something personal trainer saw his first cannabis grow and it changed his life. In what seems like moments later, Kevin Kuethe became the chief operating operator of Bloom Dispensary’s 30,000-square-foot cultivation center—one of the country’s largest legal marijuana operations at the time.
Kuethe eventually moved on from Bloom to help grow two Las Vegas-based companies just as Nevada initiated acts to legalize adult-use cannabis. The 37-year-old currently acts as part of an executive team in charge of the Michigan-based company Lume, which boasts 870 employees across 22 retail stores, as well as 50 acres of outdoor grows and 250,000 square feet of indoor grows.
Kuethe’s ascension into cannabis is somewhat confounding, considering his background. With a major in exercise science from the University of Montana, Kuethe harnessed his interests in bodybuilding and physical fitness by working as a personal trainer. His dedication to helping individuals one-on-one eventually built an impressive number of clients, although just one visit to a cannabis-growing facility was enough to alter his corporate path.
“My career has been all about following my heart and recognizing good opportunities when they arise,” says Kuethe. “Lastly, and definitely not least, is ensuring I have smart and like-minded people around me who share similar drive and passion.”
Kuethe’s accomplishments have earned the Montana native recognition at the 2021 Cannabis Conference where he was honored with one of six leadership awards presented to the industry’s most influential and successful minds.
“Like any industry, companies in the cannabis space with the best technology will continue to succeed. In cannabis we’ll see big advancements in automation, big data, artificial intelligence and most likely genetic engineering,” Kuethe says. “Whether this happens in the short or long term is anyone’s guess, but I try to be prepared for anything.”
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.