Melonie Kotchey is the Founder and CEO of Compassionate Certification Centers(CCC). Named after the Compassionate Care Act of 1995, CCC is dedicated to fundamentally changing the healthcare experience for patients suffering from chronic health conditions through its medical marijuana certification, CBD consultations, and holistic wellness services.
Melonie is a focus-driven entrepreneur with over two decades of experience in biotech, pharma, textiles, medical marijuana, e-commerce, and healthcare consulting industries. She has pursued a B.S. in Biology – Pre-Medicine, a B.S. in Marketing, and M.B.A. in Health Care Administration and Medical Billing & Coding. She is also a member of the advisory board for The American Society of Cannabis Pharmacists and has volunteered for various organizations, including the mitochondrial foundation and veterans organizations, since 1995.
“As an investor in the medical cannabis space, I first was a member of investors who vetted opportunities. I also suffered from chronic pain and broke many bones while doing water spots and racing dirt bikes over my lifetime. I became a patient and traveled throughout the United States, testing other states’ programs and studying the market. I became a patient and realized how long we must go in the industry for medical cannabis to be treated as medicine. Right now, it is tough to find the right strains/timing/delivery system of THC to CBD ratios; we have come a long way with our company in helping refine this.”– states Melonie.
Currently, CCC has thousands of children who no longer face seizures and have renewed with the organization for five years. With so many success stories, almost all patients return to CCC every year for treatment as they can be honest with the doctors. As an organization, CCC never judges people for being on medical cannabis and believes it can work like a miracle for several people.
“Leave your ego at the door, roll up your sleeves, get to work smart and love what you do, or move on!”
The Greatest Accomplishment
With its compassionate environment, attentive physicians, and unmatchable client experience CCC is far ahead of its competitors within the cannabis space. The firm has won the best company to work for three years in a row with the most votes in Pennsylvania. Once Melonie walked in and met a 34-year-old non-verbal patient who was getting treated with cannabis tincture. A year later, when that person returned to CCC’s office for renewal, he was speaking normally, which was unbelievable.
Although a miracle, the strict laws, and taboos around the medical cannabis industry made it quite hard to get paid, open a bank account, or get an office space to operate. There’s nothing easy about this business; Melonie says, “My greatest accomplishment is that after all we have been through, and all the people who quit, I am still here, and I am still happy to see the results we are; achieving.”
Melonie believes that partnering with another well-educated entrepreneur is critical, and one should have a board of directors in place, not just partners. “Once you encounter a disagreement, and eventually everyone does, you need an objective third party to help navigate muddy waters. I chose a risk-averse business partner who didn’t understand that you get out of business what you put into it and that you have to sacrifice more than you ever could imagine. Your time, hobbies, family, and whole life go on hold when you start a medical cannabis certification company and integrate other medicine.”– she says.
While starting the business, Melonie was well aware of the fact that most people quit after 2-3 years, as they can’t handle the daily stress and focus on their goals. That is something that Melonie has worked with every business partner; while some can handle and embrace it, others don’t want anyone watching or telling them what to do.
She believes every leader should possess some essential traits, including good communication, understanding different people’s expectations, and setting good expectations. She suggests, “Leave your ego at the door, roll up your sleeves, get to work smart and love what you do, or move on!”
Picture of the Bright Future
As an organization, CCC plans to merge with a dispensary; it would prefer to partner with their pharmacists and create a patient-oriented cohesive company. CCC has also added naturopathic medicine to its offerings for patients who are open to trying something outside their prescriptions. These naturopathic medicines can also help deal with several problems like endometriosis, anxiety, and pain, where cannabis may not be able to help completely.
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