Asheville – Franny Tacy is an energetic, vibrant, and laser-focused serial entrepreneur, but she created her businesses in a beautiful way by creating an interconnected, regenerative agriculture community. This community supports each other so that all can succeed.
With degrees in forestry and education, Tacy has been a special education teacher and has also worked for a pharmaceutical company, but her one constant love in life is farming. Today, Tacy is the owner and CEO of Franny’s Farmacy. Her main crop is one that has been used for thousands of years and was grown by men such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Tacy said in a recent Ted Talk that if she could only grow one crop or keep one seed, it would be hemp.
Franny’s Farm, the heart and soul of the business, is a beautiful, lush 30-acre farm in Leicester, NC, where Tacy runs the business. She is passionate about the farm, this crop, and the products you can make from it. According to Tacy, “It is the only crop that you can grow that will feed, clothe, shelter, and provide medicine for we the people. This is a crop that has been cultivated and consumed in every corner of the globe since humankind began. It has over 25,000 identified uses, for which we already have markets and are innovating new markets in the U.S. Hemp is not to be confused with its family member marijuana.”
Now the pioneering hemp CBD brand Franny’s Farmacy has announced a strategic restructuring as the company expands nationwide. Shareholders of separate brand entities, Franny’s Manufacturing and Franny’s Distribution, are now shareholders in a new single entity, Franny’s Operations, representing the entire organization. The new business structure will further those business collaborations and partnerships that are so important to Tacy while positioning Franny’s Farmacy as one of the most trusted consumer cannabis brands in the market.
Franny’s Farmacy is evolving with a new brand image, new products, and more franchises poised to enter emerging recreational markets and existing legal-market cannabis states. Tacy is the first female hemp farmer in North Carolina in over 75 years and is actively engaged in hemp research trials with North Carolina State University. In the last ten years, she has grown the company from its headquarters in North Carolina to three corporate-owned entities, 11 dispensaries in six states, a strong online presence, and wholesale accounts all over the country.
“We are in this beautiful evolution in our expansion of bringing in more nonprofits that can work and use the land so that it supports their businesses, creating an interconnected community—not dependent, but interconnected.” Franny‘s has 40 employees, but it’s really around 100 if you include the one degree of separation of the franchises. People want a job from me all the time, but I’m not looking for more employees, I’m looking for collaberators. Give me the thinking, loving, motivated people that know how to use their people, that know how to use their gut brain too. That’s what we need to make a difference. I always say, ‘Are you an influencer’? If you have a circle of influence, this is where you belong, because I’m one person, so I need to spend my time and energy with people that can reach others so that they have an opportunity. I brought in some amazing collaborators, and these are high-vibe women in business, and they’re doing it right.”
Interview with Hemp Pasta
I went to the farm to interview Tacy, and she fed me one of her newest products, Hemp Pasta. She served her hemp fettuccine in a sage brown butter sauce that comes from a local supplier, with Selina’s Natural Celtic Sea Salt, also local, a balsamic glaze, and hemp hearts. It had a beautifully silky texture and flavor. When I told her so, she said, “Isn’t it amazing? It tastes better. It’s because it’s made of seeds. It’s globular proteins versus the fiber protein in meat, so it’s easily digestible; it’s more bioavailable because it’s coming from a plant. It is rich in omegas because it’s from the hemp seed. Everything is grown organically, so when you take that seed, dry it, and pulverize it, that’s what makes all that protein; that’s what makes it so rich and creamy and better than normal pastas.”
Franny’s Farmacy has two dispensary locations in Asheville, one at 211 Merrimon Ave. #111, Asheville, NC 28801, and one at 231 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28801. They carry a wide assortment of hemp and CBD products, from tinctures to skin care to edibles and more. They have a new food truck, Pasta and Prana, open Wednesday through Saturday at the South Slope dispensary, where you can get things like gluten-free gnocchi with 25 grams of protein in one serving. They also have Franny’s Fettuccini and leaf linguini. The leaf linguini is about the Lake Eden Arts Festival, a nonprofit that Franny has been supporting for over 23 years. “We give money back to help arts and culture.”
Health benefits of CBD
The important thing to know is that with over 300 CBD receptors that are in our brain, our nervous system, our bloodstream, and our organs, having cannabis in our bodies is a fundamental baseline to our health. In Europe, the number one use is in food, so it still gets cannabis into the body. I’m not saying go smoke a joint; I’m saying cannabis needs to be in our bodies. They were designed for that. There are 450,000 plants, but only one has receptors in our bodies: cannabis.
Tacy was the first person in the country to do a Ted talk for hemp as a crop. You can look up “Franny on Ted” to learn a lot about the hemp plant and the cannabis plant.
“The corporate restructure provides its current and future investors, customers, and employees with a design aimed to maximize tax efficiencies and affords it the ability to strategically expand into related endeavors across the country and around the globe.”