Deep Roots, Rich History

NorCal Cannabis Company functions as a holding company with assets ranging from production to retail.  The founding team leverages over two decades of cultivation expertise and business acumen to execute a vertical integration strategy that optimizes the balance between production efficiency and retail reach. By analyzing the company's existing engagements with licensed distributors and retailers throughout the state, NorCal Cannabis Company plans to integrate a diverse range of industry segments with fresh insights into the underlying economics of California cannabis.

With the passage of Proposition 64 providing a more stable environment for scale, we’ve since deployed the next phase of our build, buy or collaborate strategy by rolling up assets that focus on processing, branding, and retail management. As leaders in the largest cannabis marketplace in the world (estimated at $5 billion in 2019), we know that a well-capitalized and informed approach to the future industry offers a unique opportunity - one that may offer the chance to experience the same explosive growth witnessed by early pioneers of alcohol at the end of prohibition.

As a company, we work to facilitate the maturation and evolution of a Californian cash crop that already exceeds the production value of grapes, almonds and strawberries. We are the NorCal Cannabis Company, and we stand rooted amongst giants.

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Meet Our Team

Douglas Cortina

Chief Executive Officer

Douglas Cortina brings a strong background of hands on business and entrepreneurial experience to NorCal Cannabis. Doug has successfully led the planning, development and execution of three cannabis projects in the Bay Area. Douglas has been involved in the real estate development industry in the Bay Area for the past five years. During this time he has structured and administered numerous real estate partnerships and is directly responsible for the acquisition of over $50MM in Bay Area properties. Prior to moving to San Francisco Douglas worked in NYC for the investment bank Brown Brothers Harriman.

Jigar Patel


Mr. Patel has been an instrumental leader in the California cannabis industry.  He is the founder of four state and locally compliant cannabis businesses, playing pivotal roles in real estate sourcing, entitlement, funding, design, build and operations.  He is an industry leader in bringing local regulatory compliance to many jurisdictions including San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and Sonoma County. His depth of knowledge of the rich history of California cannabis, regulation, cultivation, and sales in a compliant marketplace provides a distinct advantage to achieving NCC’s business objectives.  An experienced entrepreneur, Mr. Patel has also been the founder of a successful Sonoma County winery, Jigar Wines.   As President of NorCal Cannabis Company, Mr. Patel is responsible for oversight of all operations.

Dick Pierce

Executive Chairman

Dick comes to NorCal Cannabis Company after a distinguished career in the technology sector, most recently serving as CEO of Raydiance (acquired by Coherent in 2015). Pierce has also recently served as CEO of Orbital Data Corporation (acquired by Citrix in 2006), which offers solutions to speed the delivery of software applications over wide area networks (WANs). Prior to heading up Orbital, Pierce was a founding member and served in a number of executive roles at Inktomi (acquired by Yahoo in 2001), a search and software infrastructure provider. During Pierce’s tenure, Inktomi’s revenues grew to over $250 million in five years, culminating in a public offering in 1998. Pierce began his career at Intel, ultimately running marketing for one of the company’s $3 billion microprocessor divisions.

Blair Carter Ph.D.

Chief Scientist

Dr. Blair Carter is an industry leader in efficient horticultural design and management. He has consulted in numerous states on the design and build of more than 300,000 sq. ft. of indoor cannabis cultivation. He is now the founder of five state compliant cannabis businesses in California and the Chief Scientific Officer for NorCal Cannabis Co. Passionate about plant and human sciences, Dr. Carter maintains the relationship between cultivator and cultivar is a mutually transformative enterprise. Dr. Carter earned his B.A. in Ecopsychology from Prescott College, his M.A. in Integral Ecology from The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and his PhD with an emphasis in Ethnobotany from CIIS. Additionally, Blair holds certifications in ecological and permaculture landscape design. With a strong background in ethnobotany and systems science Dr. Carter brings a uniquely comprehensive approach to cannabis horticulture.

AnnaRae Grabstein

Chief Compliance Officer

AnnaRae Grabstein, MBA is a strategic leader bringing a unique dual perspective to Norcal Cannabis Company as both a seasoned executive and a cannabis industry veteran. She was CEO of Steep Hill Lab, the first cannabis laboratory in the United States and cutting-edge startup where she worked with over 300 dispensaries, cultivators and product developers. She served as COO of Marin Sun Farms navigating complex USDA and organic regulations while guiding substantial revenue growth and overseeing operations including processing, packaging, distribution, marketing and sales. AnnaRae has been instrumental in positioning Norcal Cannabis Company for tremendous growth. She serves on the nonprofit Board of Directors of WWOOF USA, attended University of California Santa Cruz for undergrad and received her MBA from University of San Francisco.

Andrea (Auny) Abegglen


Auny brings extensive marketing and start up expertise to the team at NCC. With over 25 years of marketing experience and a proven track record of helping to start and grow successful businesses, Auny brings a mix of both private and public company experience to this role. Auny has been a founding partner in several successful start-ups including Student Advantage (SA) and Crimson & Brown Associates (CBA). As a co-founder of SA, she helped take the company public from its initial start-up phase and helped to grow the company from 10 to over 500 employees, with revenue of over $30 million. As president of CBA, Auny grew the company from one to 14 employees, with revenues of $3 million. Auny was instrumental in the sale of CBA to Kaplan, a Washington Post company. A branding and consumer marketing specialist, Auny has also served in key marketing leadership roles at companies including LinkedIn, Visa,, Gigaom, NOLS, The Online Marketing Institute and many other organizations.  Auny was born in Cambridge, MA and raised in both Boston, MA and in Tokyo, Japan. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently lives inVenice, CA.