Industry Blazers is a bi-monthly Q&A that spotlights Arizona’s talented medical marijuana professionals who influence and grow the industry. Brought to you by a collaboration between AZmarijuana.com and Proven Media. Do you know someone that is an Industry Blazer in Arizona? If so, email us their name and contact info.
Tabitha Hauer | Lead Chemist & Owner of Desert Valley Testing (DVT) and Desert Valley Consulting (DVC)
As an organic chemist, Tabitha Hauer has more than 17 year of extensive instrumentation experience using Gas Chromatography (GC), Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).
Hauer turned to medical marijuana for pain relief after a waking up one day in 2008 with cloudy vision and an abnormally shaped pupil that continued to grow diseased cells. About two years later, doctors finally diagnosed her with iridocorneal endothelial syndrome (ICE), a unique ophthalmic disorder involving an irregular corneal endothelium that can lead to varying degrees of corneal edema, iris atrophy, and secondary angle-closure glaucoma.
After multiple surgeries, loss of vision in her left eye and no relief from extreme pain and pressure, Hauer’s doctor recommended she look into medical marijuana. She obtained her patient card and researched strains to get relief from her ailments.
After visiting many dispensaries for strains high in CBG (Cannabigerol) to treat her ICE, Hauer realized not all medical marijuana sold in Arizona was being tested. So, already an accomplished organic chemist, Hauer found success in testing her own marijuana. She then decided every patient needs to know what is in their medical marijuana to choose the appropriate strain that will give them the most benefit.
Hauer opened Desert Valley Testing (DVT) in November 2014 and continues to test marijuana and tout the importance of testing. DVT provides accurate and ethical data to its clients and believes integrity is of the utmost importance when analyzing samples to provide this critical information to end users. They also offer laboratory tours to review all processes and services.
In 2017, Hauer opened Desert Valley Consulting (DVC), which advises and assists cultivation, dispensaries, concentrate labs and kitchens on how to set up small quality assurance, research and development labs within their own facility to save money and time when developing products. DVC assists smaller facilities to achieve this affordably and accurately.
Hauer’s passion is to help all companies test their marijuana because she feels that she also reaps the benefits of educating and helping Arizonans with safer marijuana for patients.
Q & A with Tabitha Hauer
What about you or your company gets the most praise from customers?
DVT clients love that we are so open on data and processes. We invite all clients to come visit, take a tour, audit our data and processes, speak with our staff and ask lots of questions. DVT educates all clients on the importance of testing and how to understand their test results. We want our clients to know their lab, as well as their chemist. They should feel comfortable and confident in the results they receive.
What is something most people don’t know about you or your business?
DVT is not investor owned. It was established by a patient for patients. I needed test results for my own ailments and once I figured out how to help myself, I wanted to help others. DVT has grown from a one woman show to a very successful lab in Arizona. I could not be more blessed with the incredible staff that have been my friends and colleagues in analytical chemistry for the past 18 years. Their support and dedication to patient care and support for me has been heartwarming.
My staff is composed of a number of lifelong colleagues and friends who have witnessed my struggles with my eye disease. They have jumped on board to support my passion in marijuana and work hard with me to get accurate and ethical results to patients across the state. The results allow patients to be able to get relief naturally and safely.
I am truly blessed with what DVT has become and have since opened Desert Valley Consulting (DVC). We don’t care who tests patients’ marijuana products just as long as it gets tested! DVC assists smaller facilities to achieve this affordably and accurately.
What is your favorite marijuana event? Why?
I love all the national lab and scientific conferences. These events are so educational and I get to meet other “science nerds” like myself. It is nice to be able to speak “geek” and everyone understands me!
What is your favorite marijuana product, strain or flavor?
I do not have a favorite strain, product or flavor. I only go off test results. If the results yield exactly as the meds I need for relief then it is a win win! I am old-fashioned though, I do prefer to medicate with flower before any other products. There is nothing like busting a bud open and smelling all the natural terpenes!
Tell us your favorite thing about being a part of the marijuana business community?
I love that I get to witness miracles with medical marijuana first hand. I get to speak with so many patients who have beat cancer, have pain relief and have overall improved their quality of life due to this natural plant! It is heartwarming to hear all the success stories.
At DVT, we offer free services to all medicating children and terminally ill patients.
Who are your business idols and role models? Why?
I really do not have any business idols. Some days I honestly feel like I have no clue what I am doing. I am a simple chemist who discovered how to test meds and am reaping the benefits of seeing miracles happening every day. I read the book “Opening a Business for Dummies” and I learn as I go and as I grow. I am so blessed with DVT’s success and continued growth.
What was the greatest obstacle you overcame to succeed?
I am an introvert, so it was so hard for me to go out and market myself or go to events and speak in front of crowds. But, I am getting much better. Now, if you get me in a room with other science nerds I can speak for hours about science! I am truly grateful for my marketing team — Erin and Erica — who keep DVT in the public eye with all of our updates, testing services and educational materials we provide. I really do have an amazing staff but you will often find me hiding behind them.
What is in your playlist that would surprise people who know you?
Frank Sinatra in the lab every day, all day.
What was your last social media post?
I must admit I am not very social media savvy. But my staff posts great information on DVT updates, patient success stories, services we provide and the most recent news in the industry.
What superhero trait would you most like to have?
I never rest, I work around the clock to do what I do. Grind, sleep and repeat is my motto. I really consider myself a modern day pioneer. I believe I can do anything when my mind is set, I have achievable goals and I maintain incredible motivation.