Equipped with a bristling breadth of experience, Meilad Rafiei provides strategic direction, diverse perspectives, and positive leadership as the CEO of Canna Resource Corporation (CREC) and WeCann.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Meilad immigrated to Milpitas, CA as a refugee when he was 1 years old. His first 6 years in America were spent in Northern California, but he later moved to Southern California, and was raised primarily in Orange County. Meilad graduated with a business finance degree from California State University, Fullerton in 2004 and almost immediately delved into commercial real estate. Within two years, he sold over $10 million in commercial real estate and generated over $300,000 in commissions — all during one of the nation’s worst real estate markets.
In 2009, Meilad co-founded Quest Preservation, a construction company that grew from a single-service, single-city entity to a national company across 17 states, with over 100 employees and 2000 active subcontractors. After creating a brokerage arm for the company, while acting as the COO of Quest Preservation, Meilad additionally brokered $7 million dollars in residential sales transactions and closed approximately five-annually, between 2011 and 2017.
After six years leading Quest Preservation, Meilad decided to utilize his background in commercial real estate, sales, and construction in the medical marijuana cannabis industry. He acted as President of a partnership group that managed Hand N Hand Patient Care dispensary activities and operations; the 4th licensed medical marijuana dispensary to open in Orange County. Putting his commercial real estate background to use, once Santa Ana, CA released information about Measure BB, he quickly sourced every eligible property for retail cannabis licensing. He then continued to negotiate with multiple landlords, until securing a property that was extremely well protected from all the buffer zones. Allowing his lottery ball to outlast almost all the competitors, resulting in his ball being picked as the 19th out of 20 possible winners.
After securing the preliminary approval, Meilad project managed the completion of all the entitlement requirements, including construction management of the buildout. With his never give up attitude and relentless work ethic he was able to get Hand N Hand Patient Care to be operational faster than 80% of his competitors. As the owner/operator, he worked every position possible, experiencing every angle of the business. In January 2017, Meilad sold the multimillion-dollar company to a large brand name, and began consulting individuals to attain cannabis business licensing.
Wecann was founded in September 2017. Ever since, Meilad has fought to bring legitimacy to the cannabis industry, resource accurate cannabis business information, and offer support throughout licensing processes and compliance management.
Stepping into a leadership role again, Meilad gladly took on the responsibilities as WeCann’s President/CEO. With his guidance, and hands on leadership approach, as of the 4th quarter of 2022, WeCann has submitted approximately 140 cannabis business licensing applications, across 35 different municipalities. As the Broker of Record for WeCann, Meilad has brokered over $150 million in commercial real estate transactions and developed WeCann into a trusted and tried resource for cannabis business operators who have entitlement, real estate, and business brokerage needs.
Having played a big role in the merger negotiations with CREC, Meilad was extremely excited to bring the companies together. It was an easy decision when he realized what both companies could accomplish by combining resources, and best practices, allowing them to provide the best possible set of services to the cannabis industry. As their newly appointed CEO, he is relishing in this opportunity to lead them in a nationwide expansion.
When he is not growing one of his businesses, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife, three children, and extended family. You won’t find him sitting around much beyond working on a computer, unless he is watching his beloved Lakers or Manchester United.