The Intersection Of Tech And Cannabis With Mickey Hall, CEO Of Triple Play

Written by Dana Sanchez

Over the years, Michelle “Mickey” Hall’s investments have evolved from the financial industry to tech and cannabis.

She sees companies making a profit in cannabis. The sector is expanding faster in some places than in others, but for people of color trying to enter the industry, it has been slow-going, and vital information just hasn’t been forthcoming, Hall told Moguldom.

Hall is the CEO of Triple Play, an Oakland for-profit consulting company that is branching out to handle investments and showcasing the achievements of people of color. Hall was recently appointed to be the CEO of the Oakland nonprofit Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame was established 18 years ago to bring light to African American athletes on and off the field. It has inducted 147 athletes at ceremonies in New York, Puerto Rico, Nairobi, Halifax, the Bay area, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, and L.A. Hall wants to expand the women’s side to give them more of the spotlight. “We have many female athletes that are not getting the recognition as the men (are),” she said. “So that’s one of my goals besides finding a home for the Hall of Fame.”

Now Hall is racing to learn all she can about cannabis and tech firms merging.

“It just goes hand-in-hand, using tech in weed,” Hall said on the sidelines of the Black Enterprise Tech ConneXt Summit 2017 in San Francisco. “It’s a three-in-one special.

“For years, people of color were put away. You couldn’t even get caught with a joint while everyone else got rich. Now the tables are turning. People of color are coming in from behind and need to catch up. But how many companies are out there tyring to help us catch up? They’re very far and few between.”

Hall said she welcomes opportunities to network at events like TechConneXt. “If we put our brains together, we can all come up with solutions that won’t take as long as if we’re doing it on our own,” she said.

Illustration: Ese Izhi

Here’s more of Hall’s interview with Moguldom.

Moguldom: Tell me more about the intersection of weed, music and tech?

Mickey Hall: Bob Marley started it. Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg have made it blow up over the last decade. The black founders who are trying to break into the industry — they might be involved in the tech world or the music world. There are not too many founders of color that are into cannabis right now even though it’s a slow increase.

The way we can bridge all three of these together is to continue the dialogue. Company B may have a better way for my clients to connect or pay for the weed. It’s cross-branding and coming together — networking. Last week a friend posted on Facebook, “We’ll deliver. We’ll mail it to you.” And I was like, “Wait a minute. Did I miss something here?” When I worked for a transportation company there was a set protocol. Trust me, they tried to mail pounds of the stuff but when you found it, you had to report it. So now how is this going to change? Apparently now I guess you can mail it. And it’s like “Wow, but how do we find out about this?” It’s vital information that’s missing.

If a rich white man started a company to mail (weed) but then a brown executive got into it, who do you think would be able to get the funding quicker? It’s still unbalanced but I think if people of color can come together, the networking can happen.

Moguldom: Tell me about your firm, Triple Play.

Mickey Hall: Triple Play started as a women’s sports networking company. We fought to try and get WNBA teams across the country but with everything changing so quickly, we made the change a couple of years ago to start the business consulting. Our youth, especially in Oakland and communities where we are established, look at us and say, “How can I do what you do? Can I help?” Our youth really need to see a black lesbian woman standing up and saying, “You know what, if that’s your passion, then go for it. Make your job your passion.”