Chief Operating Officer
Luke Hunsberger grew up in Seattle, WA before moving to Brookline, MA during high school. As the second state to legalize cannabis use in 2012, he was able to witness firsthand their nascent market develop every time he would return home to visit his parents in Seattle. As a young economist, he marveled at not only the business growth but the opportunity for the industry to improve communities.
Driven by his passion for finance, Luke worked full time at Morgan Stanley while also attending school full time at Pitzer College. He also enjoyed leading and teaching as President of the Student Investment Committee. He would graduate with a BA in economics and later move to BNY Mellon to work with larger clients. Always a student of the markets, Luke recently recieved a MA in Economics and Finance from Brandeis University while also running their Student Investment Committee.
While constantly trading and working, Luke has always focused on helping his community as well. He was a weekly volunteer for 7 years at the Home for Little Wanderers, a Boston based home for children at risk. He helped children with a range of issues including homework, working though social issues and developing problem solving skills. His help was appreciated so much they offered him a part time job as a Direct Care Councilor in Roxbury, where he excelled for 2 years. Luke also has also been a mentor for the past 10 years and currently volunteers as a VITA IRA registered tax accountant, performing free tax service for low income families and individuals.
Encouraged by Cambridge’s adoption of equity provisions in their new cannabis business ordinance, Luke spearheaded the formation of a new company to apply for the town’s Retail Cannabis License. Securing real estate at a vacant grocery store on Mass Ave, he interviewed viable Economic Empowerment applicants for the CEO role while also securing 4 investors. Forming a team of designers, lobbyists, security, legal and traffic analysts, they presented to the Cambridge Community Development Department and residents on multiple occasions throughout the application process. Unfortunately a larger player in the market sued the city of Cambridge over the legality of the town’s equity provisions, leading to a temporary moratorium on cannabis business licenses. Their team was forced to withdraw their application due to the unsustainable business and political outlook.
Understanding he needed more industry experience, Luke immediately joined Sanctuary Medicinals, a multistate operator in cannabis cultivation and retail. He was part of their 3-person team responsible for opening Sanctuary’s flagship 19-terminal store in Brookline. He assisted in all aspects of opening the store, from building out the merchandise area, designing the vault, hiring 55 employees, to developing security and inventory procedures. Furthermore, with the onset of Covid-19, he was able to successfully adjust customer ordering, queuing, and employee protocols so that the store opened seamlessly on August 1st with no resident complaints. He worked through the end of the year as AGM before joining the reLeaf team.
As a member of reLeaf, Luke will help open their Mansfield adult-use cannabis store, after which he will be part of a team ready to open reLeaf’s Natick store if their application is approved. He joins a diverse team of professionals from all aspects of the cannabis industry at reLeaf; a team with the proven track record to succeed in Natick.