Exeleon Magazine

Melonie Kotchey: A Focused-Driven Entrepreneur

Melonie Kotchey_Exeleon Magazine

In the past decade, leaders, policy makers, and medical professionals have combined forces to acknowledge the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. The industry is representing a wide scope of possibilities in improving the public health. The products and services are breaking new grounds and opening up new markets for the needs of cannabis patients and customers, with grand conviction.

The presence of legalities, licenses, rules and regulations, lower profits and minimal support from the investors has made launching a business in/around cannabis, both, an adventurous and daunting task. However, many ingenious entrepreneurs have sprung up to make the most out of this golden opportunity and leave a remarkable legacy. One such name, that is making big waves within the industry, is Melonie Kotchey.

Melonie is the Founder and CEO of Compassionate Certification Centers (CCC) – named after the Compassionate Care Act of 1995. With over 20 years of success in pharma, biotech, textiles, e-commerce, medical marijuana, and healthcare consulting industries, she has been making noteworthy contributions by providing life-changing experiences through her work. This experience has also driven the company to harness the medicinal uses of cannabis for different consumers – career seekers, investors, physicians, and health care practitioners.


Usually, youth is a time that shapes the personality of an individual. It makes you discover yourself, grow your interests, pursue challenges, and knock off defeat. However, Melonie Kotchey had a different childhood.

Forced into independence at the tender age of 13, it was only a year later when she moved out and sought out to make her own life decisions. Her experience in healthcare and marketing helped her be more empathetic and ambitious. Additionally, her resilience to never take “no” as an answer played a big part in her life. She says, “growing up in the country on a farm you learn to eat what food is available and be happy for any work or money you earn as it doesn’t come easy.”

Melonie believes her resilience and strength as an adolescent set the stage for success as an influential leader. “I entered into healthcare because it is always changing. I love the idea of taking a job for a few years and then overnight, learning something completely new,” she remarks.

The softening stance of cannabis in the healthcare industry also helped her to cater to the current needs of her people. “When you establish a company, when you have created everything, you will see leaders in many areas of your company. Being a founder v/s interviewing for a job as a CEO are two different things,” she mentions.

By leveraging her high impact experience, she was able to create a proactive environment where leaders cropped up in many areas of her company. With an ambition to be poised for big growth, Melonie uses multiple systems of hiring, empowering, and coaching to identify and nurture the future leaders.


Melonie has always been optimistic about the advancements in the science of cannabis medicine. Consequently, when around 26 other states legalized marijuana before Pennsylvania, she decided to take matters in her hands. A current medical marijuana patient in a different state, Melonie saw potential obstacles for PA and wanted to act early to ensure a patient-driven program. The displayed level of care and lack of compassion from the physicians and dispensaries was unsettling. Moreover, there was also a clear disparity in not treating cannabis as a real medicine.

This set the foundation she needed, driving her to establish her own healthcare company – Compassionate Certification Centers (CCC). CCC is an award-winning U.S. Medical Cannabis Healthcare System, specializing in cannabis medicine and total being wellness.  Melonie’s unwavering answer to the questions and dead ends so commonly seen in the cannabis industry – CCC brought about structure, fought for patients, and provides a safe and comfortable place for patients to access the medicine they need.


A compassionate environment, attentive physicians, and an unmatchable client experience put CCC far ahead of competitors within the cannabis space. The company places a special emphasis on the need to have as many checkpoints as possible to analyze and improve the quality of service delivered. “We check on patients and ask for feedback so we can constantly improve – and we celebrate successes when we do! We love to improve our efficiency and the comfort we provide – we try to make a patient’s whole day, sometimes even their whole life! It just depends!” she says.

As the Founder of the organization, Melonie Kotchey’s day is dynamic with flexibility in every aspect of business. Since federal banking regulations force medical marijuana companies to be a cash-only business, her role within the company is quite demanding. “My job is to get each of my doctors, employees and patients what they need to complete their day without added pain or stress. It’s important to me to make room for employees to work problems out on their own -with support from the team whenever needed.” she explains.  The presence of engaging team-building activities also ensures a strong sense of camaraderie, despite working remotely or in different locations throughout the state.

CCC strives to do away with any complications and hesitations in making the medical card available for everyone. The CCC team, under Melonie’s leadership, has not only fought the previous stigmas, but slowly and steadily  built a community-based appreciation for the incredible art, science, history, and benefits of the cannabis plant, – translating this into their continuous successes. CCC believes in leading this with a three-pronged-approach.

  1. Creation and distribution of the first-and-only CBD line currently on the market with the precursor to aid the production of natural hormones, namely testosterone.
  2. Creating a way to accepting insurance for wellness, making care more affordable for patients, and encouraging regular follow-up visits for non-cannabis-related treatments.
  3. Catering to all patients, boasting the highest patient count for a cannabis certification center in any state.  They achieved this by organizing research studies and patient-surveys – eventually winning recognition as “Best Certification Company – USA” by Global Health & Pharma in the international “2020 Commercial Cannabis Awards”.

For Melonie, delivering the best healthcare has been core to her mission.  In 2020, alongside Dr. Brad Buege, she founded Compassionate Care Medical Professionals (CCMP) to provide ancillary and specialized services to her patients that could be billed to insurance plans. She is one of the very-first to find a way to do so, as CCMP is independent from CCC – the company that provides cannabis-related services. “Being a main player in the medical cannabis industry – but also legally allowed to bill insurance for other services is an interesting and rare place to be.” she asserts.

The purpose of CCMP is to provide non-cannabis related specialized care such as allergy testing and immunotherapy, wellness visits, and diagnostic screenings. It also offers naturopathic medicine, immune system analysis and supplementation, and nutritional services that can be billed to a patient’s insurance plan. Invariably, clearing the air, spreading awareness, and bridging the gap between conventional medicine, cannabis, and holistic wellness.

Aside from CCC and CCMP, Melonie has also been an avid leader fighting the stigma, standing up for patients, and broadening community awareness. She is the co-founder of the “World Medical Cannabis Expo & Convention” which was held at the reputed David L Lawrence Convention center for two successful years, 2017 and 2018. It amassed the attendance of over 4000 people from across the world.

The event was organized to give the right knowledge to children, parents, industry leaders, growers, job seekers and many others. This resulted in an uncontrived effect and was a great way to connect with everyone at the same time. Melonie adds, “When you have an event like this, you know the vendors, speakers, politicians, banks and more. It’s a great way to break into the industry and know who is really doing things right, and we know after almost having a hundred thousand medical cannabis patients in 4 years that we are doing things right.”


While building such a rich and stimulating career, Melonie had her slice of challenges. She stood tall despite the hardships and navigated her way through by following her true calling.

Before founding CCC and CCMP, she established an import/export business in 2001. Her role involved working in anesthesia sales and pain management. She added another feather in her cap by managing an office at a sprightly age of 21, hiring over 80 employees all while pursuing her first bachelor’s degree – B.S. in Biology (Pre-Medicine).

Melonie gathered various skills and faced countless obstacles until she discovered her purpose, and learned that working with a reliable business partner makes a world of a difference. She advises that it’s integral for aspiring entrepreneurs to choose their partners wisely, have subcontractors they trust, and personally vet out their CFO and finance team. As a female in a male-dominated industry, she suggests never allowing yourself to be rattled by bruised egos and manipulative tactics in any industry.  Additionally, it is imperative to select a board of directors, as well as hold a legal counsel that aligns with your morals and ethics – and is intimately part of your team.


Melonie Kotchey looks forward to a further empowering future in the healthcare industry. With her three ground-breaking contributions – Compassionate Certification Centers (CCC), Compassionate Care Medical Professionals (CCMP) and the World Medical Cannabis Expo & Convention – she is confident about her legacy of bringing a positive and lasting change in countless lives.

Melonie has no plans to stop here, as she intends to continue adding additional medical treatments and diagnostics to her service menus, as well as expand her continuously growing list of medical cannabis patients and resources. Moreover, she aspires to mentor and guide the next generation of young and ambitious leaders, with the intention that they eventually lead, develop, and grow different segments of her professional endeavors.

Read Digital Version.

Visit CCC Website.

Read Previous

Blake Sherwood – Transforming Countless Lives

Read Next

Dejan Stancer – Leading a Global Transformation