Our Story

First Necessity’s purpose is simple, but ambitious:
  • to develop and manufacture highly effective hemp-based consumer products;
  • make our products affordable to all consumers; and
  • promote health, public welfare, and social equity. 
First Necessity develops products that are novel, discreet, highly bioavailable, and backed by the best scientific methods and quality control standards.  First Necessity’s flagship product is what we believe will be the very best transdermal patch available on the market, which is fully primed for mass production.  First Necessity intends to lead the charge in normalizing hemp-derived cannabinoids as the go-to treatment for a host of pervasive health conditions affecting millions of people.

We focused our research and development on specific regions of the body where cannabinoid-friendly nerve receptors are highly concentrated. Our research also led us to the determination that transdermal patches are the optimal cannabinoid delivery method to these cannabinoid-friendly regions of the body. Patches provide targeted cannabinoid deployment that avoids destructive metabolic processes in the body. Simply put, with our transdermal patches we get more cannabinoids to where they need to go. We also make them nearly transparent to allow for discreet application on the skin. We are excited about our product and believe we can help many people who suffer from a variety of conditions.

Meet the Minds Behind First Necessity

Anthony Giovengo, Ph.D

First Necessity's Co-Founder and Director of Processing, Research & Development.  Anthony has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Kent State University and has expertise in molecular conjugation & bioavailability optimization.  Anthony is uniquely suited for his role, possessing hard science qualifications & years of experience utilizing precision laboratory equipment while managing full-scale laboratory environments. Anthony has developed cutting-edge formulations and applications for the hemp plant, which we are confident will deliver positive benefits to Ohio customers, as well as those across America and the world.  

Chad Zumkehr

First Necessity’s Co-Founder and Director of Operations. Chad is a graduate of the University of Miami with degrees in finance and real estate. Chad is a successful entrepreneur with 30-plus years in the commercial construction industry.  Chad’s companies have built several schools and contracted on large-scale construction projections for NASA, Cleveland State University, and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. Chad is the sole owner of Pace Converting Equipment in Cleveland, Ohio. Pace manufactures converting equipment used to fabricate products in the automotive, medical manufacturing, aerospace, and consumer products industries. Chad’s experience in operations, project management, converting equipment, and medical manufacturing gives First Necessity a tremendous advantage over other hemp processors, particularly related to transdermal patch production and the development of our own packaging equipment.   

Jim Ickes

First Necessity's Co-Founder and Managing Member.  Jim is an entrepreneur, attorney, and founding partner of Ickes\Holt, a Northeast Ohio-based law firm focused on cybersecurity and the legal cannabis industry.  For over 20 years, Jim has zealously represented Ohio companies and people. Since 2016, Jim has represented players in the legal hemp and medical cannabis industries in Ohio and across the country. Jim is a Healthcare Information Security & Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP) with extensive experience in HIPAA compliance and risk management and compliance.

Joel A. Holt

First Necessity's Co-founder and Director of Legal Affairs and Compliance. Joel is an entrepreneur, attorney, and founding partner of Ickes\Holt, a Northeast Ohio-based law firm focused on cybersecurity and the legal cannabis industry. In 15 years of practice, Joel has developed broad experience in business planning, corporate governance, litigation, and corporate transactions. Joel has worked as outside general counsel for several local businesses, spanning diverse industries. Since 2016, Joel has developed a deep understanding of U.S. cybersecurity laws and information security program development.  Joel has represented several multi-state operators in the medical cannabis industry, including a publicly-traded Canadian company. Joel is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.