Working on a Farm: Building a Deeper Respect for the Cannabis Business
I’ve worked on a farm before. From an organic produce and herb farm in the hills near Nevada City to an impressive cannabis farm up the northern coast, I know what it’s like to get dirty, smelly, sticky and baking hot in that unrelenting California sun. I have enjoyed the fruits of my labor, experienced sore feet and the overwhelming sense of satisfaction after a long day’s work.
For the past 10 or so months, my capacity in the cannabis industry has been far less “in the field”. I never once pictured myself playing such an important role in a legitimate cannabis business that I have found a passion for – right in the heat of this plant’s most powerful movement. And while I am grateful for and love my position as one of Medicine Box’s brand managers – collaborating on social media, product development, sales strategies and the many other hats we all wear here at Medicine Box – I had the chance to take on a different role this week and get a bit more hands on, literally.
Harvest 2016 – Where the Magic Happens
I was eager to be back on a farm and to offer help for our first harvest of 2016. As I mentioned, I have worked on farms before. But this time was different. I wasn’t simply sitting inside with a trim tray on my lap while the real work went on behind the scenes. (Not to discount trimming as easy, as many of you know. It is a very important spoke on the wheel.) I was working outside, among the tall bushy branches of our BEAUTIFUL sun grown cannabis plants. I was harvesting lush fronds of Dairy Queen, pinkish purple chunks of Oregon Diesel, and endless bundles of Blue Dream alongside the dedicated and incredibly knowledgeable farmers who contribute to the other side of Medicine Box. These are the guys out there mindfully cultivating the best, organic flower I’ve ever seen – grown with expertise and oh so much love. The cultivation side of the business can be somewhat of a “boys club” but I was made to feel right at home among the rows and rows of plants and half dozen hard working farmers. And man do these guys know what they are doing when it comes to dank flower – impressed is an understatement. Not to mention the meticulously engineered hanging system, the supply of coffee, cookies and warm meals, great company, funky jams and a contagious sense of enthusiasm and satisfaction at the success of first harvest.
It is not only humbling but profoundly grounding to be so close with these plants. I have an ever growing respect for Mama Ganja that is reignited and deepened every time I have the opportunity to have an intimate experience with her – thanking her for all that she gives and gives. Being able to contribute to BOTH sides of Medicine Box is truly special to me and reminds me just how much work goes into our finished products. Having a hand in every step of the process allows me to feel that much closer to the plant, our mission as a company, and significantly more passionate and genuine as I sell and promote our brand.
A Lot to Learn
That said – with the election coming up in less than 2 weeks and Proposition 64 likely to be passed – there is a lesson to be learned and heard for those hoping to jump on this green bandwagon, those attempting to strike “gold”. The cannabis business is NOT an easy one. And while the incredible plant does grow on trees, cultivating honest, organic, healing medicine takes unrequited dedication, agility, engineering, investment, infrastructure, struggle and passion. Turning the flower into legitimate on the books cash is a whole other ball game in itself. This business is not for the feeble or faint of heart. But I can say – citing my work with Medicine Box and our OUTSTANDING team (shout out to all y’all) – the rewards go far beyond a paycheck.