Living the Dream: Danielle Rosellison

This story was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Marijuana Venture, on sale now online or at a store near you.

Danielle Rosellison

Co-owner

Trail Blazin’ Productions

Bellingham, WA

October is Fair Trade Month and I find myself asking over and over again: Do independent businesses — the mom-and-pops of the cannabis industry — even have a chance?

I have never worked so hard to sell cannabis (in the old days we would have just called it weed) in my life. It was once $40 an eighth with limited oversight. Now, growers are lucky if we get $16 an eighth, and that’s gross income! The last three and a half years have been, hands down, the most brutal roller coaster of my life.

I know the authors of Washington’s Initiative 502 worked hard to give the cottage industry a chance by making three different size tiers, an affordable $250 application fee and a $1,000 annual licensing fee. California has diligently tried to create a structure in which the legacy growers, the people who have supplied the majority of our nation’s cannabis for the last umpteen years, have an opportunity to survive. But it seems like no matter how hard the mom-and-pops try to follow the intent of the law, there is some big, bad corporation with their team of highly paid lawyers working to skirt the system.

I used to worry about competing with people who had millions of dollars. Now we are competing with people who have billions.

This is a game of tenacity, a game of strategy. It’s a game of who can hold on the longest and of who can pivot fastest with the ever-changing times.

Don’t worry. We’re going to win. I’ve always known we’re going to win. But in order to win, the independent businesses have to be the change that we want to see. We have to hold true to our morals and values, especially when times get tough. We have to cooperate. We have to be unified, seeing beyond each other as competition, but rather as a strategic partner in an intense game of chess.

The sooner the independent businesses start working together, the sooner we will stop trying to just survive and really begin to thrive.

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