Living the Dream: Courtney Bailey

Courtney Bailey
Co-founder
Giving Tree Farms
Anderson Valley, CA

This year has taught us many things so far, both personally and professionally. When COVID-19 said its hello and the normal day-to-day was flipped upside down, our weaknesses were highlighted and our strengths had to be fully utilized. But what these times have also shown us is the power we have when we work together. We can use this opportunity to shape our futures, molding it into the reality we’ve always wanted to see.

The businesses that are surviving during this time figured out the importance of efficiency long before this pandemic started. They learned how to increase their profits by lowering costs, and many had moved to automation and smart growth, lowering their needs for in-person labor.

But many businesses, efficient or not, have noticed their lack of control over much of the supply chain, cannabis brands included. When cannabis sales skyrocketed in California due to the industry being deemed essential, brands couldn’t keep up with the demand from customers, leaving many businesses wishing they had put more thought into how they obtained their product for jars, pre-rolls, edibles and extracts. With a need to have a reliable source, those brands that had worked on establishing genuine relationships with farmers or had invested in their own cultivation sites didn’t feel the worst of the panic.

Brands are realizing the importance of leaning on others in the industry for support and the need for synergy within the entire supply chain.

We have the unique opportunity to overcome this grand obstacle with a more knowledgeable head on our shoulders. Scaling a business can be a scary task while funds are tight and the future is uncertain. But when a business works with a cooperative of small farms, they get the value of handcrafted quality in scalable numbers. They can not only reduce risk and create more possibilities for themselves, but they can also use this as a chance to build the positive symbiotic relationship that we’re all after.

Our farm is part of the Hive Mendocino co-op, which produces several of the same cultivars for brands so they can always count on consistent, small-batch quality from multiple farms, instead of relying on one large producer and absorbing the risks associated with putting all of your procurement eggs in one basket.

By partnering with a small farmer who cares about the cultivation inputs, a brand can preserve small-batch quality and maintain a consistent supply without having to invest a lot of dough upfront. By scaling the business, they open up more doors to success, and by working to incorporate custom cultivation for their supply, they preserve quality and reduce the direct monetary risk of having to figure out the ways of cannabis cultivation themselves.

By propping up the expertise of each business, both sides of the chain benefit, and both parties prevail.

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