Giving Tree Farms
Anderson Valley, CA
Work, play, rest. I understand the concept but have no idea how to practice it.
In my experience, being a cannabis business owner doesn’t really lend itself to much playing and/or resting. Each day is consumed by plants, regulatory compliance, sales and business development. Night falls, I manage to get some sleep, then the process starts all over.
The California market collapse in 2021 has been discussed ad nauseam, so there’s no need for more on that struggle. Let’s focus instead on thriving.
In 2022, this is the focus for our company. We ended last year — one of our toughest yet — with a mantra related to survival: squeeze the sh*t out of those lemons. This is what will drive our journey in our seventh year after Proposition 64 passed in November 2016.
Now the challenge is defining what this actually means to us as business owners.
The first step? Slowing down to take a long-needed break. As owners of a cultivation business, the season can feel as though you are repeating the exact same day for months on end, sprinkled with unexpected plant situations that feel dire. At times the cannabis industry feels just about as stable as roulette — which is why it’s good to sometimes leave the table and get some fresh air.
It’s become so important for us to remove ourselves from the place we live and work and unplug — preferably in a location that requires a passport and where screen time is difficult to achieve. We sleep in, eat fresh, locally grown food, explore, listen to the ocean, immerse ourselves in the mountains, read and be still.
This year, after we relaxed and played as long as we could, we drove from the southernmost point of the Baja Peninsula back to Northern California. While we drove, we alternated between bouts of silence and enthusiastic conversation. My partner and I delved into what makes us happy in the cannabis industry, what changes we needed to make to our business model, which relationships are important to us and what we can do to ensure we stay open to new opportunities while navigating this next phase.
Once we hit the U.S. border, we felt refreshed and ready for whatever came our way.
So how will we continue to thrive? Well, we could use your help. How do you find a balance? Are you able to roll with the punches this industry keeps throwing at you? Do you find being a member of a trade association or cooperative is helping? Find me and let me know. I am always interested in learning from others.