Trail Blazin’ Productions
The Universe is weird right now.
There is the normal stuff that floods all our newsfeeds: the Middle East is a mess; COVID is still on a rampage; extreme weather events are jaw-dropping and terrifying at the same time; employees are so hard to come by that, in our neck of the woods, fast food chains are offering $18 per hour and a $1,000 signing bonus.
How does a small business compete with that?
Then there is the more personal stuff we all experience. Money is tight. Relationships are hard. Housing is insane. We are all over COVID.
And in the midst of all of this, many of us are trying to run a cannabis business. A business that is still illegal federally, creating its own set of ridiculous hurdles. A business whose local governments are trying to figure out the best path forward and, regardless of how involved we are in the participation of the regulation, you can’t help but sometimes wonder if they have heard a word you’ve said.
For example, Washington state is moving from a traceability system to a record-and-audit system, which is really GREAT news — we all know seed-to-sale isn’t real in the first place. However, one of the state’s proposed required fields is “Sativa/Indica/Hybrid.” Ummm … no.
Have we learned nothing from the delta-8 debacle and the importance of terminology and using science to help us sculpt policy because it will come back to bite us later on?!? But I digress …
When I sit back and watch our team, I can see the burn-out. I can feel it. They are stressed. They are deflated. They are tired. So what does an employer do, when (basically) everything that is negatively affecting our team is completely out of our business’ hands?
Empathy. What our team needs now is empathy. Kindness. Patience. Being gentle. As CEO, I can see a lot of things that need to get done to keep us moving forward, but without a healthy and mentally available team, we’re not going to get anywhere. Putting our personal ambitions aside and recognizing the state of the world right now is what is going to win the cannabis long game.
Or at least we will go down knowing that we did everything we could to put people first.
Danielle Rosellison is the CEO of Trail Blazin’ Productions, a pesticide-free cannabis farm in Bellingham, Washington, which has used 100% LED technology since she co-founded the company in 2014. She is also a board member of The Cannabis Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of a vital, ethical and sustainable cannabis industry.