With 2022 coming to a close, all I can think is … what … a … wild … year! Every year in this industry seems to have a theme. Our themes for 2022 were character building and new beginnings. 2022 took us through the rollercoaster of feelings. It started with frustration, anger, sadness and feeling like failure. But it’s ending with thankfulness, excitement and lots of love.
While I am excited and thankful as we roll into 2023, it’s not because of the state of the industry. You know the reaction you get when you tell someone you are in the cannabis industry. They smile and say it must be nice — all fun, chill, smoking weed all day. We all know the truth: it’s nothing like that. The industry is not immune to the current slump in the economy. These years are going to be remembered for how many cannabis businesses had to finally close their doors for good.
Everyone in the industry is tightening their belt, as we have been feeling the strain of inflation. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly, but it appears that sales are down somewhere on average of 25% for retailers. Yikes! Lower retail sales means less product being ordered from farms. Many farms are unsure what to do to sell product, so they just continue to drop their prices, leaving some uncomfortable and difficult questions. Have all these years of struggle and sacrifice been worth it? Is there an end in sight? Will nationwide legalization just bleed me out more? If I can’t compete now, how will I compete against businesses with unlimited funds? Many face the difficult reality that closing the doors is the best decision. It’s sad to see and extremely hard to have those conversations with friends you’ve known for years.
So why am I excited and thankful? Because Captain Yeti is just now hitting its stride. We are just now unbottling some of the magic we have in our hearts. Our team is still small, but we are absolute savages. I can’t thank the Captain Yeti team enough for going into beast mode this year. As soon as they walked in the door, it was straight to work building the empire. Much love to the Bolanos family.
We’ve also been super blessed have a great relationship with our retail partners. When the rug was pulled from under our feet — and we felt like we had nothing — the calls came through loud and clear: we were not alone. Our friends were there for us. It wasn’t just bullshit pleasantries and nice words; they backed it up with real support. Without their support, we would’ve just been another sad story. They are the only reason we are here now. We will make sure all that support wasn’t wasted.
We have a solid foundation built, but we know we can’t just coast on that. We have to create awesome products that customers want to buy. Because if you don’t have beautiful, stinky, stoney weed, you don’t have a chance.
Sometimes we are so focused on the daily grind that we forget to have fun with the people on the journey with us. At the end of day, I don’t want to sit alone with a full bank but an empty heart. I want to share good times, with good people and good weed.
I wish you and your family a great year!