Living the Dream: Shawn DeNae

Shawn DeNae
CEO
Washington Bud Company
Smokey Point, WA

The COVID situation, political turmoil and riots for justice sure have brought out the latent stoners in the population. Our sales orders have gone up at least 20% across the board. Even though we’ve never been busier, I have had more “me” time since the pandemic began, because we haven’t been going to dinners and movies, shopping in stores, conducting tours at the farm, attending meetings in person or having our grandchildren over on the weekends.

My journals that I began in the mid-1970s are calling me. I was leafing through some of them, and the stories began to flow so I started to write them down. Reconnecting with friends as far back as high school has been part of the process to recall the in-between times that neither my recollection nor journals capture. Laughing at the memories and sharing them with my close friends has reminded me how significantly cannabis has touched my life. So, in this 60th year of my life, I am writing the tale of my journey with cannabis; its working title is “Sturgis Girl.”

It is fascinating how much of my and Bill’s past revolves around marijuana. From before the trip through Humboldt County in ’78 to getting busted for our Wyoming grow in ’87 to losing my health when we abstained in the ’90s to now, it has been a continuous thread. Finding the healing nature of cannabis again at Hempfest in 2010 was life-changing and led to getting a license to legally grow cannabis in 2016. It has been one hell of a ride, and I thank Marijuana Venture for allowing me to share some of it!

I often marvel that we are really doing this. We have created a viable marijuana business under extreme and often ridiculous regulations with no blueprints to follow. We employ 10 people who are excited to work with the plant and be paid well for doing so. Our brand has a strong fan base that connects on social media to show the love. We live as legal pot farmers on a beautiful piece of land. We are extremely grateful that what we do is “essential.” Life is good so far — despite the pandemic, politics and riots.

Our county is moving into Phase II of Washington’s reopening plan as I write this, but other than having our grandchildren visit, I am not too keen to re-establish our former habits of happy-hour dining and sitting in theaters to see movies that will soon be available to stream. Quarantine lifting or not, the tours and in-person meetings will be on hold for us indefinitely because Bill and I both have compromised immune systems and are in the high-risk age category. I have resolved to stay put, work our business, write the memoir and play with our grandkids as often as I can.

I wish for anyone reading this to be well, stay healthy, hug those that mean the most to you and don’t touch the others. Wash your hands! Wear a mask! Wake and bake if you feel the urge and please hold hope for the future. Our grandchildren will eventually judge us for the actions or non-actions we take now. Be well!

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