Washington Bud Company
Smokey Point, WA
I often must remind myself why I care so much and fight so hard for the future of sustainable small businesses in the cannabis industry. It would be so much easier if I just focused on our family business and used my slow times to focus on personal stuff like health, household and family. Instead, I pack my days with reviewing legislation, studying regulations, writing opinions and attending webinars with lawmakers, regulators, local officials and advocacy comrades.
The foundational reason I care is the plant itself. The cannabis plant is magical in the way it helps me cope with Lyme disease. I have witnessed near instant relief from the flower, oils and topical solutions we produce. Discovery of the plant in modern times would put it into the miracle category instead of the prohibition hangover we still experience.
The secondary reason I care is we — me, my husband, our family, our nation — are wired for small business. Our former remodeling business was hard to duplicate but our cannabis business hums along at a predictable and duplicatable rhythm. It is a nice living and worth protecting for the next generations. My husband, Bill, and I have carved our own way over three decades of business ownership and now must make sure our cannabis business model has staying power.
History has shown us that small family produce farms got steamrolled by Big Agriculture in the middle of the last century. The nation’s food quality suffered. Our country’s soil quality suffered. The seed stock suffered. Now, after decades of decline, the farm-to-table movement has helped sodbusters claw their way back to relevance as we see farmers’ markets flourish and restaurants touting locally grown food on their menus.
The craft beer, wine and spirits industries witnessed a similar path of decline until laws changed to tax them less and allow for special privileges. Society has since rewarded these small businesses with strong support, all without harming the relevance of national brands.
The cannabis industry needs to learn these lessons now and demand support for sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, along with sound economic development for those of us who are focused on craft cannabis. My biggest fear is allowing the big business lobby to set the table and not set plates for sustainability and craft. Ensuring local brands have room to grab their slice of the pie is key to bringing cannabis cultivation into the light of legalization. All business sizes need a seat at the table for ultimate success of this experiment.
Over the years, I have bounced around various trade groups and have settled in with a group of comrades that feel the way I do. We have formed the Washington Sun & Craft Growers Association with the mission to advance and protect the interests of sun and craft cannabis growers through the development of rules and laws that supports an economically and environmentally sustainable cannabis industry. I encourage helping us if this speaks to you. No matter where in the world home is, if you care as I do, aiding our epic grassroots endeavor is much appreciated.