Company: Bloom Farms
Title: Founder and CEO
The primary core value at Bloom Farms is “give something back.” It’s something that Michael Ray, the company’s founder and CEO, takes quite literally.
“I always tell people that we are equal parts cannabis company and social good company,” Ray says. “For every product we sell we donate one meal to a food bank. We currently work with nine different food banks in California and Nevada. We’ve donated just over 1.5 million meals since we launched the program.”
In 2009, Bloom Farms was “one of those lightbulb moments that you only have two or three times in a lifetime,” Ray says. Realizing what was happening in the cannabis space, Ray knew it was going to be a huge opportunity in the coming years and reopened his family’s farm at the base of the Sierra Foothill Mountains in Calaveras County. Ray has expanded the company’s offerings to include an extraction facility in Sacramento and a distribution hub in Oakland.
Bloom Farms grew cannabis until the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors approved a ban on cultivation in 2018. Ray hopes the hiatus is temporary, but for the time being, he’s content to halt cultivation and focus on curating top-level producers to distribute.
“At any given time, we’re working with 15 to 40 different cultivators throughout the state,” Ray says. “I didn’t want to focus my energy on scaling up a mass cultivation when there are so many fantastic and amazing farmers already doing so.”
Bloom Farms currently has 70 employees and has won numerous awards for its work in philanthropy, volunteering, packaging, design and service. Ray says the company is well on its way to becoming one of the nation’s most trusted brands in cannabis.
“Our goal is to change the conversation around cannabis and create the most trusted cannabis brand in the world,” Ray says. “We’re looking to expand the company into multiple states. You’ll see Bloom Farms in eight to 10 different states by the end of the year.”