INDUSTRY GROWTH... AND WE'RE NOT TALKIN' MONEY!
IN EVERY ISSUE, WE WILL TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT DIFFERENT CANNABIS GROWERS AND FARMS NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY
BLACK-OWNED HARLEM CANNABIS COMPANY SOURCES
FROM FAMILY FARM
FROM FAMILY FARM
IN CANNABIS: Legalize it + Criticize it + Advertise it
by Kaia Niambi Shivers
I wanted to see how the Black Mecca or Harlem World or SoHa in gentrification speak, implemented a freshly pseudo—legal and highly visible cannabis industry into an area that has seen its times of Black and Latino youth getting locked up for selling dime bags of cheeba around the corner.
Arriving to the green-lit storefront of new paint and chill people about two hours after the start time, the crowd had definitely thinned. I missed Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and the introduction by cannabis activist, Mary Pryor who still passed out petitions for us to sign. Luckily, there still was a mixed collective of vendors, advocates and casual consumers drinking freshly pressed juice and snacking on CBD-infused vegan cheese.
Fighting a nasty season flu, a guest didn’t mind talking to me through nasally questions and coughs. His name was Panama Chavis, and he told me ran, Be.En High, a hemp based CBD company sourcing flowers and plants from his family’s farms in North Carolina. That story struck up all kinds of questions on his experiences. Here’s our talk.
Ark Republic: Be.En High, what’s the concept behind that?
Panama Chavis: I want to re-shift how we look at cannabis so we also understand that it’s more than just getting high. There are all of these medical aspects of it, so we want to tap into that. People have always looked at cannabis as just the recreational purposes, just the psychoactive components, but when we talk about all of the health benefits we’re talking about the CBD side of it.
Based out of Harlem, but I have a farm in North Carolina, I work with farmers in Oregon and some in Florida as well.
My family has land in North Carolina, I got my family to start growing in North Carolina. Hurricane Florence in September destroyed our whole crop, so I had to work with other farmers that were not affected so much so. I partnered with other farmers in Oregon and Florida to contract them out in order to constantly have flower and plant to be able to produce and process.
Ark Republic: How did you get a Black family in North Carolina to agree to grow cannabis?
Panama Chavis: My cousin is the lead scientist for Duke cancer research. She’s actually an evangelist which is kind of dope because she sees the science behind it. So me and her kind of partner together. You know how everybody got that one auntie. You know that auntie that’s good and she’ll bring the rest of them on. So I got that one auntie and me and her work with the family. And she got her own bit of land. My grandma getting older, so she’s just like ‘Imma get in where I fit in.’
Me and my mom’s still going back at it, but she loves me nonetheless.
Ark Republic: So after it grows, you bring it up here. How does that go?
Panama Chavis: So after we grow we get it tested because it has to get tested before you move it. Once we get it tested, we get it packaged then we get it shipped here. So if we’re working for the partnering farmers, they get it tested. They do all that other stuff. They give us the COA which is the Certificate of Analysis. Once we see the Certificate of Analysis, that is what basically allows us if the police or anybody else decides to stop us, we can show them that we are legit, as well as, this is what this has been tested as, and this is the THC content that it has in it.
Ark Republic: Now can you explain a little bit how you maneuver through the federal aspect of cannabis in New York?
Panama Chavis: The orange man did something right about three or four weeks ago where CBD derived hemp is legal federally across all 50 states [including US territories]. Before it was just state-by-state. But federally now we’re legal. So we haven’t had an issues, I’m knocking on wood … but also know people who are in the industry who have had issues when it comes to transport and all these different things.
Ark Republic: I’ve heard that the Department of Health were going to places now and shutting things down.
Panama Chavis: The Department of Health or the DOH has stopped us from the FDA perspective. We were partnering with restaurants to get into juice bars and pizza shops and all these different partners that we had on paper, but they said they’re going to stop that because they now have to come in and test your products because it doesn’t have a regulation. But, you know it comes with business, you’ve got to crawl before you walk.
Ark Republic: Can you describe the cannabis community of color? If you’re a part of it.
Panama Chavis: Which cannabis community of color? Cause we’ve all been burning a little bit.
Ark Republic: The ones who have moved toward [the idea] of ‘let’s profit off of this because we’ve been high.
Panama Chavis: So I see it two ways. I see a handful of us who are actually about it, who are actually going to get it. Who actually going to go and start their company, get their LLCs and do the leg work that needs to be taken to get it done. But I also see the flip side of it with any industry. They’re [those who are] just like ‘I’m good.’
So I see that [community of entrepreneurs] as so small, but we’re big, in the sense that, I’d rather have a small room of go-getters than a large room of people who ain’t really going to get it. Because I can make more movement depending on the quality of person that’s in the room. So that’s what I say about this new cannabis community of color. We’re actually in it and we’re doing it. We’re supporting each other and we’re grinding it out.
Ark Republic: With any company, in any industry, money and investment have always been a problem. What are you doing for the folk that you’re working with are doing, to ensure that there is a level of sustainability?
Panama Chavis: I think sometimes when people talk about investment and money that it takes, I think they also forget about the hustler’s mentality. Sometimes you’ve got to take a little bit to make a lot and flip it over-and-over again until you get the number that you need.
Just to give you an example, I started the company with $1500. Now I’ve made that money back, but I’m constantly reinvesting it. So looking at the numbers it constantly goes to double, double, double, double and keep going. So I’m not in it for the microwave. I’m in it for that long time, that roasting of the turkey in that oven for some time. So I know that it’s a building process and I also understand that I could take out some loans, but for me, I started everything myself and have been grinding it out without investors.
The return will not necessarily be right away fully in New York. For me, its just that you’ve got to keep chipping away at this.
Ark Republic: We’re in Harlem. Where do you see the role that Harlem will play in the cannabis industry?
Panama Chavis: Truthfully, I’m going to be honest. With legalization coming. With all of these things happening. With the tax numbers, we’re going to be taxed a lot. Those taxes are going to more law enforcement to be able to stop [inaudible]. So it’s going to shift us if we’re not ready for the shift.
When I say Harlem, it’s already changing. Because Harlem is changing as a whole, I think I see another change happening. Better yet, I see that the change will be accelerated.
I work in spaces where I see it change and I don’t think everybody is looking at it. With legalization and all these things changing. I don’t think the [cannabis] community of Harlem who has started in Harlem is ready for that change.
Ark Republic: Three tips for people who are starting in this industry. What are some things you’d like to bestow on the new cannabis entrepreneur?
Panama Chavis: 1. Look at it from a bird’s eye view. Do not just look at a dispensary. Do not just look at a plant. Eff dat. Unless you’ve got land. Or, unless you’re growing or doing these different things, don’t do it that way. If you do not have a lot of capital, if your money isn’t large, go about it another way in another approach.
2. Here are things that you can do, create a rolling tray. Yes, Raw [rolling papers] already does it, but you can do it too. So thinking of the different products that accompany cannabis. If you want to make the lightbulb for the grow houses. If you want to make incubators. If you want to create a cigar shop for cannabis [smoking]. Think outside of the box. If you are a smoker or a consumer, think about what you would want or what you don’t have in your industry or experience. Then create that.
3. The other tip is, just do it. Just dive into it and that’s with anything in business because there are things that you don’t know. As well, get out of your own head and find a mentor. Find someone whose been in business for a long time. Once you do that, you’re good to go.
SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter
Green Heffa Farms is a social equity farm that grows boutique superior-quality hemp varieties that are the finest on the world market. We seek to expand working with our local and global community to expand market opportunities for underserved and underrepresented farmers. We are dedicated to ensuring that hemp becomes a viable crop to sustain our agricultural sector and contribute to the overall health and wealth of our communities and our planet.
THEIR 4Es ™ PHILOSOPHY
They believe every business has a social responsibility to make the world better. They have encapsulated our social responsibility commitment into what they refer to as the 4Es™:
1. Economic empowerment.
Hemp is estimated to be a $22 billion dollar industry by 2020. The economic potential for this crop is exponential. They want to help as many farmers as possible enter this industry to improve the financial outcomes for their families and communities.
2. Environmental stewardship.
Products made from hemp can be recycled, reused and are 100% biodegradable. Additionally, hemp can help reduce global warming because it takes out large amounts of carbon dioxide per acre, more than most other crops. This is even more true when you use hemp end products where hemp is locked up permanently in applications like building materials i.e. hempcrete.
GHF is committed to not only growing this Earth-friendly crop but to using sustainable agriculture and business practices.
They believe everyone should have access to this industry including those who are historically oppressed or underserved. Black and Brown people are 4X more likely to be incarcerated over a cannabis-related offense. They want there to be equity on and off the planting field.
They believe more education and awareness is needed about hemp for it to be appreciated as the gamechanger plant that it is. They aim to provide community outreach, workforce development, and to broaden awareness of the value of hemp.
They even hold Hemp Farming Workshops!
THE HOLLINGSWORTH CANNABIS COMPANY
Hollingsworth Cannabis Company
Hollingsworth Cannabis is a family affair involving three generations of the Hollingsworth clan. Located in Washington, this Tier III I-502 licensed cannabis producer and processor offers cannabis flower and infused, triple filtered cannabis oil at a number of different retailers across the state.
Raft Hollingsworth III (also known as RT3) works alongside his father, Raft Hollingsworth, Jr., two sisters, and even their 96-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Hollingsworth. With a commitment to environmentally friendly practices, Hollingsworth uses naturally sustainable growing and harvesting practices to ensure that the company’s carbon footprint remains as small as possible.
In the spring of 1909, William “Bull” Lowell began growing what was called Indian Hemp on his farm on the central coast of California. Henry J. Finger took a dislike to Bull’s “marijuana being smoked by the wrong kinds of people”. Finger conspired to outlaw cannabis and later passed the 1913 Poison Act. Bull believed in a man’s right to smoke the dried plant and enjoy its benefits. When the stubborn Bull refused to stop growing his beloved plant, Finger shut down Bull’s farm and later threw him in jail.
Today their community of family farms honor the great Bull Lowell’s tradition of growing cannabis naturally and with a deep love and respect for the plant. Want to join their community of farms? If you think your flowers are as good as theirs and they are lab tested pesticide free and you want to collaborate with them on a blend, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
District Growers is a registered medical cannabis cultivator based in Washington DC established in 2012. Their grow team is highly experienced in an array of cultivation methods – both indoors and outdoors.
Having cultivated in various markets and having been touched by numerous patient experiences, they bring together a unique understanding of patient care and a true passion for the products they produce. They believe that when it comes to cannabis, passionate gardening yields premium experience.
District Growers pride themselves on being consistently recognized by the industry and their customers as being among the best cultivators and cannabis-infused product makers in the country. They are constantly seeking methods to better their products with the goal of providing the best experience possible to those relying on them. They do this because they recognize that the sick and vulnerable depend on them to produce quality products essential to their quality of life and that many prefer their products for both their social use and private adult-use.
To support their customers, they reject as false the notion that perfection is unattainable. Consequently, they take upon their shoulders the task of providing unparalleled quality products that are always properly identified, tested, and free of harmful substances. They willfully engage in a quest to be the very best in operations and methodology. They call their pursuit of perfection, the quest to “Grow True”.
WHO ARE DISTRICT GROWERS?
They are cannabis artisans and fanatics who set out to answer one simple question:
“How do we provide the best cannabis experience possible?”
This obsession led them to develop a low-waste aeroponic cultivation system designed to provide maximum control over those attributes that contribute most to the user experience: aroma, smoothness, taste, and effect. In the development of their methodology, they’ve worked tirelessly to perfect their ability to not only provide a superior experience but to also deliver this experience consistently. Because it is their belief that the “whole plant” delivers the best experience, they utilize only solvent-free extract systems so as to preserve the entire cannabinoid profile in their infused products.
With extreme craftsmanship, care, and a meticulous attention to detail, they deliver the best the plant has to offer. The result is cannabis unlike ever before.
While their efforts have made them one of the most highly regarded grower-teams in the country and garnered recognition throughout the industry, what really matters to them is the trust of their consumers and those depending on the medicine they make. They welcome you to enjoy their products. Further, share your experience. They’ll be looking for you.
Source: DISTRICT GROWERS
A LITTLE BUSINESS NEWS
FOLIUM BIOSCIENCES TO DIVERSIFY INTO CBD BEAUTY WITH NEW COSMECEUTICAL LINE CREATED IN SOUTH KOREA
Hemp leader Folium Biosciences is looking to capitalize on the growing CBD beauty market through the launch of a new line of CBD-based cosmeceutical products set to launch this spring.
Specialising in CBD-infused products for the past five years, the company has partnered with one of the largest cosmetic manufacturers in South Korea to create the line of cosmeceuticals.
CEO Kashif Shan said, “South Korea is truly a cosmeceutical innovator thanks to its preventative approach to skin care and product development. Our groundbreaking CBD-infused cellulose face mask launch last season signaled an immediate need for our team of scientists and doctors to develop a range of market-ready CBD-infused topical products. Using a state-of-the-art purification and scientific process, we are already internationally recognized for phytocannabinoid-rich solutions in human wellness and animal health.
“I believe that our proprietary formulas can revolutionize the topical approach to skincare using 0.0% THC, phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) oil.”
The company is set to launch a CBD relief moisturizer, hand and foot wraps, heating and cooling gels, face moisturizing pearls, face mist and relief patches, and is due to release CBD gummies in the near future.
LEARN MORE | GLOBAL COSMETICS NEWS
CANOPY GROWTH ACQUIRES BEAUTY CO., "THIS WORKS"
Published May 22 2019 8:40 AM EDT
Canopy Growth said on Wednesday it would buy skincare company This Works for C$73.8 million ($55.2 million), adding beauty and sleep products to the Canadian weed producer’s portfolio of cannabis oil, hemp and medical capsules.
London-based This Works, set up in 2003 by a former beauty director of Vogue UK and yoga teacher, makes pillow sprays that help users sleep faster, moisturizers to reduce wrinkles, body oils and eye-care products, according to its website.
Canopy Growth said the acquisition fits with its strategy of expanding internationally and would help develop CBD-infused products and brands for the global beauty and wellness space.
The Canadian company said in February lifestyle guru Martha Stewart would join as an adviser to help develop and launch a line of pot-based products for humans and animals.
LVMH’s Sephora beauty chain has been selling CBD-infused products since 2018, while ULTA Beauty Inc has Hempz branded product and more recently launched CBD-labeled products.
Jefferies expects the CBD beauty market to reach $25 billion in 10 years, accounting for 10%-15% of global skincare sales.
LEARN MORE | CNBC