Knowing Your Farmer

There is nothing like the feeling of direct contact with the patients and members of our collective who purchase our flowers directly from us. There is nothing like having eye to eye contact with the very person who is going to smoke and enjoy the herb we have labored and loved so well, for so many months. There’s simple nothing like it!

I imagine this applies to any handcrafted item or product the supplier is truly proud of. Yet, I think it is even more gratifying to know your items are literally going to improve someone’s very well being. So when we set up our little Farmer’s Table at Harborside Health Center last Friday afternoon, it was with the expectation that we would finally get to meet some of the folks who have been purchasing our flowers there for several years.

At first people were reluctant, and we were surprised: Hey, we were giving away free samples of some fine bud in cute little brown glass jars with Swami Select labels on top. Yet most folks were so immersed in their busy day, multi-tasking on their phones and concerned about the next thing on their schedule, that they didn’t even notice us – and Swami is pretty hard to miss.

But quickly the word spread, and first the Harborside staff started trickling in, curious to finally meet Swami of Swami Select, and of course, grab a sample or two. It was a perfect opportunity to meet with some of the budistas and the phone/delivery order staff and give them a feel and a taste of what Swami Select represents (sungrown organic handcrafted connoisseur grade cannabis flowers). I feel strongly that the sales folks at dispensaries are the front lines out there and so it is ultra important that they know what information to pass on to the patients. Hence, we have invited the staff at Harborside and Flowkana, the two dispensaries we proudly deal with, to our ranch to experience the actual growing season and to get a feel for life off the grid in the heart of the Emerald Triangle. This stuff can’t be explained, it must be experienced.

But even more personally gratifying is actual face to face contact with the patients. Once they caught on, there was a steady flow of visitors to our farmer’s table all afternoon. We met people with conditions ranging from panic attacks and severe arthritis looking for freedom from pain to others simply searching for some clean, organically grown sungrown cannabis to liven up their weekends. To us, all is medicine, whether for stress reduction, relaxation, or pain management. It is such a pleasure to share the goodness and give it away. It reminds me of “the old days” in Golden Gate Park in the late 60’s and early 70’s, hippies gathered and sharing all with strangers, just to spread the joy. I guess I will always be a flower child.

The MMRSA bills which Jerry Brown signed recently do not exactly allow for farmers markets, where farmers may have direct sales to patients. We are hoping it is added as an amendment before it goes into effect in 2018. They clearly stress the use of official distributors to act as basically what we used to call “middle men”. I am hoping the Farmers Market model does survive, as we saw it in full bloom at The Emerald Cup in December. We are blessed with direct contact through our collective, Ganja Ma Gardens, and through the incredibly farmer-friendly FlowKana platform (www.flowkana,.com) as well as the occasional farmer markets up here in Mendocino at AREA 101 in the summer. But my dream is to see cannabis farmers tables at all the beautiful farmers markets around California, sprinkled amidst the local wines and vegetables and other delicacies. Why not?

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