Happy Tuesday Canna Fam! This year has really put into perspective how supportive this community I am blessed to be a part of really is. I have seen people demonstrate strength, resiliency, integrity, persistence, and many more great qualities. What stood out to me the most though was the selflessness I saw, despite everybody going through a harder time than normal this year. I feel like usually I use these blogs as a way to improve upon issues that already exist, but in this specific blog I want to really recognize how far we have come in the present. While I am sure this year has been hard on EVERYONE’S mental health in this industry, we get to be extremely grateful to still have our jobs unlike many other industries. With the world in disarray, cannabis sales have been up in 2020 and we have been busier than ever.
Of all the many obstacles 2020 has brought us, I want to talk about what has impacted the cannabis industry the most. Covid-19 has obviously had an effect on everybody in the world at this point. For us working in the industry, events have been an entirely different experience, if they have continued at all. If you are used to spending all of your Saturdays at vendor days, you are probably overwhelmed with the amount of freedom you have had this summer. For those that enjoy interacting with people, it has been extremely tough to find that same kind of engagement from home. Covid-19 hasn’t been the only setback this year though, as we found ourselves in a fight against racial injustice. Unfortunately, not all peaceful protests remained peaceful, and many businesses were victims to looting and destruction of everything they had built. It is sad that in times we are trying to enact change toward a more loving and accepting world, hate still seems to find its way in. My prayers to those who have to rebuild everything they had worked hard for. We have also had record numbers of wildfires this year. Between Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado and several other states, many growers have found themselves losing their entire crops, or even worse their homes. What we have seen happen this year has been devastating to say the least. I have been fortunate enough to watch the industry come together during these times and help their loved ones get through the turmoil. People have used their social media outlets as a way to raise money and collect donations for people who have experienced loss whether it be a loved one or their homes and businesses. You realize how much of a family we all really are when times are tough, and we need to lean on each other a little more.
I set up a GoFundMe recently for my extremely good industry friend Sean, and his uncle John, the owner of Cutting Edge Solutions. Their house was burnt down due to the Glass Fire in Santa Rosa, CA and they lost everything. I imagined that people would donate, no doubt, but I had no clue that we were going to hit $15,000 after a week of posting the page. The overwhelming amount of joy I feel to get to be a part of such a selfless community of people during tough times, it is just incredible. When there were fires here in Oregon and I had just got back out here, so many people in the industry reached out to check on me and make sure things were okay out here. This industry makes you feel special and loved. For some of us, we work with companies in other countries during this time and are not getting to even see our team. This is exactly why I am grateful to be a part of such a small industry. We do an amazing job of creating the feeling of family while we still work. I was never the biggest fan of social media, but during times like these when we are not seeing the people we normally see, it is nice to log in to your social media account and know that you are going to see a familiar face.
Looking toward 2021, I feel like if I was in any other industry, I would be extremely fearful of what is to come. The world is different after experiencing Covid-19, and most of us wonder if it will ever go back to the normalcy we had before. I have learned not to take for granted how often I get to interact with the people I care about in this industry. I would have never guessed all of my vendor days and events would be cancelled for me this year and that I would not be able to see all of the people I have grown to love. Who knew we would be forced to spend more time than ever with technology this year if we wanted to stay connected at all? Although some people outside the industry like to look down on us for enjoying cannabis, I truly believe it has been crucial to get through everything and still feel peace in 2020. I cannot tell you how many facetime smoke sessions I have had, but they have kept me sane through all of the insanity. I am also proud and blessed to be a part of an industry that is considered essential during these times. It just shows how far cannabis has come, and the exciting direction we are headed!
I feel like I am rambling, but moral of this blog is that I just want to say thank you and share how blessed I am to be going through the hardest of times with you guys. I am beyond grateful to work with so many strong and loving people. I feel braver than I ever have in my life because I know how much support I have and that if I fall, I have so many incredible individuals that would help pick me up. I hope that you guys feel the same love from me, and if you don’t please know that I am here if anybody ever needs to talk or just have somebody to listen to them. If we are able to survive 2020 with the hustle and love we have put forward, I think we will truly be able to survive anything. I promise to keep a positive head on my shoulders, and to continue moving forward with awareness for what is going on in the world, but also the ability to know when to not get involved in things that aren’t for me. I challenge you guys to continue being the most amazing family in the world, and to celebrate yourselves for being an incredible light in my life and many others.
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