Happy Holidazed & Confused, MHC!!!
Crazy how a couple weeks can slip by on you when you are trying to do these weekly blog posts... there will be more slips, but I am grateful to those of you that take the time to read and appreciate the journey we are all on. To you, my gratitude and continued commitment.
First off, have a taste. Kick back, and think about dropping into this 9 Pound Hammer stash (up above if on a mobile phone or over here -->)
Since the last blog post was slightly vague with lots of follow-up questions by members offline...and in light of recent industry frauds in our neck of the woods, I'll share a bit more.
At the risk of overshadowing the holidaze vibes and good cheer, this is totally unrelated to us... but questions are asked because of his proximity to us. This happened this week here locally and the store owner is someone that popped-up here in Waterbury Center to try to cash in on the bandwagon like so many other hustlers and thieves have over the years on different fronts. While he conned a bunch of folks/farms around Central Vermont and the Waterbury / Stowe areas, we were not one of his exploits. He conned some friends that we know, and folks I have worked with in the past, so I am sensitive to not make them feel worse. We tried to warn folks about the sourcing to sales pipeline disconnect for VT Hemp this year and without throwing shade or wagging fingers at those not hearing our warnings. All that said, we are very solid with our work forward in this space and thanks for asking. This guy had approached the dairy farm (where we grew CBD this year) with a similar hustle to all of these other fraudulent deals and they declined before one of our Collective members introduced us- but our crop-share partners and I have never engaged with him professionally or personally... ///BUT/// much more exciting news about our work at the hemp farm below. We surpassed our own expectations and want to share this news with you. Please keep reading even if you click on this link to see what all that fraud / con artistry fuss was about.
And here's some clarification for the last blog post, some pics from around the homestead, and hopefully some new info that will inspire y'all with the positive vibrations and all the feels that we got going on here- for which I give so much thanks to so many of you!
So this is a tree that got struck by some winter storms. We're going to do something with it. Any guesses? Hint: We already have one tree indoors currently, so it's not getting chopped down.
The backstory of the bud bandit that bit off more bud that he could burn... hmmmm, see... welp, the story picks up after our outdoor harvest here at Meadow House (not at the farm where I was growing roughly 220x more cannabis plants than we had growing here and all legally/licensed and permitted...) but from that batch, some of our THC cannabis walked off the MH grounds and we got sucker-punched out by someone I know to the tune of roughly $3k (only a portion of the total yield)... and that is... if you can legally put a value on the home grown yields of my legal 6 plants here just disappearing and walking off. Since it is not comparable to medicinal licensing, I can't put a value on it and therefore report it to the police as stolen property in a way that will hold up in court imho... but regardless, there are two things that make it not possible for me to use the system to "get justice" in this case anyway... now this is a teachable moment, so buckle up compadres and I'll share some more... though not any names and I won't make it easily identifiable or revenge-y... because it is only plants and money/not money.
First reason why the system fails us here.There are politicians in our State capital that only see the hard money for them or their pet funding priorities all coming from cannabis via a tax and regulate system. That's all they care about. Not justice for cannabis community or immediate expungements for non-violent cannabis "offenders", or even the rights / real property of the THC cannabis in a legal state like VT... because we have no legal market for comparable pricing and valuations via sales... we are the only state set up this way currently and it needs fixing. And there are very hard data points on the unregulated market valuations and across indices from every legal state too- the numbers don't lie. So they made 6 plants legal to grow in VT, but it is illegal to sell those plants in this state. Ergo, no valuation can be extended to our perfectly legal property and even if I had a signed an agreement saying this individual was allowed to take property off of my land to make it more legally binding (and as we do at the farms I work with)... I still wouldn't have taken him to the police or through the judicial system. That's the second part- mostly because this was a person I had been hoping would become a strong part of our Collective and able to grow as we grow... but we have a framework and moral consistency in our approach to resolving differences and tensions- so it is what it is. Though it does make me sad when trusts are broken and betrayals of words happen, I won't lie.
It is not the first time I have failed to build loyalty among free-spirits and journeymen taking a higher hustle. It is a tough industry by most professional standards (see story above) but that is also why our proposed regulatory framework seeks to empower many- not just in our Collective... but for all collectives, farms, and individuals that are passionate about growing/farming and the resulting commerce and byproducts of that professional labor- not to strip the hustle from the hustle but to eliminate the hustle from the hustle. You've got to know what I mean, you know? Go reread that if you don't. ;)
Through an open and diverse framework that is the Collective, our loss was absorbed rather immediately and we are moving forward. No drama necessary- but VT politicians need to be aware they left a gaping hole in the existing legislation of VT legalization. As a result, we will be advocating this legislative session for a much more robust home-grow professional framework to be added to the existing legal VT statutes to read better in real world practice. Our proposed changes to these current statutes will include successful completion of a professional responsibility course and licensing through both the Agency of Agriculture and the Secretary of State's' office to conduct business / sales directly from the farm or at a municipally-sanctioned business on file.
The Agency of Agriculture is already set to handle CBD / hemp licensing this way and has done so all online this last season. These improvements to existing statutes will allow farmers to increase their grows from 6 THC strong cannabis plants up to 60 plants (or a larger number TBD in committee hearings)... and with a limited farmers' market / direct from farm sales model permitted. That fixes two concrete holes in current statutes. It allows those in apartments / rentals that prohibit home-grows (aka, non-landowners) to sub-let crop-share spaces at local farms that are permitted to handle that... and it will allow us to begin to develop a legally binding market price and valuation structure for legal THC cannabis in VT. No boogeymen will fall out of space and maybe it might push back the corporate lobbyists a bit so working Vermonters can actually find a little respite from the regulatory madness and hypocrisy of what is being proposed for tax & Regulate cannabis in VT. This will benefit many more Vermonters and I will be advocating for those changes this session in Montpelier towards that end. I am not a paid lobbyist but represent our Collective interests. Please share your thoughts with me on this and let me know if we should add or subtract from the plant count or tweak even further. Go! That said, if you care to support our work through donations or store purchases, so much like when a joint passes me in a circle, I won't say no and very much appreciate the Collective doing what the Collective does. :)
And speaking of the farm harvest, we grew around 1300 plants this year and met with our crop-share partners this last weekend to talk 2020 season.... And the general consensus is this is the year we will scale our work by roughly 10-fold there. We are picking up contract orders in some major urban centers and things are developing rather nicely. I give thanks for the opportunities. And it means we will have to do some work in our Inertia garden here at Meadow House this year to meet that capacity but the sun was pointing out the way rather clearly and the path forward for us here too.
As most that have been to the farm know, it is one of the most iconic places to spend some time, to get to work, and to grow some flowers at... as far as Vermont experiences and natural settings go, it is way up there. I'm thrilled to get to share this news with you all. My kids and I talked it over and we're all looking forward and grateful for this new rhythm to our lives and lots more adventures to come... including a dairy CSA pick-up here at Meadow House for their milk and some of our limited edition free-range dairy infused products very soon. We will be fielding crews and sustainably scaling our growth based on sound data science and experiences from this years' work. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity- not just for me personally in laying out where I get to spend my time in 2020, but also for our Collective- including some of you that I hope will be part of our crew next season. And that makes me ridiculously inspired to work even harder to keep the organic vibes and attention to natural systems flowing for us all.
This years' harvest was massive if I can humble brag for just a moment... and we are still processing and filling CBD orders. All recreational wellness consults at the Meadow House that are booked through the Infusionry online scheduler - will have the option of tasting the House strain of the day.. some days it might be a MidWest CBD with super earthy flavors and hints of vanilla and other days the dark fruity notes of our Cherry Blossom, or the bright pop of citrus and grapefruit like terpenes coursing through our StormyD strains on others. Or just ask for a sample and we'll let you try them all side-by-side for taste profiles- all very legal. I'll also add you into the raffle in February if you book any recreational wellness planning sessions online between now and then.
Last but not least
We like to incorporate our fellow growers and farms into the mix and share the love how we can, so lots more of these calming and centering CBD lines for future pantry mixes, for sure. And as quickly as I made the 9# Hammer chocolate bites and bars, they went bye-bye... just like the VT CBD store down the road and the vanishing home grown meds I mentioned above... peppermint bark vittles disappearing too. Much more getting made now though and give me some advance smoke-signals if you are in that kinda headspace for the Solstice weekend.
As to the partridge in the pear tree... no other way to finish out another celestial year on Saturday than with two of our favorite members stacking the pantry and keeping the bliss. Remember this Holidaze that, the ones that provide, often need reciprocal love to survive.
Let’s dig deep as a Collective and consider the gifts that keep on giving. Through end of January, if you pre-book consults online or in-person, you will be entered into the Groundhog day raffle as well.
Remember to take care of each other and may you find peace and joy this season and forever,