Why It’s Important to Know Your Cannabis Farmer


Santa Cruz has long been a leader in promoting sustainable agriculture, with passionate innovators like Jim Cochran at Swanton Berry Farm proving that strawberries could be grown organically while paying union workers a living wage. This legacy of environmental stewardship, as evidenced by our bountiful farmers’ markets and vibrant seasonal cuisine, can easily be translated to the cannabis industry, which has been rocked by the paradigm shift to regulated markets over the past nine months.

Enduring challenges is part of farm life, with bad weather, insect infestations, and natural disasters par for the course, no matter what type of crop you’re growing. But for California cannabis farmers, combating powdery mildew and conserving water is only part of the struggle right now, with worries over obtaining new state licenses, finding distribution, affording lab tests, building a brand and marketing their products taking center stage. Many boutique producers of high-quality, small-batch cannabis in the Emerald Triangle are concerned that they will not be able to compete against well-capitalized, large-scale producers backed by Canadian investors.

Just as the movement to support local food aims to address the carbon footprint of our supply chains, promoting the consumption of in-season produce grown within 100 miles versus fruits and veggies shipped by air from far-flung places, the movement to support local, sungrown cannabis has the same objectives—keeping family farmers on their land, preserving unique cannabis genetics while nurturing living soils and eco-friendly cultivation techniques.

The Flow Cannabis Institute in Mendocino County will host educational events for tourists curious about the plant.

The Flow Cannabis Institute in Mendocino County will host educational events for tourists curious about the plant.

Working to address these issues, Flow Kana is a socially-responsible cannabis brand with vision, designing a supply chain that supports legacy farmers in getting their products to market throughout California. The brainchild of CEO Michael Steinmetz, who has experience in the natural foods industry as well as high finance, Flow Kana believes that everyone should know who grows their cannabis, including where and how it is grown.

With the goal of keeping small Emerald Triangle farmers in business, Flow Kana partners with growers, who bring their harvest to be processed, sorted, packaged, tested and shipped from their state-of-the-art facility near Ukiah. This way, farmers can focus on cultivating the best cannabis, not worrying about marketing and branding. Formerly the sprawling home of the Fetzer family winery, the newly refurbished Flow Cannabis Institute functions as a processing center and manufacturing facility as well as a tourist destination with plans for educational events.

Flow Kana has implemented a system for grading cannabis, with Gold, Silver and Bronze labeling that denotes quality, including strain names as well as the farm that the flowers originated from. Available widely throughout California, Flow Kana flowers and prerolls allow consumers to vote with their dollars and support the hardworking farmers who have kept cannabis thriving through the toughest times of the prohibition era. When you choose Flow Kana, you’re getting a sustainable, sungrown product that reflects counterculture values, so please stop in and meet with Flow Kana representatives at KindPeoples on Friday, August 31 from 4 - 7pm at our Soquel location in order to learn more.