Autumn Brands: Hanna and Autumn Interview
“Autumn Brands is a Santa Barbara Coastal cannabis flower grower that is both family and women-owned and always 100% spray-free. The spray-free approach allows for a PURE guarantee: Pesticide-free, User-first, Responsibly grown, and Eco-friendly, united by the vision of two families and dedicated to the synergy of health and wellness. We are committed to cultivating the highest quality, pesticide-free, sun-grown-indoor cannabis flower possible. The Autumn Brands’ family farm started in Holland more than a century ago, and today, the sixth-generation farmers apply the same expertise garnered in growing the world’s finest tulips to producing pure and potent strains of cannabis. “
Behind this description, you can find Family Story, Open-Mindedness, and even a bit of philosophy of Cannamoms. Today, we want to tell you one more Cannabis Dynasty Story.
“It’s not in our Dutch roots to give up.”
“At school, we openly talked about cannabis as a hypothetical crop, and eventually, I convinced my senior project advisor to allow me to write my final paper on cannabis.”
I guess that the first Corona wave caused anxiety among business owners. Is the situation better now or still difficult due to the pandemic?
Autumn: We are always paying close attention to quality and sustainability, and are constantly taking additional steps to maintain customer safety during these uncertain times.
Hanna: In the wake of COVID-19 we looked at the clear strategic measures taken to ensure that employee safety, product purity, and innovation remained our top priorities. Cannabis was deemed an essential item and therefore operations have managed to continue in these past 2-years.
Are there some quarantine cannabis trends among your buyers? For example, products for being concentrated at a remote job or calming goods to reduce stress?
А: What we’re seeing is that consumers are increasingly cannabis-comfortable, and the escalating use of cannabis recreationally and medically has rapidly seen cannabis become mainstream. Continuing improvements in-laws around cannabis and legalization in more states are driving significant growth in the industry, with the US cannabis industry alone projected to hit $30 billion in market value annually by 2025.
At Autumn Brands we try to be one step ahead of the field, developing sustainable cannabis cultivation with a holistic, artisanal spray-free approach before it was “on-trend.” We have seen robust growth in the cannabis industry, which affects the consumer and the grower in a lot of ways, from buying options to pricing and more. It also means that the consumer needs to be savvier, making sure they understand that what they are putting in their bodies is clean and knowing the source.
“If you stay honest, work hard, and give back to the community you will find success”
You are the sixth generation of farmers. Was your childhood very different from your peers?
Hanna: During my childhood, I spend so many hours working in the bouquet line and helping out where needed and whenever needed. On busy holidays, like valentines, we would come before and after school to help the crews with the massive amount of orders. We would see 10-18 semi-trucks in one day! I loved the time I got to spend at the farm and it felt special to be able to help the family business. This is the reason I decided to attend Cal Poly, SLO, and get my degree in agriculture, it just made sense.
Many people think that the cannabis business is very fun and easy. But I know that your family used to suffer from a high level of pressure. Slander and conflicts due to a group of people who did not want your farm there. How long had it lasted? What had helped you not to give up?
Autumn: We respect cannabis as a powerful earth medicine – one which offers untold benefits to so many people in every walk of life and lifestyle, but with that power comes the responsibility to uphold clean cultivation practices and, above all, source transparency.
Together our two-family employees bring an uncompromising work ethic, informed by generations of family farming, to the task of producing hand-selected, sun-grown-indoor buds, each hang-dried, hand-trimmed, and cured to preserve maximum potency and full healing benefits.
Hanna: It doesn’t matter what crop you’re growing, agriculture as a whole is a high-pressure business. There are so many environmental and consumer aspects that constantly change the ebb and flow of business. You always need to stay one step ahead and this is why we have been a spray-free farm for over 3 years. It’s important for our customers to know what they’re putting in their bodies, and with our premium products, buyers can have peace of mind that they absolutely do.
We’ve navigated through so many steps in the county and state to be a legal operation but there are still the groups that will make up any story to paint this industry poorly. Autumn Brands has always been an open book to showing the truth about this industry. It is a family farm, sustainable growing, consumer first and so much more. This is the cleanest crop in agriculture and provides so many new opportunities to hundreds of thousands of Californians. about our farm and are very proud of what we continue to accomplish.
It’s not in our Dutch roots to give up.
Are all your friends and relatives open-minded to your business? Have you ever struggled with their misunderstanding?
Hanna: I believe everyone has been for the most part supportive? Everyone has been open-minded and interested in learning more about the plant.
At school, we openly talked about cannabis as a hypothetical crop, and eventually, I convinced my senior project advisor to allow me to write my final paper on cannabis.
Autumn: We started growing in the medical marijuana collective model days. At that time we didn’t talk about it. We didn’t tell anyone. But once we did, all of our friends and family were supportive.
What can help to destigmatize cannabis in society?
People are developing new habits and behaviors that will permanently shape how they do things moving forward. They are rethinking their jobs, their families’ health and wellness regimes, and how they get through a crisis.
Cannabis is at the forefront of that conversation and behavior shift. As shared knowledge about cannabis grows – along with its customer base – the general public is warming up to this once-feared and misunderstood plant.
Consumers who once balked at the idea of smoking marijuana, associating it with all sorts of negative connotations, are better at grasping its benefits. Meanwhile, celebrity personalities like Top Chef Joe Sasto are introducing inventive, community-focused ways of safely introducing cannabis to various segments of the population.
Your motto is “Inhale, Exhale, Smile”. Who created it? Have you agreed on it immediately or there were tons of options?
We came up with our tagline “Inhale, Exhale, Smile” after many brainstorming sessions with our Marketing and Design Agency. This one resonated with all of us immediately. It sums up our brand perfectly.
If you should choose between THC and CBD, what would you select?
We’re all about the full spectrum THC, and that’s what most of our strain offerings contain. We have grown a CBD-rich strain called Blue Dream. I guess it depends on the time of day and what you’d like to achieve with your high.
Talking about the future of the company, what is your model? Do you want to join a big company to reach the world market or family business model will be supreme?
We will always be a family business model first and foremost. We are here to stay and cannot be easily bought out or acquired.
As more states legalize the use of marijuana in some form, technology will likely play a large role in dispensaries’ interaction with consumers and DTC online sales. Delivery services are popping up in major cities to seamlessly connect consumers with products. Online ordering for a curbside pick-up is also becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the wake of COVID-19 and social distancing measures.
Is it more difficult, when your relatives are your business partners?
We’re lucky in that respect, we have a strong family dynamic and work ethic. We each have our own “lane” of the business which we run, and when things get difficult we talk them through and figure out solutions, together.
In the CNN interview, your father talked about a crisis moment for your company, when your family was on the threshold of bankruptcy. Was it the only case, or you have overcome it several times? If yes, please, share how you rescued the company and thrived.
H: My dad has gone through numerous battles and crises. As an immigrant, he had to work from the ground up with his dad and brother to start a flower company. There were struggles with previous partners, family members, banks, customers, and more. But he always taught my brother and me, that if you stay honest, work hard, and give back to the community you will find success.
Name the top 3 of your products, please.
- Premium Flower Jars (Smalls + Regular)
- 7-pack pre-rolls
- Muscle & Joint Salve
Do you have favorite goods?
H: My current favorite product is our 7-pack pre-rolls. They are so convenient for any time and can easily be shared with friends. We use a slim/reefer cone that is smooth, easy to tote and allows you to smoke a bit slower. Also, no cleaning up after you’re done!
Do you want to add some items in the nearest future? If yes, could you give us a little spoiler?
H:We are launching our 1g Hash-Infused pre-roll line in April! We have 3 strains specially curated from our consumer’s favorite strains!
Blueberry Fuego, GMOG, and Strawberry Vanilla.
What is your most unusual or unique product?
Our Nourishing Muscle and Joint Salve are unique in their ingredients and how incredibly well it works. It utilizes our full spectrum of pesticide-free cannabis oil and magnesium.
Our Elixirs only include two ingredients, our full spectrum pesticide-free cannabis oil and coconut oil ensuring the purest doses possible.
What is your product good for inexperienced cannabis users?
Autumn:I would have to say our Salve! This is locally crafted in small batches by Goleta’s Green Rush Alliance, LLC, and delivers 400mg of HTFSE-grade (High Terpene Full Spectrum) cannabis oil (ratio 1:7 THC rich). This is produced through an innovative, non-volatile cold extraction process developed by the sophisticated Italian perfume industry and is only available in Santa Barbara County. This method captures the distinctive terroir and delicate attributes of each sun-grown strain in a process so gentle, it doesn’t need further refining, distilling, dewaxing, or winterization. The end result is a mirror image profile of the source plant material, including the entourage of healing phytochemicals (terpenes, esters, phenolic compounds, etc) to help rejuvenate and repair. And all of this without the head high. It’s a great starting product for beginners wanting to experience the full benefits of cannabis without the fear of getting high.
Hanna: We grow a beautiful well balanced Blue Dream CBD which is available in jars and pre-rolls. This strain is 21% Total Cannabinoids, 11% THC, and 8% CBD. It is the perfect entry-level flower as it allows for a mellow and easy head high with a calming and pain relief body high. New users won’t need to feel the pressure of getting “too high” because of the low THC and balance of CBD. It is also great for daily use and will allow you to stay productive well getting the relief you need.
Which one can amuse even frequent users?
Autumn:Warrior Elixir is 1000mg THC and is perfect for frequent users.
Hanna: For frequent users, I suggest our GMOG is available in a 3.5g premium full flower jar or 14g Premium Smalls jar. This strain tests 30-31% total THC and boosts a strong terpene content.
Can you recall some fun or strange cases, connected to your business?
We have always brought in beneficial insects, but never ladybugs. They found their own way in due to our spray-free environment. We never understood how these ladybugs were missing their spots until a University of California professor reached out to us educating us on how incredibly special it is to have the native California lady beetle naturally existing in our greenhouse. You normally only find invasive non-native species.
Hanna and Autumn, how do you spend your leisure? What hobbies do you have?
We both love the outdoors, skiing, snowboarding, and hanging with family. And don’t forget the lake!
What clichés about growers or cannabis users are fun for you?
Autumn: People tend to think that anyone who partakes in cannabis is just ‘stoners’ that just sit on the couch and eat munchies. But in fact, cannabis is great to help us get creative and carefree or just feel better throughout the day.
Hanna: That weed grows like a weed! I mean, it does grow like a weed, but won’t grow well. It takes time to learn the needs our this plant especially when you don’t use any sprays. We spend a large amount of money and time working on new genetics in order to find the right strains for our environment. It’s typical when you test 5 strains but only 1 that thrives.
Once, at the interview, Hanna said that if she should select a cannabis buddy, she would smoke with her father
(because he does not smoke) or Snoop Dog. Did anything change? What about Autumn?
Autumn: I am more of an active smoker. I like to smoke before I go for a run or hike, or at a lively concert. I find that I get more awareness and clarity when I smoke during the day which makes me more productive. So my ideal buddy or buddies are athletic or music lovers!
Hanna: My dad still hasn’t smoked! But! He uses our Thrive Elixir every night to help him sleep. We had some health issues in 2020 and didn’t sleep through the night without his 1:2 CBD: THC elixir. I do have a plan to smoke with him this summer, but I’ll let you know how it goes…
Question for Autumn. Once a time, you have mentioned that mothers also use small doses of cannabis for health. Are you the cannamom?
Autumn: 100% I am and treat cannabis like I would a fine wine. It’s a great way for me to relax, be present and sometimes even focus or go for a run.
Please, describe your attitude toward cannabis in 3 words.
Autumn: Passionate, Inspired, and Grateful
Hanna: Holistic, Powerful, and Beautiful
You both have tried cannabis? If yes, tell us, please, what were you thinking about after your first user experience?
Autumn: My first cannabis experience was almost 25 years ago! So in all honesty I don’t remember what I was thinking about. But I do remember really enjoying the high and not feeling overwhelmed by it.
Hanna: I tried an edible and went to the movies. I was so worried I would get too high but ended up making it through the whole movie. Looking back on it, there was no way of knowing anything about the product we were eating and smoking and I did take a long break from cannabis because I often got anxiety. In college, I began experimenting again and have found the balance that works for me.
I hope you felt the atmosphere of ease, calmness, and natural beauty that we felt. Cannabis has different sides. There are cannabis users, who are smiling at the party due to being high. There are cannabis users, who smile because of relief: one more day without pain. Remember, that the flip side of the cannabis industry can look unpredictable: a cute family farm with ladybugs.
- 1 “It’s not in our Dutch roots to give up.”
- 2 “At school, we openly talked about cannabis as a hypothetical crop, and eventually, I convinced my senior project advisor to allow me to write my final paper on cannabis.”
- 3 “If you stay honest, work hard, and give back to the community you will find success”