Cannabis Farmer-CEO Raising Capital, Navigating Complex New Market
Jamie Warm worked at California’s first cannabis dispensary while attending college in Santa Barbara, sparking a career that’s positioned him to take entrepreneurial advantage of the state’s newly legal commercial marijuana market – the nation’s largest.
“The cannabis industry has been my only source of income for my entire adult life. It got me through college. I opened a dispensary after college,” says Warm, 33, who later sold his dispensary, purchased a cannabis farm and eventually co-founded Henry’s Original, a boutique cannabis cultivator and distributor.
While parent company Heritage Holdings of California has been in business serving the medical marijuana market since 2015, Warm launched the Henry’s Original brand last year as the state prepared to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use on New Year’s Day 2018.
“At our core we’ve always been cultivators, and it hasn’t always been necessary to put brand names on the flower,” the CEO says. “We’d just sell the flower to the dispensary.” With the advent of legalized marijuana for recreational use, however, the enterprise, current raising a Series A venture capital round, needed to create a brand to win shelf space. “That’s really the scalable aspect of the business.”
The vertically integrated, Mendocino County-based cannabis company comprises a wholesale nursery that sells to licensed cultivators; five leased, sustainable family flower farms, including Warm’s; a processing facility, where the product is trimmed and packaged; and a distribution center licensed for adult and medical use, which takes the product to 80 dispensaries in the state, and a retail storefront that sells cannabis flower and plants, Warm says.