Who are you and what do you do in the cannabis industry?
I'm Bethany and I run the show for Falcanna. I do everything from taxes to employee management to placing orders for product to following up with stores.
Wow, so you do a lot! How often do you get to work with the plants now? cannabis
I don't really process the orders anymore (Kaitlyn helps me out with that.) We have about 25 staff members that help run the show. I try to spend at least an hour with the crew working on plant care and implementation of what they're trying to do. We have extremely high expectations as far as the quality that comes out of the grow. We only grow product that we actually want to smoke. Our approach to growing is we want to be able to go into the store and buy any of our bags and be happy with it. Because of that, I personally do a lot of quality control checking for the plants. I check on them every day and spend a couple hours a day running netting, watering the plants, etc.
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Why do you choose to consume?
I got my medical recommendation for migraines. I get them really bad, sometimes to the point where I lose a little vision. It runs in the family. I've found that in my experiences, cannabis has worked better than any migraine medication.
How did you get started in the cannabis industry?
My husband, Justin, and I started our first medical dispensary when I was 18, so this is the 9th year that we've been in the industry.
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Originally, we needed a way to make money when we were in college. My husband had grown cannabis for three years before we met, and he suggested we grow weed, so we did, and we donated extra product to medical dispensaries. When we had our medical dispensary we grew 95% of the product that we were selling. We made edibles, concentrates, and obviously grew flower. Almost everything we were selling was produced in-house.
So then when did you transition to the brand Falcanna?
We've always been Falcanna. but back then, you wanted to be careful about how you branded yourself so that you didn't get raided. We were growing and selling in a time when dispensaries and grows were being raided 2-3 times a month.
Medical and rec are interesting because they're completely different. When cannabis was medical, there weren't many people in the industry who weren't really into the plant because the risk was so huge. You had to love what you did because it was so risky.
With recreational, its the exact opposite. Its hard to find people who are truly passionate about the plant, and who aren't just in it for the money.
Okay, so I heard a rumor that you're the world's youngest falconer. Is there any truth to that?
Technically, I'm the youngest internationally registered exporter of hunting falcons. A lot of our birds end up going to Dubai for hunting and racing. Overall we raise about 70 birds at a time. We have a staff to handle the birds. Just like with Falcanna, I'm more involved in the business management of the birds, negotiating with the buyers, making sure we're compliant with all laws regarding exporting game and fish. I'll usually fly three birds regularly throughout the year.
How did you get into Falconry?
I got my first bird when I was 14. I had just read the book “My Side of the Mountain” which talks about a kid who lives in NY and is sick of it, so he takes off to live in the woods gets a Peregrin falcon and trains it. I was so inspired by that book that I contacted the Department of Game and Fish and figured out all the requirements. Kind of like an apprenticeship program, there are tiers to being a falconer. First, you're an apprentice for 2 years, then a general falconer for 5 years. Next, you become a master falconer, and then after that you can receive your raptor propagation permit, and then finally, a registered exporter of falcons. To put it into perspective how hard it is to achieve this level, there are only 18 people who export falcons out of the US.
Do you like to smoke while you're hunting with your birds?
I don't smoke during falconry. When you're in nature with your falcon, it's so raw. Nothing is sugarcoated. Once you let your bird loose and its flying free, anything can happen. Imagine you're out hunting for ducks. Your dog is on point, and your falcon is in the air. The dog flushes out the ducks, and your falcon dives in for the kill and grabs one. Then all of a sudden a coyote comes out of nowhere and grabs both birds! It's happened before. Falconry puts you in a state of hyperstimulation, and there really isn't a comparable high, so you don't really need cannabis during the experience.
How has cannabis affected your lifestyle?
I really only use cannabis. I don't drink, and I don't consume any other mind-altering substances, not even coffee. I like the effect of cannabis all on its own. Its a quality of life thing. It really makes things better when you're tired, or grumpy; it’s a happy dose to add to life. I really enjoy cannabis, and all the crosses and strains. It’s really fun to grow something like Pacific Blue, something that we developed ourselves. Cannabis has only been a positive in my life. It's funny - before we met each other, both my Husband and I both were told by our friends that they feel sorry for the person we would each marry because we're both so intense in everything we do. Cannabis matches really well with our personalities. Its a really nice addition.
What's your favorite way to consume?
Flower. The entourage effect of flower is the best. Doctoring of the flower takes away from the flower. I smoke a lot out of bongs but I also roll a lot of joints.
What's your most memorable high story you have?
I definitely have bad stories where I got way too high - but not with flower. When I was in college I made these amazing white chocolate macadamia nut cookies that were full of weed. There was nothing else to eat in the house and I was on my way to take a test and was really hungry so I ate them thinking they wouldn't kick in before the test. I got the test and couldn't remember her name. I sat there for thirty minutes trying to think of my name.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Nothing is a free ride. You’re going to have to work for it. Nowadays people really want to feel like they deserve to be the exception, but that's like winning the lottery. That’s not something you can count on. You have to work on it. I work 70-80 hours a week. That’s the secret. Work your ass off. There are no handouts. The reason people end up disappointed in life is that they didn't work for what they want. This is especially true in the cannabis industry. My parents (who are completely against cannabis. They're still upset that I have a weed company. I'm from Oklahoma.) are oil executives. They're super professional and business savvy and I learned a lot from watching them succeed AND fail at businesses. Because of that, I hasvea lot of specialized knowledge about running a business. Be smart though. Cannabis is one of the most competitive cutthroat industries. It’s the green rush. There are way more people who are currently active than the market can actually support, so if you want to be successful in this industry, you need to throw your all into it.