Sungrown in greenhouses, Autumn Brands is making their mark in cannabis
Autumn Brands is a part of the booming craft cannabis scene in California. Co-founded by Autumn Shelton and Hanna Brand, Autumn Brands features all sun-grown craft cannabis products via greenhouses and hand trimmers.
We got to speak with Co-Founder Hannah Brand, a Cal Poly graduate of the Agriculture and Plant Sciences department, about what it’s like being in the California cannabis market, as well as what the future of the brand is in this exclusive interview!
MRR: Can you tell us a little bit about the background of your brand?
Hanna Brand: Yeah. So basically we started cultivating in 2015 when my dad was approached by partners who wanted to grow under the collective model. So we began cultivating while I was going to school with my brother at Cal Poly where we were both studying agriculture at this time. My dad kind of realized that there wasn’t a spot for my brother and I in this business model that he was partnered in right now. He said, I want my kids to be part of it. Let’s get everyone together and really make something here that we can be proud of and that my kids can come out of school, start working full time and really get going in this industry and we couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished.
MRR: What advice would you give to women trying to break into the cannabis industry?
Hanna Brand: Just keep pushing yourself. Don’t be intimidated about how many guys there are. This is the first big industry where we’re on kind of an equal playing field. Like alcohol, tobacco, that’s all male dominant because back then when they all started, women didn’t have leadership roles in business. We’re pretty equal now, and I believe we have the opportunities to be right there with the guys.
MRR: Can you talk a little bit about your interactions with the BCC during your road to licensing?
Hanna Brand: It’s been an interesting relationship because the BCC will say something and you, as a licensed operator, try to check every box and follow their instructions perfectly. The problem is you have to go back to them and say, hey, some of this might not be logistically possible. From there they’re like, oh, well then we have to work with you and figure it all out. To be fair however, I think they’re doing a pretty good job from coming from something that was fully illegal to a legal industry. They have to make all these rules and sometimes they make mistakes. I think the rules are important though because you’re going to get this separation where some people are doing it right. They are working hard, paying the money and putting in the effort to be fully compliant. Then other people simply aren’t. At the end of the day, people are heating this product up and inhaling it or putting it in their body in some form. It needs to be safe.
MRR: What do you see the future of cannabis here in California? Is it flower? Pre-rolls? Edibles? Vapes? Ext…?
Hanna Brand: I see that there’s room for everyone to grow and their niches. I personally think there will always be flower because more people are understanding that you don’t just want THC or CBD alone, you want all of the cannabinoids and so I think live resin is something that’s going to become more popular. Extracting all of the cannabinoids. But I think flower and pre-rolls will always have a place because they’re social and you get the full experience and the full health benefits.
MRR: Speaking of CBD, do you see more cannabinoids coming online like CBG, CBN, THCV?
Hanna Brand: I think right now CBD will stay on top for awhile. However as people get more educated and realize, ‘my body does this’ or ‘I have these issues’ they’ll actually study what specific cannabinoids help for what. At that point we’ll begin to see more and more of these alternative cannabinoids come to market. There’s going to be a lot of research on cannabis in the near future, which is awesome, because I think that research is needed first.
MRR: How did you decide on the strains for your brand?
Hanna Brand: A lot of it is the growing, how it grows in the greenhouse. Is it good in our environment? Does it stay how we want it to and does the THC level stay where we want it. From there we shift, and we try to get the full range of hybrid, indica, and sativa, but a lot of it is just being in the green house. Watching how we trim it, making it a plant that is easily grown and stays in the shape that we want so that when we trim it, it’s less labor and more appealing to the consumer. Just because you like a certain strain, if we can’t grow it to meet our quality expectations, well then we can’t grow it. We have to make that decision because economically we need to grow what works best in our greenhouses. Sometimes what works best in our greenhouses is different from what works about some people’s indoor grows or standard outdoor grows.