Cannabis is a plant exuding divine feminine energy. And while the regulated industry may appear dominated by men, there are (and have been) countless incredible women in the space since the beginning.
Cannabis & Tech Today spoke with four dynamic female growers from California to understand more about their journeys, share their wisdom, and celebrate their success.
Tina Gordon, Founder and Owner, Moon Made Farms
When it comes to cultivating cannabis, Moon Made Farms owner Tina Gordon is enamored with the entire process from seed to smoke. She began her love affair with farming over 15 years ago when she found herself in the Emerald Triangle as part of a documentary film crew. Like many other craft growers, Tina was taken aback by the magnitude of the earth’s bounty.
“My favorite thing about growing is connecting with the plant, the land, and the infinite number of daily environmental variables that influence the plant’s finished flower,” she said.
Moon Made Farms doesn’t just harness the power of the sun to grow its exquisite buds — they call upon the lunar cycles as well. The regenerative farm honors the feminine energy of the plant they grow through the cultivation practices, seeing the waxing and waning moon as an integral part of the process.
Tina implores new cultivators to think deeply about the plant they are setting out to grow and encourages wisdom and purpose toward a higher goal.
“Visualize the entire season from seed to full flower and create a detailed full season plan that you’re capable of executing,” she advised. “Consider who will be ingesting the flower you’re cultivating and the products made from your flower and consider the benefit you can share with them through your work. Cultivate with love and intention.”
Tamara Kislak, Owner and Operator, That Good Good Farm
Tamara Kislak has been growing cannabis for 25 years, beginning her journey in Arizona before eventually relocating to the Emerald Triangle by way of SoCal.
Her company, That Good Good Farm, operates off-the-grid, deep in the heart of Mendocino. Tamara decided on her remote location in 2009 when it was still imperative to evade the federal agents combing the area for cannabis farms. She acknowledges the isolated farm has its challenges, but according to Tamara, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
That Good Good Farm has a vast catalog, but the current strain catalog includes a luscious Cherry Dosi, doughy Biscotti Pancakes, and a sweet and creamy Horchata. When asked what she enjoyed cultivating most, Tamara struggled to choose, calling out the rich diversity in each variety.
“I just like to grow weed,” she laughed. “I’ve grown hundreds if not thousands of strains. It’s amazing to see that from the same origins of this plant, you can have something that smells sweet and fruity, and then garlicky and dank and nasty.”
Tamara reminds new growers to do their homework and to immerse themselves in the cannabis culture.
“Put in the time to really understand it,” she suggested. “Do work with people who have been doing it for a long time so that you can learn and grow from those people. Build a community around yourself of knowledgeable, trustworthy people.”
Jill McClure, Owner and Operator, Hogwash Pharms
For third-generation cannabis farmer Jill McClure, the plant is not just a livelihood — it’s a part of her family’s legacy. She grew up in the garden, pitching in by the time she reached adolescence. “When I was a child, it was part of our life,” Jill told Cannabis & Tech Today.
Decades later, Jill has evolved the family business in a big way. In addition to the flower grown at Hogwash Pharms, Jill runs a manufacturing distribution arm with her husband called Humboldt Alchemy Group. The company has produced everything from pre-rolls to CO2 oil and is working on launching an outlaw-themed brand called Most Wanted — all without investors.
As someone who came of age among towering cannabis plants, Jill finds herself at peace when out in the fields. She enjoys the natural beauty of the crop so deeply ingrained in her life, often finding herself mourning the bounty once it’s been removed.
Jill recalled a time when her young nephew was over for a visit during the harvest season, the child’s questions forcing her to reflect on her own grief. “He was like, ‘Why are you cutting all those beautiful plants down?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I know. It is pretty sad here.’”
Despite the melancholy nature of the harvest, Jill rests easy, knowing that her hard work will pay off in the end. “There’s a reward behind it — you’re producing something that is beneficial to people that really need it.”
Dr. Natasha Khallouf, DAOM, Founder, CEO, and Farmer, Agricola Flower and Nursery
For so many people, cannabis is a medicine. Dr. Natasha Khallouf knows that all too well. In addition to running her farm, Khallouf is a practitioner of Chinese medicine and has seen the benefits of plant medicine firsthand.
A caregiver (and migraine sufferer herself), Natasha understands the incredible power cannabis has to heal. She previously helped procure flower for a patient collective in Los Angeles in the Prop 215 era before heading north to Santa Rosa to start Agricola Flower and Nursery.
While Natasha is passionate about all that her plants can do, she says the spiritual nature of her profession is something she truly cherishes.
“My favorite thing about being a cultivator is it connects me to my ancestors,” Natasha said. “Working with the earth is my way of paying homage to those that came before me while saying a prayer for those that have yet to come.”
The Agricola brand is well known for its Strawberry Cough, a strong sativa with a hazy berry aroma. Natasha has previously said that sativa translates to “of the field” in herbal medicine, bringing her farm and wellness practice full circle. When asked about her advice for new growers, Natasha echoed the sentiments of the others featured — follow your heart, build your community, and believe.
“Trust your process, be humble, and never be afraid to ask questions — someone out there wants to share with you!”
This article first appeared in Volume 5 Issue 1 of Cannabis & Tech Today. Read the full issue here. Header image courtesy of Claudia Goetzelman.