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Snowbird Botanicals founders Ivan and Cynthia talk about developing sustainable and organic methods, fighting stigma and finding ways to deepen wellness. This article is part of a regular series, Trailblazers, highlighting entrepreneurs entering the legal cannabis space.
Ivan and Cynthia of Snowbird Botanicals built themselves a tiny home and moved to Vermont to learn farming. Before moving to Vermont from Florida, they never imagined they would be operating a cannabis farm. However, their green and organic values have always aligned with that of the Green Mountain state.
“We just came up for the season four years ago, and every year we kept coming back a little sooner and leaving a little later,” Ivan said.
Located in Barnett, Snowbird Botanicals is operated by Ivan and Cynthia themselves. Fully organic with a focus on regenerative farming, they use minimal plastic and repurpose/reuse everything they can. Snowbird doesn’t bring in any non-organic nutrients onto the property and they treat their roots with fungal remediation.
Snowbird Botanicals specializes in CBD products and they recently acquired their cannabis license, meaning they can grow cannabis with THC over the legal hemp limit of 0.3%.
When Ivan and Cynthia came to learn about farming, they found a community of friends and neighbors who helped guide them in the right direction and who were willing to share their knowledge of growing and farming overall. Throughout everything they learned, their interests eventually led them to buying the farm in Barnett now known as Snowbird Botanicals.
“We love being able to give our product away, samples or actual bottles, especially if they’ve had a negative experience with CBD.”
Something on the forefront of their goals is to be able to educate people on cannabis and to help remove stigmatization. Cindy makes a good point elaborating on the connotations that come with the terms “recreational” and “adult use.”
“People that are in the industry itself will still say recreational and not understand the majority of people are using it medicinally, and sure it can be recreational, but that’s definitely not the formal name that should be in common use,” Cynthia said.
In addition to education, Ivan and Cynthia’s careers revolve around wellness. Both have family members with a chronic illness or ailment and they have been able to help support them with Snowbird’s CBD products. Now that they are licensed to grow cannabis containing THC, they hope to expand their reach in regards to wellness.
Now that they are licensed to grow cannabis containing THC, they hope to expand their reach in regards to wellness.
“We’re hoping to now develop some cannabis products and mixtures such as tinctures and balms and things like that, that will be able to assist as well. So that’s really a huge motivator for us just being able to give it. We love being able to give our product away, samples or actual bottles, especially if they’ve had a negative experience with CBD.” said Ivan.
Looking forward, Snowbird Botanicals is hoping to continue to bolster their brand by finding what people need and providing that for them. Ivan and Cynthia’s values are green and they want to incorporate the organic aspect into their brand, however they have run into some labeling issues.
“We do grow organically, and that’s what we let everyone know.”
“Based on the rules for the United States, federally as well as Vermont, we’re not allowed and we don’t say on our labeling or anything that we’re organic because we’re not fully certified organic. But we do grow organically, and that’s what we let everyone know,” said Ivan.
Despite not being able to label themselves as organic, Ivan and Cynthia are still doing everything they can to maintain that authenticity and continue looking for ways to expand on that aspect.
“We want to add a worm composting farm as well as different plans for different composting and fertilizing tea that we have in the works. There’s a big kind of direction we’re trying to go with that but there’s a lot of work to it,” said Cynthia.
While they have faced some challenges in the last few years, they’ve used every opportunity as a learning experience and are continuing to adapt in the growing industry. Their hopes are to find what people need and help them, while supporting their environment and community.
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