Kiskanu, the best book in the cannabis industry and the best person to smoke in this world
published on September 16, 2020
We recently had a conversation with Gretchen Miller, CEO of the brand. Know more about the biggest issues in the cannabis world, best practices and more by reading the interview below!
Tia (AskGrowers) : How did you start Kiskanu?
Gretchem Miller (Kiskanu) : My co-founder/COO/spouse, Jason and I both began farming cannabis over 20 years ago. The Kiskanu brand was born in 2015 after I took a Cannabis Therapy Consulting Course and began incorporating the cannabis we grew into the botanical beauty and wellness products that I had already been making as an herbalist for my friends and family. After continually receiving positive feedback from clients about how effective the products were, the brand continued to grow organically. Our most recent success has been opening a licensed cannabis dispensary in Eureka, CA.
Tia : Your ‘About Us’ section mentions you have 20 years of experience in cannabis. What first got you started in the industry as a whole?
Gretchem Miller : We began cultivating cannabis over 20 years ago. We are farmers first. We still have our hands in the dirt here in Humboldt County on a licensed sun-grown cultivation farm. We use our sungrown cannabis in our products! We understand and can see first-hand the importance of clean ingredients and the impact on the earth.
Tia : Tell us about your products, what’s your favourite one right now and why?
Gretchem Miller : It’s so hard to pick one! Daily I use: –Kiskanu Cannabis Face Oil after my shower for a quick face/neck massage ritual. –Kiskanu Cannabis Skin Rub throughout the day for my aches and pains and at night on my neck/shoulders to help me relax and sleep better throughout the night. –Kiskanu Cannabis Intimacy Oil with my partner (or myself!) to relax and destress!
Tia : Do you produce everything yourselves or is there any sourcing of materials/labor from outside of the company?
Gretchem Miller : We are vertically integrated in California’s legal cannabis market: cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and retail. We are involved in all levels of the market. However, we don’t make all of our own concentrates, we outsource that step locally (from our flowers), as it is more cost effective for us. We also purchase oils and herbs but always source the cleanest USA grown organic ingredients and as local as possible. We use the strictest testing standards in the nation, testing down to parts per billion, so we like to think of it as “safer than organic”. We hand make all of our products ourselves with our team in Eureka.
Tia : How big is your team right now?
Gretchem Miller : We are a small, dedicated, very hard-working team of 9 people, although our numbers do fluctuate seasonally with farming!
Tia : What made you decide to focus on such a niche industry in CBD skincare?
Gretchem Miller : After introducing our THC cannabis beauty and wellness line, people continued to request CBD products in addition! Initially I was very committed to THC + CBD beauty and wellness, but over time I found that CBD products are effective too, just in a different way!
Tia : What are the real hot items out of your product list right now? What trends are currently popping up in CBD skincare?
Gretchem Miller : Our intimacy oil and our skin rub are favorites right now! I think CBD skin care is reaching mainstream! Now it becomes more important than ever to know your brand and support clean beauty.
Tia : What’s your attitude to THC and what’s your favourite strain personally?
Gretchem Miller : I love THC and personally use it daily in multiple ways (along with CBD). I smoke cannabis, use it topically in numerous ways, and I eat 20mg of THC at night to help me sleep through the night!
Tia : Do you plan to expand your brand production in the future?
Gretchem Miller : Yes! However, we are happy to be currently operating in the California cannabis market. Having our Hemp CBD line available nationally helps as well, and we hope to be available worldwide one day!
Tia : Do you currently work with any charity organizations? I noticed you have a link to Black Lives Matter resources on your page. Is Kiskanu doing any work in that area?
Gretchem Miller : As a small start-up company, we focus on making smaller contributions both locally and around the country to support and work with black, native and POC content makers, events, ticket giveaways, event sponsorships, etc. I think there will always be work to do for social justice and we are committed to being a part of the change!
Tia : What do you think is the biggest issue in the cannabis industry currently?
Gretchem Miller : Lack of education and industry standards. Changing laws, exorbitant fees and over taxation. These issues also prevent entry into the industry by some BIPOC people.
Tia : What book would you recommend to read for beginners in the industry?
Gretchem Miller : That’s a hard one! I have learned mostly from life experience and from friends when it comes to cannabis. One website I love for new users is www.healer.com, a great educational source!
Tia : What would be your advice for someone who’s trying weed for the first time?
Gretchem Miller : Start very small when dosing cannabis. Wait a few hours and see how you feel! Everyone is different in how they receive and feel after using cannabis. You can always add more to your dose, but can’t take away once consumed! Always buy laboratory tested cannabis or know your grower!
Tia : Do you have any cannabis strains that you gravitate to at the moment?
Gretchem Miller : I always love Bubble Gum, an old-school strain that we have been growing for years. Wedding Cake and Ice Cream Cake tend to find their way into my bubbler quite often these days too. I am loving getting samples at our dispensary, as new flavors are always fun!
Tia : If you could smoke with anyone in the world, who would it be? 🙂
Gretchem Miller : This was the hardest question! I would love to smoke with Trey Anastasio of the band Phish. I met my spouse and traveled the country seeing Phish!
Thank you so much guys for taking time to do the interview! Was a great pleasure having this conversation with you!
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