A 5-YEAR SNAPSHOT FROM THE PEOPLE WHO STARTED IT ALL
So much has happened in our first 5 years as a company. And who better to ask about all that’s taken place than those who’ve been with Caliva through it all!
Meet our 5-year employees, the proud members of the Caliva team who’ve had a first-row seat on the wild ride that has been the cannabis industry in California.
<div style="font-size:small; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-bottom:10px;color: rgba(35,31,32,.8)">Pictured left to right, top to bottom: Erika Henika, General Manager 7th St Retail Location; Shanny Harder Ronald, Chief Culture Officer; Doug Mason, Warehouse Manager; Claire Lewis, Visual Department Manager; Rosie Rothrock, Senior Director Brand Marketing; Alex Thacker, Manager Manufacturing & Packaging; Chris Rooney, Head of Cultivation; Larry Thacker, VP Expansion Development; Mike Vu, Senior Director Product Development (not photographed)</div>
These Caliva veterans played a role in everything. From the build-out of our first dispensary and the launch of our first Caliva branded products to the line outside of Caliva on January 1, 2018, when recreational cannabis was made legal. They've truly seen it all. Let’s see what they have to say about it:
What is your favorite memory over the last 5 years at Caliva?
"When our founder invited me out for a beer and sprung the idea to me about starting Caliva. My response was 'yeah, right'."
"Probably arriving at Caliva on January 1st, 2018, the day cannabis went 'recreational' and seeing a HUGE line around the store. We all went home the night before excited for this day we had been talking about for over 2 years, but wondering if anyone would even show up. Arriving the next morning to a couple of hundred people already in line well before opening, some who had even spent the night there was such an exciting transitional moment for Caliva and the industry as a whole."
"Haha, I don’t know if I can pick just 1... it might be our first customer though. She was the sweetest elderly woman, and we all kind of cheered and laughed when she came in. She was just as excited as we were. It was like no one knew what would happen, but it was perfect."
"I think a favorite moment I have was on the first day of opening. We had gone through so much POS training and inventory set up, but there were a couple of things that we forgot to check. We forgot to stock the shopping bags, remember you had to run to the back of the building to get the boxes of bags. We also had forgotten to check the register drawers and they didn't pop open when we made our first sale."
"Planting the first plants. It was all new to us and we were learning so much. Because we had all helped out in the planting of the first harvest, it was just so fun to watch our first crop grow. Another highlight has to be our first Hempcon - trade shows were something that I was used to before, but this tradeshow was just on a whole new level. We were the new kids on the block at this one, we were so excited to be there and I think our enthusiasm was contagious - we had a line clear around the corner for people to come and see us."
What has most surprised you as Caliva has grown?
"How much we’ve grown as a company in terms of talent, experience, and reach. I joined 5 years ago thinking this was going to be a modest-sized company and it has grown far beyond that."
"How much/how often the industry has changed. Especially in the first few years. Products/procedures usually only lasted a few months before requiring compliance updates."
"The passion folks have about Caliva and the industry."
"How many hurdles we have had to overcome and how we have come together as a team to overcome them."
"Gosh, I think just the size that we got to. When we started we thought we were just going to grow a little weed and look at us now, we're a full-blown corporation that has grown to include hundreds of employees. Also, a big surprise is that we grew so much that we ended up taking over this whole building. I didn’t expect that. Also, the amount of quality product that we’re putting out on a consistent basis is just amazing. Not to mention the distribution/fulfillment/packaging/harvesting etc...we’ve just got so many things going on - we started out just wanting to grow a little weed and we’ve turned this little company into quite a force in the industry."
What are your hopes for Caliva in the next 5 years?
"That Caliva is known for its care and advocacy of the cannabis plant, and for its progressive leadership in how it builds an amazing Caliva Team."
"I’d like to see Caliva’s presence in stores to expand to the point where it is universally available."
"That the Caliva brand goes nationwide."
"That consumers see us as a value-driven company despite the ever-changing landscape of the cannabis industry and that we have built a brand/company/culture that far outlasts those of us working at Caliva today."
"I hope that we can continue to launch more products that become available in more shops, and that our brand can become a household name. That would be a little surreal!"
What’s your favorite Caliva product or strain?
"Dogwalkers. They're accessible, low commitment, traditional, elegant, and pocketable. There's just an elegance to it overall."
"Our lotions are my favorite Caliva product with Nickels quickly taking the lead. And Z Cube is my favorite strain of flower."
"I am a non-consumer, but my favorite is the Alien OG. Like a proud parent, I take great pride in the fact that it is the number 1 seller in the State."
"I’m partial to Toasties - these and Dogwalkers were the first products we ever made and we were SO proud to introduce them to CA. At a time when high potency reigned supreme, both these products were intentionally made to be mellow, light, and easily shared. They’re both form factor favorites that have really held up over the last 4 years. Nickels are fast taking the lead though."
"Though I don’t smoke much anymore, I’ve always been a huge fan of our Blackjack flower. It’s my go-to for gifting these days, but it’s fragrance and high are just perfect. Nowadays, I’m more likely to reach for a pack of passion fruit Deli Nickels. I’m kind of obsessed with passion fruit haha…"
Thank You, Caliva OGs!
We'd be remiss not to finish with an emphatic THANK YOU to our Caliva 5 year-ers. We are grateful for the hours, weeks, months, and years you've put into making us the Caliva we are today. Looking forward to many more!