Trailblazers: Brookfield Buds in the Business of Regeneration
This article is part of a regular series, Trailblazers, highlighting entrepreneurs entering the legal cannabis space.
Sam Hagen and his business partner Ethan Connor would like to see cannabis cultivation become less extractive.
That’s why their business, Brookfield Buds, is centered around organic and biodynamic methods, using grow lights sparingly — if at all — and avoiding synthetics or salt-based fertilizers.
“I felt like Vermont is a place where a brand or a company built around soil-based, sun-grown cannabis could really take off,” Hagen said. ” … Contributing to a ground level market and participating in a rural economy, I really do believe in the ability of this plant to be a regenerative force, not just for soils, but for the places where we live.”
“I really do believe in the ability of this plant to be a regenerative force, not just for soils, but for the places where we live.”
— Sam Hagen
Drawing on his experience as a regenerative agriculture consultant, Hagen uses tools such as crab shell meal and malted barley tea to improve the soil on the Central Vermont farm, which was previously a certified organic hayfield.
For now, Hagen and Connor are still awaiting approval of their cultivation license. And though they’re not rushing to be the first cultivator on the market, licensing delays certainly delay getting their cannabis in the ground. Bringing the farm’s soils into balance is a multi-year process.
Hagen and Connor plan to work with “an ecosystem of small businesses” with similar values around quality and collaboration.
“The downside to that is I can’t just, if I have a deficiency of plants, I can’t just apply a miracle in the short term,” Hagen said. “I think our plants and our products will be one that gets better with time as our soils evolve and our own skill set evolves.”
Eventually, the company hopes to be able to offer some of its land to a start-up to help combat generational inequity in land ownership. In general, Hagen and Connor plan to work with “an ecosystem of small businesses” with similar values around quality and collaboration.
Hagen hopes Vermont consumers will do their part to support local, craft-quality products.
“I think it’s a new market people can build a life around,” Hagen said. “So that’s what I want to see for the new market is I want to see real people with real businesses.”
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