MedCare Farms is veteran owned and was established in 2009, founded by a husband and wife duo after experiencing the life-enhancing effects of medical cannabis firsthand. We had the pleasure of discussing the journey and experiences of Owner – Founder – Garin Heslop.
Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was in a major motorcycle accident in 2008. I found the drugs they had me on not only changed my personality, but I felt like I was becoming addicted to major narcotics. It was during this time that my wife, Kelly, suggested I start smoking cannabis. She had been smoking for years to help her anxiety, etc., and she really thought it would help me navigate everything better and more clearly.
I am happy to say that it not only helped me with my pain, it also got me off the prescription narcotics. Through this painful journey, my life’s passion was revealed and in 2009, we moved to California and six months later, Medcare Farms was born and we have never looked back!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I grew up with just my Dad and one thing that we shared together was a love of basketball and watching the Seattle Supersonics. Every evening they had a game, we would sit down together and watch. Our favorite player was Gary Payton. Fast forward to now and an opportunity was presented to work with a hall of fame basketball player. I thought this to be interesting and wondered who this could be. After signing an NDA, I soon learned it was Gary Payton himself. That reinforced to me right then and there that I was on the right pathway and this was meant to be. We will be working with him and launching new lines of products soon.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting?
I don’t know about funniest but there have been many… lol. Our success today comes from all the failures we’ve had in this journey. Cultivating cannabis at the highest level is and will continue to be something we strive to achieve. As far as funny goes, one time I was cloning and pulled out a new tray from the plastic and as I was sliding it out a giant tarantula came running at my hand. I jumped and screamed like a girl and ran out. Best part, we had it on security cameras and everyone got a great laugh from it.
Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Always check the bag before putting your hand in it!
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Yes we have a lot of great stuff ahead. We are launching a couple of more brands, expanding our cultivation and plotting out our next retail locations. We are always looking to improve and never become complacent. We will be announcing all of this in the coming months.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My wife Kelly, she has been through the best and the worst of times. I’m grateful she’s stood with me and has been an intricate part of our success. She is driven and doesn’t take crap from anyone. She always says I’m too nice, LOL.
This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
We have our secret sauce and its simple. Understand your WHY and stay true to it. Be genuine and authentic, as that’s where a lot of people fail.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
Growth, social acceptance, and the opportunity to create our legacy. People not understanding the culture and what cannabis means… Bad actors trying to take advantage of the opportunity… The dilution of quality with expansion…
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each.
This will be one of the most challenging endeavors of your life. There is no short cut in cannabis, we have built it from the ground up and intimately understand every aspect of our business. This was done through dedication and learning through failures.
Your word is your bond, more so in this industry than any was built on your word as we developed long lasting relationships which were built on trust. We’ve given and been given 100k’s in products without a contract on the arm. As you grow the industry gets small and your reputation opens new doors that otherwise would not be. Some of our strongest relationships now have had some sort of adversity, but finding solutions together strengthens that bond.
Do what you have to do, whether it’s convenient or not. One bad day (especially in cultivation) can ruin a month’s worth of work. Never become complacent, stay diligent with details and minimize variables
Everything takes longer in cannabis. We were the second to open retail in Lake Elsinore and it took over 2yrs. Don’t be fooled by normal projections, curve balls will come at you on a daily basis. Embrace it and find ways to use it to your advantage. Whether in the short term or long.
Fall in love with the Journey. If you’re just focused on the results it will be hard to come, we’ve had many failed crops because we had to learn that every little thing matters. Fall in love with the process and every aspect of cannabis and you will find success. Cannabis is a way of life!
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Build a culture of expectations, but also accountability that has the end consumer in mind with everything you do. Know your WHY and share that with them to ensure they represent your company how you envision.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Bringing cannabis to the VA and ensuring every VET like Kelly has access available. We have the freedoms we do off the back of these hero’s and for us not to do everything in our power to ensure they have the absolute best quality of life available is a crime. We want to drive this change and eventually we will have more time and resources in ensuring this is a mission that gets executed.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Please follow our brand on Instagram: @medcarefarms and on facebook https://www.facebook.com/medcarefarms/
Please follow our shop on Instagram: @Shopmedcarefarms
Please follow Kelly and Garin on Instagram @garinheslop and @kellyheslop or send us a note on Linked in: Kelly Heslop and Garin Heslop