At the CARP Growers Annual Meeting on April 14, Tristan Strauss, CEO of Headwaters, was unanimously appointed as CARP’s new President. CARP’s Annual Meeting as a Zoom conference lacked in Pomp and Circumstance, but made up for it in productivity. We cannot wait until we can all meet again, face-to-face in the conference room at Island Brewing Company.

Headwaters Farm Team Shot in the pre-Covid-19 era. Photo by Fran Collin, featuring Frank the lovable rottweiler and company mascot front and center.

Tristan is a standup guy, and Headwaters is an outstanding company. In addition to farming about 10 acres of cannabis in Carpinteria, Headwaters sources bulk cannabis throughout the state. Tristan has been a CARP Board Member since Day 1 and has spent a lifetime in agriculture and ag business. Headwaters is built on modern business practices and a data-driven structure that ensures consistent quality product for the state’s legal cannabis market.

Graham Farrar, who was President during an exciting CARP Growers Year 2, commemorated the year that was. Proudly, CARP gifted over $100,000 to community causes during its second year. More than half of that total went to local educational programs, including funding a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counselor at the local middle school. Carpinteria Unified School District prioritized funding this position, and cannabis farmers saw it as a great opportunity to support the health and well being of young Carpinterians.

Another big focus for the association over the past year has been eliminating any lingering cannabis odors. To this end, we’ve engaged engineers, atmospheric scientists and the Nasal Ranger to collect data and continue to refine our approach to eliminating odor.

Air quality and odor monitoring are important parts of what CARP Growers does in efforts to be good neighbors.
Research Assistant Sydney Pahle uses a Nasal Ranger to record odor levels throughout Carpinteria Valley.

As an association, we firmly believe that if cannabis didn’t have a distinct odor, our farms would operate without opposition. There are so many benefits to a thriving ag sector in Carpinteria Valley, as we’ve seen very clearly during the current dual crises — public health and economic emergencies. Cannabis tax revenue has continued to support Santa Barbara County and its 4,200 employees, including firefighters, sheriff’s personnel and healthcare workers.

To make a better future for cannabis farming AND for building lasting relationships with our neighbors, odor elimination is priority Number 1 and a major focus of daily business among all of our members. Farms cannot be members of CARP Growers without a thorough audit of odor control practices at the property. This year, we will further standardize best operating procedures for odor control among member farms.

Past President Graham Farrar will shift into the VP/Secretary Position and continue to be a leading voice for the local cannabis industry.

At the Annual Meeting, Past President Graham Farrar of Glass House Farms shifted over to the VP/Secretary position, where he will remain active as a leading voice for the local cannabis farming industry. Hans Brand of Autumn Brands became Treasurer.

Hans has been incredibly active in creating the 93013 Fund to support the community response to Covid-19. The idea of the fund is simple: all contributions will be spent on food and supplies to reach those in need in Carpinteria Valley (zipcode 93013). Small towns like Carpinteria are sometimes overlooked by agencies conducting regional response efforts, so 93013 Fund guarantees a robust local response to the crisis.

CARP Treasurer Hans Brand of Autumn Brands is also President of the Sunset Rotary Club, which created 93013 Fund. Hans is not only the President, he’s the workhorse/workforce behind delivering Weekend Food Boxes to Carpinteria residents in need.

Other Board Members for Year 3 of CARP Growers are: Winfred Van Wingerden of Pacific Stone Brand, Mike Palmer of Ever-Bloom Inc., Jason Moriarty of Rincon Ranch and Kyle Hardy of Cresco Cannabis.

And just like that CARP is back in its groove and a full year older. Priorities remain the same as in the previous two years: Make good on our promise to be good neighbors in the community we call home. Continue to refine best farming practices in a way that leads the state’s legal cannabis farming industry, and to do it all as professional, productive business leaders operating transparently and compliantly … so there’s no question about how legal cannabis fits in with local and state interests.