Getting In On the Ground Floor with Lead Extractor Sean Strickland

Just a few short years ago, a career in legal cannabis wasn’t an option. Now, people can jump in with both feet. Such was the case for Sean Strickland, the Buyer and Lead Extraction Technician at our Washington facility. Sean has been with Avitas since the beginning, pitching in on our very first harvest back in August of 2014. He’d been on track to go into computer networking, but once he discovered cannabis, there was no going back.

Getting Into Cannabis

Sean was invited to see what Avitas was all about by his uncle, Jason Smit, our Master Grower in Washington. Sean was intrigued and decided to dive in as a processing assistant. He worked in processing for a year before transferring over to work in the lab and to explore R&D. Sean shifted his focus away from computer science and began to study chemistry and plant biology in earnest as he helped define and implement lab best practices back in the earliest days of Avitas. Being at Avitas from the start has had a significant impact on Sean’s trajectory, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He says, “It was amazing to be involved with cannabis from the very beginning. I’ve seen the company move from a friends and family operation to a multi-state movement.”

Making a Way

Being pioneers in the cannabis industry hasn’t been without its challenges. “We grew a lot more quickly than even we expected,” He laughs. “All of the sudden our facilities couldn’t keep up with demand, and we had to move fast to be able to fill all of the orders that came flowing our way.” It may have caused a few headaches at the time, but even Sean admits that rapid growth was a great problem to have.

Living the Dream

Today, Sean works with our Science Director, Dr. Amber Wise, and continues to streamline lab efficiencies to create the best cannabis oil cartridges on the market. “Working with weed and at the forefront of a brand new industry is awesome. It’s very rare that something like this pops up and I’m so glad that I was able to hop onboard.”

Avitas Celebrates Pride By Supporting Two Great Organizations

Pride Month is here, and we’re thrilled to celebrate it with a brand new strain! Our Pride strain this year is Unicorn Glitter, and it’s an exceptional blend full of double rainbows, unicorn laughs, glitter hearts, and of course, love, because #LoveisLove, and we love to give back to those who love. This month, we’re donating a portion of the proceeds of Unicorn Glitter to two fantastic organizations in Washington and Oregon working hard to promote the well-being of the LGBTQ community in the Pacific Northwest. Joe Bergen, our General Manager in Oregon, says, “We’re excited to kick off Pride by supporting and highlighting both the LGBTQ community and two amazing organizations that fight for equality and inclusivity in the states that we live in and love.”

We Love Equal Rights Washington!

The first organization we’re partnering with is Equal Rights Washington (ERW). ERW works to ensure and promote dignity, safety, and equality for all LGBTQ Washingtonians. Their work began with the fight for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections in 2006, domestic partnerships in 2009, marriage equality in 2012, trans healthcare in 2015, and a statewide ban on conversion therapy for minors in 2018. This year they also celebrated the passage of the Uniform Parentage Act to support parents as they begin and grow their families, and De-Escalate Washington’s Initiative 940 to provide all law enforcement officers with additional tools and skills to better keep all communities safe. To learn more about Equal Rights Washington and the extraordinary work that they do visit their website and discover more ways you can help support this incredible organization.

Basic Rights Oregon is Goals

The second tremendous organization we’re looking to support and shine a light on is Basic Rights Oregon. Basic Rights works to ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Oregonians experience equality by building a broad and inclusive politically powerful movement, shifting public opinion and achieving policy victories. In 2007, the organization helped pass, the Oregon Equality Act, providing comprehensive non-discrimination protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. In the ensuing years, Basic Rights moved policy to expand health care access for transgender Oregonians, protect LGBTQ youth from bullying in schools, ban youth conversion therapy and win the freedom to marry. Today, more than 150,000 volunteers and donors support Basic Rights’ LGBTQ pro-equality efforts. To support Basic Rights Oregon’s movement and to learn more about their current goals visit their website.

From the Avitas family to yours, we hope everyone has a fun and safe Pride! And remember, if you’re looking for something to help elevate the festivities, keep an eye out for Unicorn Glitter! It’s truly a magical ride.