When Steve White realized that he could gain a foothold in the burgeoning industry of marijuana cultivation and dispensaries while providing invaluable help to people by alleviating their pain, making a career change was a no-brainer.
A career change for the better
White had practiced law for over 10 years and even opened his own law firm. However, he found the world of law unfulfilling and rampant with psychologically draining mind games. White engaged in some serious soul-searching and decided that if he could leverage his knowledge to help others, having a lower salary would be worth it. White states that he took a “significant pay cut to change his life”. He became CEO of national enterprise Harvest Inc., a medical cannabis dispensary, cultivator, and producer.
After the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), which legalizes the purchase, possession, and use of marijuana for medical purposes, was passed in 2010, Harvest Inc.’s flagship dispensary was opened in Tempe, Arizona in 2013.
Poised for growth
Harvest Inc. holds licenses for dispensaries and cultivates medical marijuana in the states of Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, and Nevada. The cultivation facility in Camp Verde near Ahwatukee, Arizona boasts a fully automated and state of the art greenhouse, built to optimize efficiency. Currently with 40 employees, Camp Verde site manager Danny Whisenand hopes to fill an additional nine positions.
Harvest’s largest cultivation space is located in Hancock, Maryland, featuring a 105,000 square foot facility on seven acres of land. Locals there hope that their depressed economy will benefit from the addition of over 120 jobs at this site.
The cannabis versus marijuana controversy
No stranger to pain himself, White had suffered through three major back surgeries, the first surgery being at the young age of 19. His recovery process included numerous heavily chemically processed medications so he opted to learn about the more natural option of medical marijuana. White, like many others in the industry, prefers to use the term cannabis rather than marijuana.
Cannabis refers to the Latinate name of the plant. The word marijuana was initially used
in the 1930s, a time when cannabis first became federally criminalized. Propagandists against cannabis unfairly associated marijuana usage with Blacks, Mexican immigrants, and other people of color. Many White Americans began to view non-Whites as similar to that “foreign substance” marijuana which caused “corruption of both mind and body”. Some argue that usage of the word marijuana today ignores that history of oppression against non-Whites.
Different strains for different pains
Also a licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Arizona, Harvest Inc. dispenses over 60 varieties of cannabis formulated to treat a multitude of symptoms such as:
Severe and chronic pain
Severe and persistent muscle spasms
White states that cannabis is a very complex plant. His company’s research team is constantly in search of different strains and breeding new strains in order to treat the variety of medical conditions listed above. They have even been honored with awards for best hybrid strain, best medical cannabis strain, and best edible product (Bhang Chocolate).
Harvest Inc. is proud to say that they have a system of quality control; their products are tested by third-party facilities to accurately measure cannabinoid content (psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds like THC, CBD, and CBN found in cannabis). Their quality control system also ensures that there is no fungus, molds, or pesticide residue on their products.
Clearly, Steve White made a conscious decision to change his career in order to have a more fulfilling and meaningful life. He states that there is “nothing compared to helping someone to alleviate pain.” The patients that benefit from Harvest Inc.’s award-winning dispensaries and medical marijuana products would surely agree.