Cannabis brand Garden Society teams up with competitors in uncertain times 

In a time when all small businesses are feeling the effects of the restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, a gourmet chocolate edibles company based in Northern California is aiming to find strength in teamwork. 

Garden Society, a brand made with women in mind, opened up their e-commerce platform in early April to five other female-founded brands in the area. 

“In light of COVID and the shelter-in-place being implemented, we saw this opportunity to bring together women-owned brands,” Garden Society co-founder Karli Warner says.

Typically competitors, these six brands have band together to support each other, and give consumers more cannabis options that can be purchased online and delivered to their door. Residents of Napa and Sonoma counties can go to Garden Society’s website to purchase the brand’s cannabis infused chocolates and Rosette pre-rolls. They can also buy calm mints or tea from Kikoko, infused beverages from House of Saka, tinctures from Juna, vaporizers from Sonder and topicals from Sweet Releaf. Up until this point, most of these brands have just been available through dispensaries. 

After the shelter-in-place ordinances went into place in California in mid-March, Warner and co-founder Erin Gore picked out five brands to partner with. Gore says they chose companies that provided different types of products than Garden Society. They also focused on choosing brands that are women-led and women-focused.

“We looked at who shares our values and uncompromising quality,” Gore says. “We took a lot of intention to do that. We had the opportunity to walk the walk. It was a unique opportunity, something that’s really important to us and something we can do.”

Warner and Gore started Garden Society to try to help women in their daily lives by providing a sustainable, quality product. It’s not just about the product though. The company aims to reduce stigma around cannabis for women and to educate about the plant and its health benefits.

“I understand the value this plant brings to so many women’s lives—helping us to be better moms, leaders, friends. I want women to know how important it is to grant yourself permission to use cannabis in bringing joy to your day,” Warner said in a conversation with SWEET JANE last year.

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Like most businesses in the time of the coronavirus, the cannabis industry has struggled in the new normal. Major trade shows and events have been cancelled, in store purchases are down, and business failures and acquisitions are likely to speed up. Gore also said the investor landscape is frozen, which makes it difficult for companies that depend on investor money. 

“This could really change how things operate moving forward,” Gore says.”We’re taking it day by day, and this [partnership] is a way for us to support other women in the industry right now.”