We chatted with Rachel Zedeck, Founder at WIKID FARMS. WIKID is a family farm promoting ORGANIC and ethical farm foods including free-range boer goats & sun-grown medicinal cannabis. Promoting investment of authentic and climate-smart farming in Central Portugal.
What is your biggest challenge these days?
Gaps in policy and regulatory framework … delivery of services from our regulator INFARMED. See the article I published on 11 March “Story of a Portuguese Cannabis Farmer”
How is Cannabis Industry impacted during the lockdown?
To start, there is no real ‘industry’ in Portugal, at least not yet. We have not come together yet to advocate or collaborate. I hope this will motivate us to help drive a national strategy for both ethical production but also retail formulation and distribution of both pharma grade and CBD products. We have no movement in either medicinal or CBD space including OTC and edibles. Here cannabis is decriminalized but not legal and CBD products are not clearly regulated or screened for safety. I also hope this will motivate consumers to support the industry by demanding the government to give them better and more affordable access to good quality and safe products!
Should they be an essential service?
Cannabis could have immediate impacts on anxiety and depression. There is real panic here and the isolation will have long term impacts on health and well being. For the long term, we need more R&D to help educate both consumers, physicians and policymakers.
How do we support medical clients?
We don’t support them legally … anyone here with autoimmune, can’t legally access cannabis so they are self-medicating with the materials they can grow or procure locally.
How does the lockdown impact growing?
We are in a double whammy … delayed licensing and Corona together. We should be planting our nursery and this morning it is all empty. I could panic but need to stay focused that eventually we will come out on the other side of this crisis and will have full license to continue financing or sell.
What has inspired you in the last week?
We feel blessed to be living on our farm with 100 goats with a full nursery of kids.
Will this have a lasting impact on cannabis events?
Spannabis (Barcelona) was canceled right before the big wave of deaths in Madrid. In hindsight, am grateful this happened because I WAS one of those who thought it was all being blown out of proportion. We will all be talking more online so keen to see new digital meetings and webinar strategies!
What advice do you have for cannabis businesses?
Remind yourself why you got involved with Cannabis. Do you love the plant and believe in its potential to help people? If yes, you will find a way through to the other side of this crisis. You can’t solve problems alone and we need to keep talking to each other. Brainstorm and be willing to give away before you receive anything!
What is the first thing you want to do when this is over?
I’m not sure my life has changed so much but I will be keen to get good sushi again.
Months from now, what will we have learned from all this?
Just a reminder that nothing in a new business or farming is a certainty. Being Nimble and Resilient is more than a mindset. It’s time to INNOVATE new strategies