You’ve met Wagner and Yoel. Now it’s time to get to know Vidal, head grower at Toley Farms. Vidal is from Ecuador and moved to Sonoma County to work with the Elyon team. He likes to let the plants speak for themselves, but when he does open up, he’s full of valuable life lessons. (He’s also a bit photo shy…)
How did you first get started as a professional grower in the cannabis industry?
Vidal: All the experience I have in cannabis is thanks to Elyon. I have a professional degree in plant and animal management but this is my first job working with cannabis. I moved from Ecuador to work with Elyon three and a half years ago.
What does a typical day look like for you?
V: Every day is different. For me, the day usually begins making sure we have all the tools we need to start the day and that the team is ready and willing to work. The most important thing is to make sure the plants have the required treatment.
What are the most important skills for you to be successful at your job?
V: The most important thing is to know the daily nutritional needs of plants and to make sure that they come from good genetics. This will help obtain the best results that we work for. You also need to have good people…and everyone needs to help everyone. You can’t drive a car if you have one flat tire. Everyone needs to be doing a good job, every day.
What’s been the most startling change since legalization?
V: In Ecuador, people think you’ve gone a bad way if you smoke marijuana. They have a bad mentality. In this country it’s very different. Nobody says anything, they think it’s normal here. Legalization has created job opportunities for more people and allowed this country to receive the money from the sale of cannabis for taxes. This is good for the government.
Any predictions for the future of the industry?
V: Looks really good. Very good times are coming for growers and consumers.
Do you have any advice for those new to the cannabis industry – first time consumers, home growers and those looking to get into it professionally?
V: My advice for people who want to venture into this business is to first consider climate, variety and need. These plants are delicate. Also, if you want to start a business, know what kind of market you have. And make sure you find the right personnel, people that know how to care for the plant. Always start with good people – they are your first tool. And loyalty goes two ways.
What is your favorite strain to grow? Is that different from your favorite to consume?
V: I really like to grow the cookies strains. They look small but are really heavy, really good quality. I rarely smoke but I like to take edibles every night. I used to have back problems but now, one gummy a night and I’m good.
V: Oh man, everything!
V: Just going to bed. I sleep a full eight hours and never wake up in the night.
What are you most proud of as part of the Elyon team?
V: I am proud to have been hired and that the owners have the confidence to put it in the hands of all the people who are behind the doors of this company pushing a little so that it can grow and reach more consumers.
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