In Chinese philosophy and religion, Yin and Yang represent the complementary feminine and masculine forces. According to this philosophy, these forces help shape everything.
Fairwinds’ company ethos is very much shaped by Eastern philosophies. The company is a perfect embodiment of Yin and Yang, with the leaders having two very separate skill sets that came together to make a dynamic business.
Entering into Cannabis
James and Wendy Hull began their foray into cannabis five years ago. They both came out of industries that had nothing to do with cannabis.
James was an engineer for a business contracted by the Federal government and private companies to build ships, from superyachts to Israeli naval ships. Wendy worked for the Federal government as a top-level executive for the Department of Transportation.
Both James and Wendy had a personal interest in wellness. Fitness, diets, and supplements were priorities for both of their lifestyles. When recreational cannabis came about, they both felt like it was a perfect opportunity to quit their jobs and jump into the cannabis industry full-time.
James used his engineering background to design state-of-the-art cannabis grow facility. He designed every aspect of the grow facility from plumbing to HVAC.
“He knows that facility like the back of his hand because he built it from the ground up,” Fairwinds’ Director of Marketing Steve Schechterle told The Sesh. “It’s really fun when we bring someone into the Fairwinds warehouse because when he takes someone on a tour of the facility, he loves to show it off. It’s like he’s showing off his baby in a sense.”
His contribution was tangible and strong, creating the bones of the business.
When it comes to Wendy’s contributions they’ve been somewhat intangible, but just as integral.
Her professional background has made her an ideal cannabis advocate.
“She does a ton of administrative and legislative work for us,” Schechterle said. “She’s constantly in Olympia working to help bills push through and [advocating for cannabis] with certain groups.”
In addition to keeping things rolling on the legislative level, Wendy is also a compliance master.
“Every single rule that is made, we follow to a T,” Schechterle explained. “We’re lucky to have had Wendy to hold us to that stringent of a standard because we’ve had some absurd accusations lodged against us. She’s done a fantastic job making sure we follow every single rule and keeping all of our ducks in a row.”
Fairwinds is a tincture and topical company, but they grow all of their flower. The company grows using aeroponics and uses rock wool for its medium. The facility is Tier 2, and only grows one high CBD phenotype, called Omrita Rx. According to the Fairwinds’ website, the phenotype “yields a spectacular floral-berry type cannabis aroma and a staggering CBD potency.”
The percentages listed on the site for Omrita Rx, are CBDA 23.40% and ∆9THCA 1.60%.
Fairwinds products often test just right above the detectable limit for THC. Omrita Rx provides the low THC high CBD makeup that hemp does, but provides a much more robust terpene profile and more refined flower.
Fairwinds’ leader’s strong commitment and focuses on wellness extends to its grow room. The Fairwinds’ grow facility is as clean as they come.
Zero pesticides are used across the board, only beneficial insects are used. Every grow room has HEPA filters that keep the grow room’s air free of mold and other microbial contamination. Most people who have spent time in a grow room realize, keeping wet soil under lights is a recipe for mold. It’s just something the vast majority of indoor growers have to deal with.
James’ extensive engineering background, helped him design an ultra-clean grow, and an effective HEPA filtration system. This has kept the grow facility mold-free, which is pretty astounding.
“James always likes to boast, if a chemical bomb went off in Vancouver Washington, our grow room would be one of the safest places to go,” Schechterle said.
Once the experts at Fairwinds grow the flower, it must be extracted for use in topicals and tinctures. Which is where Lab Director & Lead Formulator Max Goldman comes in. Goldman has a background in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, he lived in a Buddhist Ashram in India for a few years. Additionally, he has a degree in Chemistry. This combination makes him the perfect extractor for Fairwinds.
“He brings a unique perspective to the table when we go to formulate our products,” Schechterle explained. “Because we start with a traditional perspective on how to heal and repair the human body. And then we take that traditional philosophy and back it with a chemistry-backed Western standpoint.”
According to Fairwinds’ website, “Fairwinds oils are made from advanced processing instruments and ultra-pure FDA-approved hydrocarbon solvents. The oil produced using our optimized process is rich in terpenes and completely free of residual solvents. The oil retains the same aroma (terpene profile) as the flower.”
The partnership of Eastern and Western philosophy and the literal and figurative marriage of James and Wendy has resulted in a huge success. Fairwinds produces some of the cleanest, most health-focused cannabis products around. This commitment to quality continues to pay off.
“Five years later, we’re still a small company. But we’re consistently within the top ten revenue producers in the state,” Schechterle stated. “We don’t produce any flower or concentrate. We are solely providing products that have a solution specific focus or general use.”
In the last two years, Fairwinds has seen tremendous growth. The opioid epidemic has sowed mistrust in pharmaceutical companies, and opened people’s eyes to alternative medicine, and specifically the medical properties of cannabis. This public awakening has worked in Fairwinds favor.
This success is still on the upswing.
Fairwinds is taking its products to the national market. The low THC percentage in Fairwinds products allows them to sell CBD products legally. We will be watching with excitement to see a Washington-grown cannabis company takes their show on the road, and shows the rest of the country how to do CBD tinctures and topicals right.