A healthy plant needs water, air, nutrients, and sunlight to grow.
You can tweak the formula, you can add fertilizer and mulch and filter your water and prune the branches artistically, but without just one of the basic elements, your plant will not grow. It’s science, folks. But in addition to our most basic survival needs as people, we need experience in order to grow. When we put ourselves out there and experience a vast sampling of what the world has to offer, we take experience in as a nutrient, we synthesize it with our brain and intuition, and we exhale a new element.
James Schwartz may not have had “socially-conscious cannabis cultivator” on his dream job list at 5th grade career day, but his experience has nurtured that path.
James was in his junior year in a nursing program at Gannon University when his best friend died. The loss rocked his world and he dropped out of the nursing program and found escape in alcohol. But the harsh effects of alcohol were debilitating. James went sober and headed off to Central America on mission work as an ER tech. The power of the experience of doing good work that directly benefited peoples’ lives set a new direction for James. He embarked in an adult career path program for nursing at Messiah College. At this time James had begun to personally use cannabis to combat stress, it helped him focus on his studies despite his ADHD. The correlation between the negative affects of stress and the positive affects of cannabis as a wellness tool were clear to him. The seed was planted. While still on missions work, James met a dentist from Portland who described to him his progressive city. It was 1998 and Oregon had just passed both The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act and the Death With Dignity Act. So after finishing his degree at Messiah College, James headed west.
James found his first medical cannabis client soon thereafter. She was 60 years old and had breast cancer. His experience with her showed him the demand for a high quality medicinal plant, and he set out to perfect his grow methods to cultivate with an organic approach: water, soil, air, and light.
James’ grow approach became the same as that which he employs to feed himself and his family: clean, non GMO, and organic.
“Would I ingest this directly into my own body? If yes, then I can use it in growing my plants. If no, then I absolutely will not.”
James went to Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, pushing him even harder toward a conservation and humanitarian-values led life centered on helping others and nurturing good health. When Measure 91 passed in 2014, he had his business plan for Cascade High written and at the ready.
Water, air, sunlight … is all a plant truly needs to grow. But add education, experience, empathy, respect, and a genuine desire to make positive change, and we have a formula for growing good people who make beautiful things happen. James Schwartz, founder of Cascade High, believes in socially conscious cannabis cultivation, because after all, we are what we grow.