What’s it like to be a craft cannabis cultivator trying to grow legal weed in California? There are probably as many different answers to — and stories about — that as there are pot farms across the Golden State. And one of those stories belongs to Lex Corwin, the 28-year-old founder and chief executive of Stone Road Farms, a brand that has its headquarters in Venice, just steps from the Pacific Ocean, and a cluster of greenhouses 400 miles due north on a remote Nevada City, Calif. hilltop.
It was to that latter location I trekked with the Green Room video crew back in September for a tour of Corwin’s 57-acre property, the centerpiece of which is a biodynamic, off-the-grid grow operation that uses water from the ground below and sunshine from the sky above to turn month-old seedlings first into towering pot plants and then jars of fragrant flower and packs of prerolled joints.
Our visit also included a frank discussion of the challenges — regulatory and otherwise — that face California pot farmers, what it’s like to helm a queer-owned cannabis brand and a look at Corwin’s plans for the future of his weed-in-the-wilderness spread, a future that includes a cluster of experiential rentals and wine-country-style cannatourism. (It’s worth noting that, while a lot of the state’s small-scale cannabis ventures face many of the same hurdles as Corwin’s now 6-year-old company, his access to some capital — through friends and family investments — puts him in a better position out of the starting gate than most of those trying to joust the windmills of the California regulatory landscape.)
Although opening Stone Road Farms to the cannacurious public is still a ways off, you can take a virtual visit — right now — simply by watching episode 7 of the Green Room, The Times’ new video series that focuses on California’s cannabis commerce and culture. Watch our first six episodes, which include a joint-rolling lesson from ’60s music icon David Crosby , an attempt at stoned yoga and a guide to low-dose cannabis options, at latimes.com/topic/cannabis.