First ImpressionWritten by: Alice Watts
Published on: October 15th, 2021 @ 05:10 PM
There are profound moments in life, which differentiate between existing and experiencing. I’m not referencing the obvious life events such as marriage or childbirth, but rather the unexpected moments that shock you to your core, waking you up, turning the light on. Personally these moments include seeing Tool front row, reading my poetry to an audience for the first time, working a booth at Cannabis Cup and most recently, touring REHBEL’s cannabis cultivation center. From the moment we pulled into the parking lot I noticed my energy shifting, the anxiety that had been building for days in preparation of this meeting began to dissipate.
As we approached the entrance Michael, the owner of REHBEL introduced himself, and we began our tour. As he led the way throughout the 500,000 square foot building built in 1926, I followed behind, the Charlie to his Willy Wonka in awe of the pristinely finished original hardwood floors, the immense amount of windows, and of course the cannabis.
All of my senses were acutely attuned to the present moment, I was absolutely present, absorbed and enthralled. We toured room after room and Michael proudly educated us on the history, progress and plans of each room. We climbed to the roof to survey the land around the facility as Michael showed us the property lines of the 11 acre facility.
As we walked, Michael took the time to introduce us to each employee we came across, from the crew sealing the roof, trimmers, employees sweeping the floor and his beautiful wife, Lindsay. It was an operation of pure collaboration and passion, each employee carrying out their tasks with pride and a smile on their face.
After the tour we ended in his “office”, which is not an appropriate word for this space. A large open concept room with a full kitchen, large conference table, leather furniture, minimal décor, and a wall of windows housed one of my favorite things on this tour, Michael’s metal sculpture titled “The Awakening”.
I asked if I could take a picture, and he crouched down beside it with as much pride as he had touring the rooms of flower. He explained how the sculpture represented breaking free from chains and it was apparent how everything he does is congruent to his motto “Find your own Way”.
We sat at the conference table and I took the opportunity to share a bit of my story, I felt vulnerable as if the walk through the facility dissolved my barriers and all my rehearsed words escaped me. I spoke from my heart and as I danced and wiggled through my vocabulary, my voice cracked and I quickly finished, embarrassed at my lack of composure. Michael responded with compassion and my shame soon faded, replaced by inspiration from his story.
We discussed the plans for creating a blog and I quickly became aware that this is not a typical blog, which was great since I don’t have experience in writing them. I’m a non-practicing therapist with a creative writing background and a passion for cannabis. The research I had conducted on cannabis blogs were bland and unoriginal, and prior to this meeting I was worried at how we could make this project stand out but as Michael began talking about his employees and his passion for connecting with people he stated, “I want to let people know they’re not alone”, and I was no longer concerned.
So, welcome to REHBEL’s blog, where you can connect, inspire and share your story of how you’ve found your own way. If you would like to connect with us, submit your story on our contact form for a chance to be featured in REHBEL’s blog.