Corey Thomas talks making it in the cannabis industry

When did you first pursue a career in cannabis and how did you start out in the business?

I’ve worked with cannabis for about 20 years. I’ve worked in many areas of the space, sales, cultivation, and manufacturing. My parents are in the industry, so it was natural for me to find a career in the space. But my commitment to cannabis starts with my love for the plant.

Photo by Jennifer Skog

Photo by Jennifer Skog

What made you decide to create Honey Pot and how did you develop your company?

There was a big shift in the acceptance of cannabis during Obama’s presidency. The business was becoming more legitimate and there were retail locations opening everyday in Southern California. I was making edibles for a few collectives and saw the beginning of branding in cannabis. In the summer of 2012, a few friends of mine had a surplus of honey and asked if I could figure out how to infuse it — that was the beginning of Honey Pot. Next came our topical balm; my mother had given me her favorite recipe and with a few additions, we had our first award-winning topical.

How would you describe the Honey Pot brand and the clientele who use your products?

When I first started Honey Pot, there were very few companies in California making microdosed and non-psychoactive edibles and topicals. While a lot of our competitors were competing to make the strongest edibles on the market, our goal was to create a product line for consumers who were looking to feel better, not necessarily get “high.” Although, our products will get you there if you so choose. We make products for first time users, long-time users and everyone in between.

What has your experience been as a woman in cannabis?

The cannabis industry has always been a male-dominated space. Less now than in the past, but that mostly has to do with the changes in legislation. It began as an outlaw community and women have always played an integral role in that community. Wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters staffed the first trim teams. We took the trim that was then considered trash, and we created a lot of the edibles and topicals that make up for a large portion of today’s products on the market. A lot of those women have built some amazing brands and businesses that are really reputable.

What are the biggest misconceptions people have about working in cannabis?

I think we’re all still figuring out exactly how we all fit into the new world of legal cannabis. There are a lot of people entering the space thinking it’s just another product to sell and that their experience in other industries is all that is needed for success in the cannabis industry. What those people don’t understand is that it’s the culture that created the space for the industry. The same people that were labeled “stoners” only a few years ago are some of the most successful people in the industry. Their fight and drive to make the industry what it is today is the reason the people who judged just a few years ago have a safer place to invest.