To honor and celebrate Women’s History Month in March, our Field Marketing Manager Georgia Asmar, interviewed our Indoor Cultivation Supervisor Maggie McBain to highlight her contributions to CULTA as women in medical cannabis. Read more to learn about her education, day-to-day responsibilities and outlook on adult-use cannabis in Maryland.
Hello Maggie! Where are you from and what brought you to Maryland?
What is your typical day-to-day routine at CULTA?
Each day I will start by checking each grow room to make sure everything is running smoothly and from there I get the crew going on the tasks that are to be completed that day.
We are hiring for cultivation positions. What character traits are common in successful cultivators?
There are so many traits that make a successful cultivator. If I had to pick a few, I would say patience, discipline, and passion for the trade. Working with a living organism can be frustrating and mother nature does not like to be rushed. It takes time with the plants and facility to learn what is necessary to bring down quality flower at harvest.
According to an MJBizDaily report, women hold 43% of positions in your average vertically integrated cannabis business. CULTA is at 39%. How do we increase that number?
Before joining cultivation, I was intimidated by the job and those who did it. I did not think I was going to be strong enough or be able to keep up with the rest of the crew. I learned very quickly that this job can be done by anyone who has a passion for it. If women working in this trade had more exposure then I think we would see more women applying.
What do you love about working with the plants?
What is your favorite plant to work with at CULTA?
Do you prefer working with LED or HPS lights? For those that don't know the difference between the two, can you shed some light on both?
They also put off quite a bit of heat making them less efficient from LED's. We have LED lights in our veg rooms and in our double tier flower rooms. Different strains respond differently to both kinds of light; some like HPS, some like LED, others like both. We have the luxury of being able to try each strain out under both kinds of light and then determine where it will flourish. I honestly do not have a preference. I think both have their benefits.
What is your favorite CULTA strain?
Why is that strain so special? Why does it continue to win awards?
I think Poochie Love is so sought after because there is nothing else really like it on the market, It is hard to find a strain that gives you the same experience as Poochie Love.
What is your favorite terpene?
I can't say that I have a favorite terpene either. I personally think that it is the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes that makes each strain different. I love the way all cannabis smells. From sweet and fruity, to rotten and gassy. Each one has its place in my personal stash.
What type of products would you recommend to newbies?
For anyone starting out I think it is all about taking it slow and building your tolerance while you figure out which different strains or products work best for you. I would also recommend asking people you know and trust that are already cannabis users what they recommend. If you do not know anyone there are always people at our dispensary who are happy to help get you started and answer any questions you may have. Lower testing strains like our Mango would be great for someone wanting to dip their toes in.
Are you excited for legalization? What are you and the team doing to prepare?
I am so happy legalization is finally happening in Maryland! I love cannabis and I think legalization is going to bring many positive changes. Our team has already started growing plants that will be sold as recreational flower which is very exciting.
Do you have any tips for patients looking to start growing from home when recreational adult-use comes around?
Make sure you have the proper equipment, keep it clean, do your research, and have fun. I would also recommend finding others who grow to discuss and share in the experience with.
Is there anyone on the team you would like to shoutout?
I think Deja Johnson deserves a shoutout. We started in cultivation the same day and she is now our ERP supervisor. She has always been a dependable member of the crew and work ethics like hers do not come along often. It makes all the difference working with people like her.
Thank you so much for your time, and for playing such a pivotal role in the cultivation process Maggie! We’re lucky to have you!
Thanks Georgia! I enjoyed the interview!