CannaWomen Women in the Industry: Caline Bruyn and Evolve Marijuana The Cannabis Seed Co.

Story by Tanya Rondon

     Caline Bruyn has always forged her own path.  An entrepreneur by birth, she started a dance studio at 13.  From that point on she has been self-employed.  Her new vision, Evolve Marijuana, might just be her greatest endeavor yet. After her son Josh graduated from high school, he took a trip to Amsterdam and attended The Cannabis Cup.  While there he found a passion for genetics. Working together they have created The Cannabis Seed Co. and their exclusive strains.
     Currently, The Cannabis Seed Co. has 29 original strains they are working with that are not in Washington. With seeds from places like Australia, Holland, and Jamaica, The Cannabis Seed Co. is creating a unique line of strains for both recreational and medicinal cannabis markets.
     Caline Bruyn has served as CEO of The Cannabis Seed Co. since its inception in 2013, and her superior strategic planning and managerial skills are a powerful guiding force within the company.  Continuously promoting new ideas and forward thinking, Caline helps keep The Cannabis Seed Co. on a path of distinction and innovation.
     Caline draws on the unique, sophisticated and results-driven insights she has forged in the course of a varied and successful career.  In 1991, CJ Bruyn & Co. was established as a technical service and support provider to the analytical laboratory field.  Since then it has emerged as the leading service company of Electron Capture Detectors.  Licensed for 25 years with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Caline is known as an expert in servicing radioactive isotope-containing devices. Working with universities and laboratories throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Asia, Caline provides technical expertise and regulation consulting.
     In 2013 Caline saw an opportunity to combine her passion for business and her enjoyment of cultivating cannabis. The application for a cannabis producers license was accepted in 2014 and in April 2016 The Cannabis Seed Co. was awarded a Washington state business license for a Tier 2 marijuana-producing facility.

     With a different perspective and ideas that are new to the already growing cannabis industry, Caline’s vision is to not only produce top-quality exclusive cannabis strains but to create a strategic partnering.
     “To break it down into one sentence, the idea behind EVOLVE is to bring together multiple smaller companies to build one large national brand, with the common thread being genetics created at The Cannabis Seed Co.”
     Evolve Marijuana is a business model where growers under contract have a comprehensive network with access to the exclusive strains. Caline’s vision is to help others grow their business while building security for when the cannabis borders come down and big corporations alone have the marketing budgets to take out the independent growers.
     Evolve Marijuana is offering front and back office, marketing, and growing support. Growers under contract will also have access to the products that Caline uses, which have proven not only to be cost- and time-effective, but rely on a natural grow cycle without added pesticides or fertilizers.
     Building a national brand is more than just security for the independent growers when big business gets in the game. It helps those small businesses grow their value and assets for the time they may want to sell.
     “Evolve would not have any say in how you run your business. You remain an independent company.  We will only be involved at your request, and then only as consultants to help you move your business towards success.  For the packaging we will work with you, changing nothing about how you package your product other than the design of the packaging for the Evolve products you sell. I am looking for those industry professionals that share my desire, to create remarkable experiences by providing consistently remarkable marijuana.”
     There are certain requirements to become an Evolve Marijuana Producer and Processor—not all applicants will be accepted. Onerequirement is that you must be a pesticide-free cannabis farmer. Evolve will require growing without using pesticides and a consistent quality of product to take to market.
     “As the number of growers continues to rise it will be the ones that have set themselves apart with unique and original strains, and smart and active brand marketing that will continue to hold the most coveted space on the retail shelf. Are you preparing for that future? It will be here before you know it. It is not an inexpensive venture to build a brand. A national marketing campaign can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. A full page ad, depending on the magazine, can be $2000–$5000 and more. But as a united group of individual companies, we can share the expense and receive the benefits of building and being part of a national brand. A Washington state brand found in all 50 states. We all need to be preparing our businesses for the future of our ever-changing, soon to be extremely competitive cannabis industry. Whether you join Evolve and together we will build a brand, or you are going to have a go at it alone (not recommended). Just be sure to keep the building of brand awareness at the top of your priority list. Surviving the next three to five years will require deliberate strategies.”
     Become an Evolve grower and your “team” will now include a breeder of original genetics, a business coach, cultivation consulting, a back office constantly searching for discounts to further benefit your bottom line, a front office working diligently to provide your business with the tools necessary for success, and a marketing department creating a brand that will withstand the test of time.
     Caline warns: “The changes that are coming are going to impact your business. To say it will be disrupted is an understatement.” 
     An article published this June in the Sun Times already shows us this is happening. “
     Microsoft has announced a groundbreaking partnership with Los Angeles-based cannabis tech company KIND Financial to begin offering software that tracks marijuana plants from seed to sale in states where medical or recreational cannabis is legal.”
     Per a company press release: Microsoft selected KIND to participate in its newly created Microsoft Health and Human Services Pod for Managed Service Providers. The goal of this relationship is to leverage each company’s resources to provide State, County, and Municipalities with purpose-built solutions for track and trace (“seed to sale” in the cannabis industry) technology.
     “Seed-to-sale tracking software monitors cannabis cultivation, sales and commerce to make sure cannabis companies are complying with state laws. Twenty-five states have already legalized comprehensive medical marijuana programs and four states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized marijuana for recreational adult use.

     With many new states vying to legalize medical or recreational marijuana this year, demand for seed-to-sale tracking software will likely continue to grow at a rapid pace—a factor that may have enticed Microsoft to break the “corporate taboo on pot,” as The New York Times Dealbook puts it.”
     Once it is possible for corporations like Microsoft to become more involved in the cannabis industry, there will be no hope for small independent growers. Beyond that, Big Tobacco already is in position to step into the market once it becomes legal for them to do so. This is what Caline is trying to prevent with the Evolve brand.
     Here are some descriptions from The Cannabis Seed Co. website of a few of their unique strains:

Ohyeh
     Feel the calming as you form a smile. Let the day’s stresses take a back seat to a good book.
     Ohyeh is an Indica dominant hybrid, meaning, when enjoyed moderately will relax you just a bit but keep you functional. Enjoy too much and you will find yourself looking for a place to close your eyes and take a nap.

Conversa
     Gets both the mind and the mouth moving. Enjoy with a friend for a memorable conversation.
     Conversa is a Sativa strain with an aroma hinting of lavender. A smooth smoke, but tastier when enjoyed through a vaporizer. The chatty effect is present when vaporizing, but felt more when smoked.

Essex
     Take your mind and body and give it some creative energy. Take a walk, get out and garden. Whatever it is, enjoy the moment as you focus on the activity at hand. This would not be one for lounging and watching a movie. It’s more a get up and go.


Domingo
     This full body relaxation sensation rolls over you from your head to your toes. Deep breathe and say “ahhh...” Domingo is a hybrid heavy on the Indica and if you are looking to do anything other than lay yourself down, choose another strain. The effect comes on within moments of inhalation and will last several hours.