Recently I was fortunate enough to meet Cheriene Griffith, Director of Operations for The Galley. Settled in Northern California, The Galley is a start-up cannabis manufacturer and distributor which has experienced quite the adventure amid the COVID-19 pandemic as their focus temporarily shifted to produce hand sanitizer. To better understand The Galley and it’s journey, I contacted Cheriene for the scoop!
What led Cheriene to working for a cannabis company?
Cheriene has a military background which she utilized during a career shift into the food industry. She found that, much like military life, the food industry was all about structure and set standards. “Once I figured that out I was able to utilize my skill sets of structure to the food industry and later in the cannabis industry. And truly, the cannabis industry needs structure.”
Then why decide to work with a start-up like The Galley?
“The Mermaids. No really, Annie Holman I met a year prior and the vision of what The Galley was going to be really resonated with me. A one stop shop for many different types of cannabis products to be made is very exciting. And being a mermaid is awesome.”
How has The Galley handled the COVID-19 pandemic and was there any good that came from it?
“Great question. In a way, COVID-19 accelerated the issuance of our cannabis license. Here is how…the day that Sonoma County was put on a Shelter in Place order, which happened to be my 40th birthday, we were about 7 days away from completing our facility build out. This means that the City would no longer be doing any of the final inspections on business that were not essential. This was catastrophic for many cannabis companies in the same situation. What we did, as more of a help to the community, was quickly pivot to creating the hand sanitizer “Stop and Sanitize” and the process was intense. It took us four weeks with red tape cut, many calls to Governor Newsome’s Office, City Council, and our County Officials to allow our city inspectors to approve the production of hand sanitizer, which was an essential items for the people in our state as COVID was ramping up and people could not find hand sanitizer. When they came to inspect us for the hand sanitizer, they saw how close we were to completion of the cannabis side and they signed off on both.”
What makes The Galley unique?
Cheriene discussed The Galley’s model as different from others in the cannabis industry because they assist people to get their products on the shelves. “We will have many different, awesome products being produced by really creative people. We love to help people, and us helping these great products get onto the shelves will later possibly help someone with anxiety, or pain management. That is powerful.”
The Galley will not only help people in the future, but they are making a difference in the present. With the shift to creating hand sanitizer came an opportunity to help their community. Not only were they creating and selling hand sanitizer to the general public, but The Galley took the opportunity to donate sanitizer to those in need. They sent several cases to the City for distribution to homeless individuals and provided sanitizer to EMTs called in to work in assisted care facilities which were COVID positive.
It seems The Galley has made a difference in their community even before they intended! Setting out to put quality cannabis productions on shelves that may help people, they ended up becoming an essential business in the midst of a pandemic. Once the crisis is over, I have no doubt The Galley will make a splash in the cannabis industry! The facility is able to produce a large array of cannabis based items including sauces, candies, pre-rolls, beverages, and chocolates among other items. With the quick thinking that kept them afloat during a pandemic, the same ingenuity will only accelerate their success in the cannabis world.
How do people get in touch with The Galley?
- Their website is currently under construction, but it will be amazing once it is up and running! That will be available at www.thegalleysr.com.
- Currently the best methods are emailing or calling!
- They also have a Facebook page you can follow.
- Trade shows are TBD (as with many across all industries), but The Galley is working on some webinar type events so be on the lookout for those!
In the meantime check out some other articles about The Galley:
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to tell our story! Massive thank you to the team at Wherefour which donated some tech and time to help us pivot through the Hand Sanitizer and keep track of everything while building the bigger business.” – Cheriene Griffith, Director of Operations for The Galley