In Hawaii people “talk story.” Following this tradition, we’d like to tell you the story of the values and life experiences that drive our mission here at Mana Artisan Botanics.
In our ohana (Hawaiian for extended family), we all share a deep desire for wholesome, healthful living and embrace a values-over-profit way of doing business. For us, this means doing our best to care for the land, our bodies and our communities—aligning with our higher selves. Mana Artisan Botanics was born of the passion to inspire others to experience these fundamental beliefs as well. We want to be a company that is a model for taking the extra steps to do things sustainably, consciously and in a way that delivers pure, clean products you can trust. Collectively, we are driven by our personal and shared history to be a force for good in the rapidly growing cannabis industry.
The co-founder and CEO of Mana Artisan Botanics, Steve Sakala, has been a voice for sustainability, regenerative agriculture and medical cannabis for more than two decades. He was educated about the numerous benefits of the cannabis plant at a young age and quickly became passionate about its thousands of uses. He holds the view that it is an indispensable resource for food, fiber and medicine, as well as reducing our impact on the planet.
At just 18, Steve worked with Jack Herer in California on the first medical cannabis initiative in 1992, and then again on Proposition 215, which passed and became the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Shortly thereafter, Steve obtained his first medical grow permit and began his in-depth journey on learning about this versatile plant. Over the last seven years he’s been focused on CBD-rich (cannabidiol) strains with their diverse and potent health benefits. In addition to being a dedicated proponent of medical cannabis and hemp, Steve is a leader in the sustainability movement, building models, working in the legislature and advocating as the president of the local Hawaii farmer's union.
He spent four years in West Africa after college, experiencing how agriculture is the foundation of culture. He came to realize that to drive the kind of positive change he wanted to see in the world, he needed to focus his energy on the land. After many years working with cannabis and on other sustainability projects, he eventually bought a farm in Hawaii with others who shared in his desire to build wholistic living models.
Despite the hurdles following the housing crash of 2008, Steve and Melinda won a successful 5 year long battle against the big banks to save the farm. They have since been growing their community vision, having co-created the Honaunau Farm Wellness Retreat. The retreat is an aspiring regenerative living model on the Big Island of Hawaii and the birthplace of Mana Artisan Botanics.
Now in its 6th year, the farm has been host to hundreds of interns and guests from all over the world and has served as the connection point for the Mana Ohana: Shimyrre, our production manager and herbalist, lived on the farm for a year in 2013. Pelin was introduced to the many benefits CBD can deliver without the psychoactive component while she was a guest at the farm in 2016. And, it was the life-changing experiences CBD-rich therapeutics delivered for his 12 year-old son with cerebral palsy that led Andy to join our ohana.
Honaunau Farm Wellness Retreat is located in the foothills of Mauna Loa Volcano on the island of Hawai’i. The land is rich in volcanic minerals and is an ideal place for growing botanicals like turmeric and passionflower, as well as other medicinal herbs and spices. Our farm offers guest accommodations, tasting tours, wellness retreat services and regenerative agriculture education. We are dedicated to providing life-enriching experiences for those who want to learn about holistic living, as well as for those who simply want to rejuvenate in a lush, relaxing, tropical setting. Our farm is located on what is considered by many to be healing lands—inside a triangle between the Honaunau Place of Refuge, Kealakekua Bay and Mauna Loa Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The area draws many spiritual seekers and is known for being a place of rebirth and transformation.
As part of a growing movement of companies that want to create a better world, we are dedicated to crafting pure, chemical and pesticide-free, whole-plant botanicals. We support local farms and businesses that share our values. We are committed to standing by our values and offer products that are good for body and soil.