In our ohana (Hawaiian for extended family), we all share a deep commitment for wholesome, healthful living and crafting the purest, most potent hemp infusions available. 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 clean, healthful and delicious products you can trust. Collectively, we are dedicated to empowering consumers with evidence-based data on the potential health benefits of phytocannabinoids and leading as 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 8th 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. Honaunau 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.
Wholistic Research and Education Foundation
Our commitment to understanding the role of the endocannabinoid system in our wellbeing and educating the public as well as healthcare professionals with research driven data led Andy, Pelin and Steve to also co-found California-based non-profit Wholistic Research and Education Foundation. Wholistic, which has already funded major medicinal cannabis studies with UC San Diego and University of Utah, is dedicated to exploring the health benefits of phytocannabinoid-rich therapeutics through funding clinical and scientific research as well as increasing safe and legal access to those in need via advocacy and education.
As Hawaii’s premier wellness-driven hemp company, many Hawaiian values have informed our way of life and doing business. Our three guiding values are Imi Ola – Kuleana – Aloha. To ‘Imi ola is to “seek our highest purpose in life.” When we practice ‘Imi ola as a personal value, we create and fulfill our own destiny to arrive at the highest form of our wellbeing. As a company, we seek to have a clear vision and fulfill our mission to its greatest potential.
Kuleana is a practice referring to one’s personal sense of responsibility, referring to a reciprocal relationship, such as the one between people and their land, the aina. Through such symbiotic relationships, individuals maintain balance within their community and with the natural environment. Aloha is the outpouring and the receiving of the spirit. Living with the “Spirit of Aloha” is living a life based on love, peace and compassion. The deeper meaning of Aloha is about interacting rightfully in the natural world—and being in harmony with our bodies, communities and environment. Our Imi Ola guides us to fulfill our Kuleana and inspire people to live life in the Spirit of Aloha.
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.