The Founder of Man 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 recourse for food, fiber and medicine, as well as reducing our impact on the planet.

At just 18, Steve worked with Jack Here 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 eight 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 spend 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 that housing crash of 2008, Steve, with the help of Melinda, won a successful 5 year-long battle against the big banks to save the. farm. He has since been growing his community vision, having co-created the Honaunau Farm Wellness Retreat. The retreat is an aspiring regenerative loving 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, Director of Product, lived on the farm 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.