Sativa Valley Essentials joins the market

What’s new at the market is Sativa Valley Essentials. This new business fascinates me and impresses me on many levels.

They have a line of products that contain the pain relieving properties of American hemp without containing any of the psycho-active properties. People don’t realize, their owners say, that you can have the pain-relieving benefits without having to get high. That is what they offer.

There are three owners, three young men under the age of 30 who began this journey years ago. Sam Konovalov was the original visionary to carve their path but the story goes back to Russia a few generations back. Sam’s great-grandfather had been a beekeeper and “village doctor” in rural Russia. He used native plants and bee products; honey, wax and pollen to help the local community manage their health. His daughter was a keen learner who carried on the tradition.

It was this woman who came to the United States and later became Sam’s grandmother. While Sam’s mother worked, his grandmother would watch Sam. He spent almost all of his after-school hours and summers having adventures at her expansive property. She would be making her renowned healing salve and showing Sam all the medicinal plants in the fields and forest. She would educate him on how to harvest the plants to ensure they would regenerate. She would explain how to use different parts of the plant, processing them and using them fresh or dried.

Sam went to Sequim public schools, getting involved with Future Farmers of America and 4-H. He learned about greenhouse propagation. All this added to and complemented his education in wildcrafting — the art of harvesting plants from the wilderness — that had come from his grandmother.

While growing up, his family “adopted” his dear friend Sean McCreary. He grew up with the Konovalovs like a brother to Sam. When Sam started taking steps toward creating a botanical product line, Sean was by his side. Sean has since become the lead on their botanical farms which are expanding from 3 acres currently to 10 in the near future.

Jude Schweizer is the third man in the trio and he does the essential and fantastic promotional materials for the business. He manages the website and the communications. It seems the business breaks out nicely with Sean in the field, Sam in the laboratory and Jude taking care of the media.

The professionalism, the meticulously researched and developed products, the high quality of plants and passion these young men bring to the business all spells success.

It was in 2008 they began selling a wide variety of American hemp products in the Seattle area. They learned after a few years that what really helped people were the products that contained CBD. They spent four years developing a strain of American hemp that was high in CBD and low in THC — THC is the element that creates the psycho-active effect. Then they began to work with a farm in Oregon to grow their creation.

When harvested, these plants are put through a state-of-the-art CO2 extracting machine. The machine takes in the entire plant, minus the roots and expels a thick yellow waxy-like substance. It’s then further fractionally distilled to completely remove any residuals, leaving pure CBD (Cannabidiol) extract.

To be absolutely certain of purity, the CBD extract is tested further by an independent laboratory to verify the absence of any THC.

Based on customer feedback and their personal fulfillment, two years ago they re-invented the business to consist solely of the pain-management products and a few bath and beauty products. Experience had shown them that their products helped people and that was meaningful.

They offer customers to rub a bit of a pain-relieving salve sample on an aching area, walk around the market and come back. This direct experience can educate the consumer onsite.

Since then, business has continued to grow and grow. Keeping enough product made is a full-time job for Sam in a laboratory he rents in Tacoma. Now he is in process of building a larger laboratory, processing and packaging plant closer to home. His mother Nancy is a great supporter of the business and you can meet her at the farmers market most Saturdays.

Their botanicals do not just come from Sequim and are not just American hemp-derived. They make and use a great variety of medicinal plants. They frequently make trips to Oregon and Eastern Washington to wildcraft the plants they need, always taking great care to ensure the future availability of the plants. Harvesting with sustainable methods is at the forefront of their minds, as Sam learned from his grandmother.

These three will give you all the information with the least amount of sales pressure you can ask for. I learned that pets can use their products too, customers were coming in to their booth while I was there, excited to share what a great experience they had with keeping their dogs calm during the Fourth of July fireworks.

The Sequim Farmers Market is fortunate to be a stop on their path. Come to the market and have your own experience of their pain relieving products or give their shampoo and conditioner a try. They will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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