Autumn Brands estate grown and family owned | Credit: Fran Collin

Amid Santa Barbara County’s widely publicized sea of cannabis growers, Autumn Brands was one of the first to emerge with pride as a locally grown product back in May 2018. 

Founded by Carpinteria-born, SBCC- and UCSB-educated Autumn Shelton and Cal Poly grad Hanna Brand, the company grows about a dozen strains in Carp greenhouses and sells flower, pre-rolls, and vape cartridges to about 160 dispensaries and 15 delivery services across California.

Perhaps their most enlightening product was CBD-heavy pre-rolls, which are a good choice for those seeking the familiar flavors of burned flower and a mellow mood without the mind-bending effects so common in today’s potent strains. They’re currently exploring three more CBD strains due to customer interest. 

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Autumn Shelton (left) and Hanna Brand own and operate Autumn Brands in Carpinteria.

Shelton answered a few of my questions recently. 

How does Autumn Brands stand out from the crowded cannabis market?  Autumn Brands is family owned and completely private, and we pride ourselves on providing a fair price with a consistent product. We have always focused on quality, we do all of our processing by hand to ensure the product is handled carefully, and we do quality control at every step. We also wanted to produce the cleanest flower and oil possible, so we chose to be a no-spray farm.

What do you think about the desire for more CBD strains?  It is appealing because CBD has such strong healing properties, and to see more people asking for it shows that customers are truly using cannabis to improve their health and wellness.

Do consumers care about supporting local growers?  Yes, we have seen huge local support! People care about where their cannabis is coming from.

How have you addressed the community conflicts in Carpinteria, particularly the odor?  We were instrumental in bringing the vapor-phase system here, and now we are testing a brand-new indoor system that we will roll out in the next few weeks as well to continue to improve odor control. We have studies going constantly.

What has hurt the process is the delay in licensing and allowing multiple farms to operate without effective odor control, in essence handcuffing the county in regard to control. Lastly, false claims are making it hard for us to really get dependable data to fix things. In a perfect world, our adversaries would work with us to find solutions, and it seems this would improve and speed things up.

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Autumn Brands offers Glass Jar, Pre-roll & Cartridges

Is there terroir when it comes to cannabis? Does that hold true if the soils are imported and the climate is controlled within greenhouses?  The local climate is extremely important for us growing. The greenhouses are a tool to enhance some of these climate conditions and allow us to take away some of the extreme peaks and valleys.

Any interesting plans on the horizon?  We are very close to bringing out a topical, which is exciting!

Where do you see the market going?  It is no secret that between taxes and regulations there is a burden to be in the market and the opening of more retail outlets has been much slower than anticipated. No rush here, though. We are here for the long play, and these kids are young and have to work for many more decades.

With that being said, it’s very challenging in a state where the taxes are so tremendous and where there are so many local municipalities setting bans or requiring so many new rules making it impossible to get through the process. So it will take time to grow the California market. But we are already seeing stronger wholesale prices than in the years before, so there is still a very strong demand.



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