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Danny Jaiquel, Founder & CEO at Supreme Origin – Interview Series

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In many parts of the world, the failed war on drugs has left a trail of devastation, particularly in vulnerable communities already grappling with poverty and violence. One such case is Nariño in Colombia, a region deeply affected by armed conflict and illicit drug cultivation. The prohibition paradigm has not only failed to address underlying issues but has often exacerbated them, perpetuating cycles of suffering and instability. However, amidst this backdrop of despair, some notable individuals such as Danny Jaiquel are advocating for a radical shift in approach and leveraging the cannabis industry as a catalyst for positive change.

In this exclusive interview, Danny shares insights into his transformative journey and the founding principles of Supreme Origin. Through innovative initiatives like the Farmers Recovery from Conflict program, Supreme Origin is empowering Colombian farmers to transition from illicit crops to legal hemp cultivation, fostering economic opportunities and sustainable development.

MyCannabis: As an intro, can you briefly share how you found yourself engaged in the cannabis industry?

Danny: My journey began in Colombia, where I worked closely with the government on anti-narcotics policies. It was a profound experience that gave me firsthand insight into the complexities and failures of the war on drugs. Witnessing the devastating impact of this approach, particularly on vulnerable communities affected by armed conflict, led me to question its effectiveness deeply.

Recognizing the need for a radical shift, I made the decision to leave my career in anti-narcotics eight years ago. It was a pivotal moment that set me on a new path, one dedicated to building a cannabis industry that prioritizes responsibility, sustainability, and community well-being.

In 2016, I obtained one of Colombia's earliest licenses for cannabis cultivation and manufacturing. This coincided with a significant moment in Colombian history—the signing of a peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas, ending a 50-year-long conflict that had ravaged many of our territories. It marked the beginning of my commitment to leveraging the cannabis industry as a tool for positive change, particularly in regions deeply affected by decades of violence and instability.

MyCannabis: Your transition from anti-narcotics to cannabis is truly fascinating. Can you share more about what prompted you to reject the prohibition paradigm and embrace cannabis as a solution?

Danny: Working within the anti-narcotics framework, I witnessed firsthand the futility of the prohibition approach. Instead of addressing the root causes of drug-related issues, it often exacerbated them, perpetuating cycles of violence and suffering. It became increasingly clear to me that a different approach was needed, one that prioritized harm reduction, community empowerment, and economic development.

Cannabis presented itself as an opportunity to break away from this destructive cycle. Beyond its medicinal and therapeutic potential, it offered a pathway to provide compensation and support to the millions of victims left in the wake of the armed conflict in Colombia alone. It was a chance to redirect resources away from futile enforcement efforts towards initiatives that promote peace, stability, and prosperity.

MyCannabis: That's truly insightful. Now, let's delve into Supreme Origin. How did the idea for the company come about, and what specific products do you offer?

Danny: Supreme Origin was born out of a desire to not only participate in the burgeoning cannabis industry but to do so in a way that aligns with our values and vision for positive change. Drawing from my experience with crop substitution initiatives in Colombia, where farmers transitioned from illicit crops like coca to legal alternatives such as coffee and cacao, I saw an opportunity to apply a similar model to cannabis.

In 2020, Supreme Origin was founded with a clear mission: to create a responsible, sustainable cannabis industry that benefits both consumers and communities. We partnered with industry leaders like Nature's Roots Labs and Keef Brands to develop innovative products that reflect our commitment to quality, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship.

Our flagship product is our CBD-infused Colombian coffee, which we initially launched in Colorado. Building on the success of this product, we're now excited to introduce our THC-infused ready-to-drink coffee in Nevada. Each batch is sourced directly from farmers affected by the war on drugs in Colombia, ensuring a premium, ethically sourced product that consumers can feel good about.

MyCannabis: That sounds incredibly promising. How do you engage Colombian farmers in the cannabis industry, especially those who may have previously been involved in illicit activities like cocaine cultivation?

Danny: Engaging Colombian farmers in the cannabis industry has been a cornerstone of our approach at Supreme Origin. Recognizing the challenges and stigma associated with transitioning from illicit crops to legal alternatives, we've implemented a comprehensive strategy focused on partnership, education, and empowerment.

We're currently working with over 40,000 families in Nariño, a region known for its history of cocaine production. Through our Farmers Recovery from Conflict program, we provide farmers with the technical assistance, resources, and support they need to make a successful transition to hemp cultivation. By partnering with local foundations and cooperatives, we ensure that farmers receive fair compensation for their crops and are actively involved in every step of the process.

Our goal is not only to provide economic opportunities for these communities but also to foster a sense of pride and ownership in the legal cannabis industry. By reinvesting profits into community projects such as childcare and education, we're creating a sustainable path away from illicit activities towards a brighter, more prosperous future.

MyCannabis: That's truly inspiring. In terms of challenges, what obstacles have you encountered on your journey with Supreme Origin, and how have you overcome them?

Danny: Like any emerging industry, the cannabis sector comes with its fair share of challenges. From regulatory hurdles to market competition, navigating this landscape requires resilience, creativity, and perseverance.

One of the biggest challenges we've faced is the stigma and misconceptions surrounding cannabis, particularly in regions like Latin America where drug policies have historically been punitive and prohibitive. Overcoming these barriers requires not only educating consumers but also building trust and credibility within communities.

Additionally, logistical and regulatory challenges, especially concerning international exports, have posed significant obstacles to our operations. However, by forging strategic partnerships, leveraging technology, and advocating for policy reform, we've been able to overcome many of these challenges and position Supreme Origin for long-term success.

MyCannabis: Your dedication to overcoming these challenges is truly commendable. Lastly, what would you say has been the most significant achievement for Supreme Origin thus far?

Danny: While there have been many milestones along our journey, I believe our greatest achievement lies in the impact we've had on the ground—in the lives of farmers, communities, and consumers alike. By prioritizing social responsibility, sustainability, and ethical business practices, we've not only built a successful cannabis company but also a force for positive change.

Our partnerships with leading industry brands, our innovative product offerings, and our commitment to community development underscore our vision for a more inclusive, equitable cannabis industry. Moving forward, we're excited to continue pushing boundaries, challenging norms, and driving meaningful change both in Colombia and beyond.

Thank you, Danny, for sharing your inspiring story and vision for Supreme Origin. It's clear that your commitment to social impact sets you apart in the cannabis industry, and we look forward to seeing the continued success of your endeavors. Readers are encouraged to connect with Supreme Origin through their website to learn more.

 

Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.