Humboldt in Time of COVID: Economic Disparities Interview with Michael Kraft - Papa and Barkley
My name is Rebekah Baur. I am a senior and History major at Humboldt State University doing the internship program this semester. I have been living in Arcata for the past couple of years, but I'm originally from Ridgecrest, California, and moved here for school. The person being interviewed, Michael Kraft, is a manager at Papa and Barkley, a pivotal person in the business and has been involved. His official position is the government affairs officer, so they don't just deal with the business between dispensaries but with the government entities that affect the business. He makes sure the business complies with the regulations, which is especially important during the pandemic due to safety guidelines.
This interview covers the aspect of distribution centers and the role they play in providing product to dispensaries. However, Papa and Barkley grow, distribute, and sell a product. They are also one of the only businesses that provide products nationwide. They are a good business to look back on because they are paving the way for federal legalization, and their role during the pandemic is making it possible. The Cannabis industry is labeled as an essential business during the pandemic, which is a feat. Michael Kraft describes their responsibilities as an essential business and the safety protocols they impose on the employees. Kraft also explains the change in sales and service as the pandemic started and continued over the months leading up to the interview. It is informative from the perspective of distribution management and in sales minus the retail aspect. They have an online retail presence, which is important because the pandemic has moved many resources online so the fact that Cannabis has an online presence makes it more accessible. This research can not only contribute to the research of the economy during the pandemic, but it can also contribute to the history of the Cannabis industry. The United States is on track towards federalizing it legally, and if that happens, it can help explain why it was legalized and its benefits for the future.