For Anna Wiley, getting lost in the pages of High Times back in the day was a roadmap for the future. It’s been a long journey from accidentally growing male plants in her Colorado basement using four lights and little information, to being the Founder and CEO of CAM – that’s short for California Artisanal Medicine – overseeing the buildout of a brand new 2000-light facility in Sacramento, California. But as the East Coast native tells it, going from white-collar pro to high-profile female grower, entrepreneur, and executive in the biggest cannabis marketplace in the world, well…just had to be done.

There is no Plan B

“I've always wanted to start my own company, I definitely have an entrepreneurial spirit. I took a couple hundred grand that I had saved in my 401k, emptied out. My parents thought I'd lost my mind. They're very conservative, wonderful Indian people that just could not believe what their child was doing for a living. I think that my mom still tells people I'm a pharmacist.”

Rise and thrive

Careers in software development and finance were no match for what Anna really wanted: to have her own cultivation. She hit a roadblock when trying to raise capital – all too familiar territory for female BIPOC entrepreneurs – so instead of asking for a seat, she built a new table. Cashing out her savings to secure a 5k square foot warehouse and a 3k square foot retail space in Colorado made CAM into reality in 2009. From there Anna expanded into 12k, then 60k square foot spaces while falling ever deeper in love with cultivation. With the allure of Golden State too powerful to ignore she headed west, bought a 25k square foot building, and made CAM into a Cali brand.

“Data can help you make decisions that are going to further your knowledge of cultivation. It's going to help you to replicate what went well previously or what didn't or what didn't go well.”

Anna Wiley,
CAM Founder and CEO

“You would have one or two folks that grew phenomenal product, but when they went to scale they had to bring on 30 other people. Data really helps the transparency portion of it so you can really do a lot of succession planning. You can train large amounts of teams at the same time and give them a reason why you're doing something.”

Anna Wiley,
CAM Founder and CEO


Knowing what you don’t know

Anna was attached to growing in hydro using the old bucket system, she knew it worked – but yields were all over the place, and that wasn’t scalable. When her pal Ramsey looped her into AROYA, Anna had her doubts. Dialing in the environment to achieve both quality and quantity? It was hard to believe…until she saw the data. “It was so much knowledge right at once,” she says. “Like, why didn't I know about this all those years that I could have really used it?”

Growth in progress

Using data from AROYA, CAM was able to remove the guesswork from their day-to-day and bring more consistency to their grow. By dialing in their environment, they now had the metrics to identify more areas for operational improvement. “We're realizing we need to add more infrastructure to grow rooms – telling us that we need to bring down our humidity, those types of things,” Anna explains. “So by having those environmental controls, you're also going to be able to figure out what you need in a room.”

All the way up

From setting up that first grow with 4 lights in her basement to being CEO of a 4X Cannabis Cup winner, Anna has come a long way. And building out a brand new 83k square foot cultivation and distribution space is just the latest chapter in a story that is far from over. Expanding into another location and being able to grow her team just makes it that much easier to cultivate and offer premium quality, artisanal flower to patients and consumers – everything Anna has ever wanted.

AROYA cultivation management base station

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