Phil Seda has spent the last four years learning the ways of the Washington state cannabis market by building a strong and educated cannabis community and employees. As the CEO of Sky High Gardens, one of Washington’s top craft cannabis producers, Phil Seda is a cannabis entrepreneur seeking to make the most out of this unique business opportunity.
Better known for their high quality craft cannabis flower as opposed to cannabis oils, tinctures, or edibles, Sky High Gardens produces an array of strains that make the brand stand out and maintain a competitive edge in the market. Sky High believes in being a master at growing fine weed, and have seen many operations try to do too much and sacrifice quality because of it. Sky High Garden’s produces classic cannabis strains such Dutch Treat, Blue Dream and Chem Dawg, yet is on the forefront of producing unique varietals such as The Black, Animal Crackers, and Pineapple CHunk. Each Sky High strain offers a unique experience and flavor.
Phil’s cannabis story begins in the summer of 2014 after leaving his career at an insurance agency and embarking on a 220-mile solo backpack journey through the High Sierra Mountains, and thereafter getting a job at a cannabis cultivation facility. “It all changed when I got a job tending plants on the fall. Taking care of a plant quickly consumed my life. It blossomed into a passion, and now it’s my career. I could not be more happy about it.”
Since, Phil has become CEO at Sky High Gardens and recruited a team focused on creating the some of the best craft cannabis Washington has to offer. Although he owns a Tier 3 license which allows 30,000 sq ft, he’s not trying to be the biggest on the block. He understands there’s a market for a craft cannabis and having room to grow into later allows him to focus on his craft today.
It was in 2016 during a dark chapter for the company when Phil was positioned to take over Sky High Gardens as CEO. “I embraced myself and my confidence” says Phil. He also mentioned “Cannapreneurs be cautioned: you cannot do this alone.” Phil credits the success of his company to the team. “Without my partner Jeremy, the COO, and the rest of the team, Sky High wouldn’t have the infrastructure for our business to thrive.”
Phil leads his team on the daily with a culture of teamwork, transparency, and hard work. When he took it over as the CEO, the company was “an absolute mess” Phil claims. He’s had to work it out of negative reputation, past due bills, and disgruntled employees. “I’m a first time CEO, and there’s no better way to learn” Phil says.
Despite the challenges, Phil’s passion to succeed as a cannabis business owner built resilience and solidified his confidence in the industry. “I’ve just kept my foot on the gas pedal from day one. I have made some mistakes, but even my mishaps have provided for wonderful learning opportunities and fueled my growth and contributions to the company.” These experiences gave him more reason to move forward, and to this day, he maintains a humble approach toward his involvement in this industry.
Phil has located Sky High Gardens in the heart of SODO, the industrial neighborhood south of downtown popular to other known cannabis brands. To date, the company is devoted toward improving and increasing the size of their canopy, at a slow and manageable rate. “Quality is king and cannot be rushed.”
Sky High Garden’s most notable achievements in this industry have been a result of their commitment to creating quality, craft cannabis. “One of our greatest achievements in the business includes our Pineapple Chunk strain, testing over 6% terpenes on dried flower. Mouthwatering.” As the annual “Evergreen Cup” approaches, Phil has no doubts that his company will leave an impact. “Our product will be competing against some other big brands at a blind taste test. Be there.” The location of this years’ Evergreen Cup will be at Nectar Lounge in Seattle, WA and will take place on August 3rd.
Phil has plenty of advice to offer fellow cannapreneurs. First and foremost, he’s a firm believer in the power of teamwork, consistent work ethic, an ability to understand the consumer, and a genuine desire to help those around you to share in successes. “Face your fears head on…I believe some entrepreneurs place too much emphasis on idea generation, and not enough on execution. It’s really difficult to sit in Starbucks or at home creating the next new thing. More times than not, it’s out there waiting to be found.”