Erin Malsom

PHOTO CRED: NIK ZVOLINSKI

I would say that being a mother of 3 girls drives me to be my best and strongest self. They propel me to be their beacon of strength. – Erin


Location: Fort Bragg, California, USA

Primary sector / current role: Head of Sales @ LitHouse

Years in the legal industry: 3-years / 17-years total

Links: LinkedIn


How have you been lately? Really?

I find that life during COVID is a bit of a roller coaster. Juggling 3 children and a full-time job became near impossible, when schooling moved to my living room, and playing the role as a teachers assistant was added to my plate.

What made you say ‘yes’ to being showcased in The Garden?

Promoting myself is something that makes me uncomfortable and I find myself avoiding it, when possible. As part of my personal growth, I want to work on the things that make me uncomfortable, or that may hold me back from my full potential. I am learning to identify my self doubt and move past it. I want to be a role model for my 3 girls and teach them that having confidence, being strong, and working hard is something to strive for. Saying yes to this interview was a great opportunity for me to push past my discomfort and embrace a bit of spotlight.

How did your relationship with weed begin?

Growing up on the Mendocino Coast you are introduced to Cannabis at a very young age. It is a way of life here. My dad was a grower, my uncles, older cousins, family friends. Back then, it was very illegal and not something to be celebrated or shared publicly. I always felt ashamed and felt that my dad was doing something really wrong and potentially dangerous. The plants growing out in the woods behind our house were not to be mentioned, even within our family.

In my early adult years, when I had my first daughter, I wanted something different for my family. I didn’t want my children to grow up with shame and worry. I didn’t want them to lie, when asked the question, What do your parents do for a living? I wanted to shield us from the awkward conversations of how you make money and the shame of not having a “real” job. But making a living in our community isn’t easy and there are very limited options. With young mouths to feed and not a lot of options, I took a deep dive into what it was that I hated about Cannabis, was it the flower itself? Or was it the feelings of shame and embarrassment that I carried from my childhood. These introspective explorations helped me to shift out of my negative relationship with Cannabis and start something new. I was in the driver’s seat, and the only way I wanted to be a part of this culture was in a healthy way.  My resolution was to welcome my children into the conversation and talk about it openly. I wanted to embrace this culture and teach my children about the benefits for consumers and our small community–through providing a livable income for us, while also supporting our local businesses that would otherwise not survive on tourism alone.

Generally, describe your day-to-day in the legal Cannabis industry.

My day is filled with juggling all things product and sales related. Product pipelines and inventory management, distribution coordination, business development, marketing support, sales and inventory reporting, TONS of spreadsheets, along with many other tasks. I love getting to be so involved and intimate with many facets of the business. 

Communication comes in all forms, emails, phone calls, text, Slack, WhatsApp, Zoom, and some in person meetings (although very few, these days, with COVID). Some days I am working in the office, some days I am working at our facility with our processing team, some days I am on the road. Every day looks a little different for me.

What would you say your greatest strengths are?

I have passion for all things sales. I am a highly competitive person, so having measurable success keeps me coming back for more. I also thrive in a high intensity environment, my passion to learn, willingness to solve problems, and determination for success and improvement in every facet of my life is what drives me. 

What has your experience been like in the legal industry? Really?

I love being a part of the legal industry. I wanted to take all that was good about Cannabis and help propel it into a successful legal business. I knew that LitHouse could do this–bring professionalism and success to the industry. 

The Cannabis community is very unique and mostly full of amazing, passionate people. I have enjoyed getting to know so many people and love hearing their stories of what brought them into Cannabis. I have made many friends and everyday meet someone new. I believe that the majority of the people in this space are here because of the love for Cannabis, and it is because of that underpinning passion that makes this industry incredibly unique. When you love what you do, you are happy. That happiness is going to carry through to your relationships and to your success.

What is a defining moment that made you stronger, that you don’t mind sharing?

There is no real defining moment of strength for me. Every hard moment I have experienced has given me strength. I try to see any failure as an opportunity for growth or the opportunity to experience something new.  I would say that being a mother of 3 girls drives me to be my best and strongest self. They propel me to be their beacon of strength.

How would you assess the opportunity landscape in the Cannabis industry, right now, from your perspective?

This budding industry has so much room for growth and room for good talent. I would say that anyone who is interested, and has a passion for Cannabis, should get in. If you are not afraid of hard work and enjoy a challenge, try it out.

What impact do you think the decriminalization of weed, on a global or national scale, would have on the industry? (DE&I, fiscally, environmentally, socially–any matter, really.)

I believe that decriminalizing Cannabis will continue to propel the industry in a positive direction; along with helping our society move in a healthier direction, when it comes to how we view Cannabis consumption. Cannabis should be available to all people, whether for medical or recreational purposes. 

There are endless possibilities on the horizon and I am excited to be a part of it. I only hope that through expanding to national and global scales it can maintain some form of authenticity and that there will continue to be space for small companies.

Who/what are some of your biggest influences in becoming the amazing queen you are?

My 3 girls are my greatest influence. They remind me everyday that life is a gift and never to take it for granted. They encourage me to be my best self and are always willing to call me out when I am not. I want to be their greatest role model and to teach them how to be strong, self-loving, independent, confident women.

If you could give your younger self who is just starting out in this space one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Don’t be afraid to fail. So many times, the fear of failure held me back.  Embrace a challenge and go for it. 

What’s your favorite way to do self care?

I ride my Peloton 6-days a week, and take a weekly yoga class on Sundays. I am an amateur baker and find it very therapeutic, so I do a lot of baking on the weekends. I jog and ride my bike along the ocean, paddle board in the bays and up the coastal rivers. Being outdoors is the best medicine for me.

Any shoutouts, links, etc. for your brand, employer, or to readers of The Garden?

I would like to thank my bosses, Kris and Allan Harris, for betting on me back in 2017 and believing that I could help launch LitHouse into the legal market with them. I knew that LitHouse was unique and I wanted to be a part of what they were developing. We have done great things over the past 3-years and there is so much more to come. Kris and Al have given me the platform to thrive and encouraged me every step of the way. I cannot imagine working alongside two better people.

Published by Adriana J.M.

Adriana tries to bring her appreciation for the natural world and human existence to everything she creates. She enjoys music, aesthetics, outdoor activities, and puns. www.adrianajmachado.com

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