Our Founder's Story

The entire family (plus two dogs) lived in this tiny cabin and motorhome. The rest of the property was dotted with groves of cannabis.

Cannassist is the combination of two passions from my past — the belief in cannabis as force for good and a deep respect for health and wellness.

I was born into this industry. My parents grew marijuana — nobody called it cannabis back then — up and down the West Coast throughout the 70’s and 80’s. My birth certificate literally lists my weight in grams. Really, it does. Like a lot of hippy kids, I was born at home — a tiny cabin in the woods — and the only scale they had was the one they used for business. I grew up on a huge piece of land in Mendocino which was dotted with acres of product. My brothers and I would play hide and seek for hours amidst the towering plants. My parents were early pioneers of a new industry, something I wouldn’t recognize for decades to come.

My father built Crystalwood Natural Foods in Point Arena CA. It’s where I started to learn about supplements, vitamins, and the importance of health

My parents also owned the local natural food store in Point Arena: Crystalwood Natural Foods. Long before Whole Foods made organic mainstream and non-GMO was popular, my parents were fighting for small farms and local sourcing. I was drinking Turmeric juice and eating tofu in grade school. No one wanted to trade lunches with me! Every year, my father and I would drive to Mexico to buy blue-green algae in bulk and sneak back over the border. I was responsible for packing it into gel capsules after school. Kids always asked me why my fingers were blue. It must have stayed under my skin because I never stopped learning about and being fascinated by health, supplements, and vitamins.

Many years later, I studied design and branding in college, worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and then found myself designing some of the earliest iPhone apps for companies like Alaska Airlines, AllRecipes, Target, TOMS and CNN. I got to travel to much of the United States before landing in San Francisco, where I helped numerous startups define their product and raise millions in funding.

Clearly activism was something I had to grow into to. My fashion sense, however, was on point.

Despite all these experiences, I never lost sight of my roots. It’s been amazing to see the journey cannabis has taken. Cannabis used to be something enjoyed by many but feared and stigmatized by the powerful. Nowadays you can walk the streets of San Francisco, Boulder, Portland, and LA and see amazing stores, full of things that my parents would have called impossible.

Progress has been made but it isn’t enough. The cannabis community deserves to be seen and to have their health needs addressed. Cannassist is here to lead that effort. There has never been a more exciting time than this one and this is only the beginning.


My birth certificate literally lists my weight in grams. Really, it does. Like a lot of hippy kids, I was born at home — a tiny cabin in the woods — and the only scale they had was the one they used for business.

-Justin Lockwood, Founder