With a larger-than-life personality on par with his 6’7″ frame, Mike “BigMike” Straumietis is one of the captains of the cannabis industry. The successful entrepreneur and businessman is the founder of Advanced Nutrients, the world’s No.1 cannabis nutrient company with a $100 million annual turnover.
Since his first foray into cannabis in 1983, Straumietis has overseen the cultivation of millions of cannabis plants, fueled by a passion for helping growers in more than 90 countries around the world grow the biggest, stickiest, most sparkling buds possible.
Straumietis is very vocal in his belief that cannabis has the power to heal humanity, a fact mirrored by his passion for education and research on the plant’s genetic potential. He has held a license to study cannabis in Bulgaria for nearly two decades. He credits his world-class team of in-house scientists (including many Harvard and MIT grads) for giving him the competitive edge over his competitors.
After cannabis, Straumietis’ other passion is philanthropy, specifically, social change. He’s loud and proud in his message of direct-action philanthropy and believes all profitable corporations are responsible for giving back to their communities. He started his charity work in Bulgaria in 2012 as “Holiday Heroes” to give back to the country that has supported him. His non-profit, Humanity Heroes, is a rebranded version of Holiday Heroes based in Los Angeles. The non-profit is focused on easing the suffering of the homeless community in Skid Row, Downtown LA’s most impoverished neighborhood. It has handed out nearly 10,000 backpacks filled with personal care items and other necessities to help make the homeless communities’ lives just a little bit easier.
During the pandemic, Straumietis did what he does best and organized three community projects to help those who needed it most. Through Humanity Heroes, he partnered with cannabis company Moxie to give away free weed to 200 lucky greater Los Angeles residents; donated more than 20,000 reusable masks; and sponsored Chronic Relief on 4/20 to raise money for Feeding America.
“It’s important that we come together as a voice and that people understand that cannabis isn’t just a bunch of people running around and getting high,” Straumietis says. “We’re a serious business, a serious community and we must be taken seriously—it shows a different side of cannabis than what people think.”
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.