Commercial 101

Let’s discuss commercial production - now and in the future!  

The year 2012 saw the beginning of the first legitimate state-legal production, processing and retailing licenses to be allowed by Colorado, followed shortly thereafter by Washington.   Fast forward to current day and you will see the whole U.S. west coast and many other states have jumped onboard the sanctioned medical/recreational scene. 

Given federal status as still illegal (schedule 1), big MONEY has not yet intervened with their big CHECK BOOKS!  Quite simply they can’t - not yet - ooohh but they want to!  In fact, they’re champing at the bit to get involved!  They are held back for a plethora of reasons - from the lack of banking services through to shareholder objection, it’s a no go zone right now! 

But what does that mean to current commercial producers? 

And what will happen if and when the feds remove it from the status of a schedule 1 drug? 

Ok, let’s pull it apart bit by bit.  The feds have done mom and pop a huge solid by maintaining it as an illegal drug.  The small guys get a shot at the title - but it won’t be for long sadly.  Soon it will be used as a “vote getter/tax generator” by the feds and I firmly believe the 2020 federal elections will bring the beginning of the descheduling of our favorite plant.  It’s a no brainer!  So now the little guys get to play without being bullied by big Ag, Pharma, Alcohol or Tobacco. 

What will happen when it gets descheduled? 

Many things.  In fact, the industry will likely implode! 
What does that mean?  Ok, two things for sure will occur... Checkbooks capable of more zeros than you can imagine are going to be dusted off and exercised well!  Successful production, processing and retail operations will be made offers hard to refuse - from boutique players to the then leading companies - if they are profitable they will be bought out!  The rest will become industry fodder and part of the natural progressive industry-attrition! 

So how do you set up your operation to be a) bought out or b) immune to the onslaught? 

There are many things you can do, but the single most important thing every production company should do is look to LEAN MANUFACTURING PRACTICES!!  Start now people because it doesn’t happen overnight - trust me!  You have to be wise enough to say…"I need to look at everything I know and review its effectiveness for longevity in business".  This will be the hardest thing for an entrepreneur to accomplish!  Why is that you ask?  Because most people in the industry come from a domestic production background and much like fishermen, are uncomfortable with change.  Now I’m not bagging our community, but after 30 years in our industry on both sides of the fence, I see where we could potentially be an attractive (easy) target for BIG BUSINESS! 

Automation, automation, automation...guys!  I’m just being real.  You need to manufacture top quality flower efficiently and economically!  While quality must always be a constant, the profitable manufacturing thereof is the hard part!  Any well experienced grower can grow bomb weed, just take a look at instagram or facebook these days.  From the outfitting of an indoor/outdoor operation, to the ongoing expenses incurred within, it takes much educated forethought to ‘create and maintain’ so as to prosper in longevity! 

In other words, throw out your book and try something new! 

Do your homework and create economical change for the better! 

Always strive to do better for less! 

HID lighting technology is older than most growers, media is not only expensive and time consuming (thus expensive again) but can also create issues with contamination, and hand watering is simply just wrong... remember, we’re talking about sustainability at all levels people - the planet and the pocket! 

In finishing my friends, it’s all about lean manufacturing with an emphasis on quality!  Talk to Craig for in-depth advice on how to...

Happy Growing,

Craig Gribble
Dutch Master Nutrients