How to choose your grower

For a successful cannabis grower, it takes a lot more than deep pockets, cutting-edge equipment, and good intentions. At the heart of any operation, it is essential to have a dedicated and competent staff, especially when it comes to team members who have direct contact with the factories.

Growing cannabis on a commercial scale is a complex and difficult task, so it’s safe to assume that the responsible person needs a healthy dose of expertise, a strong dose of intuition and endless commitment. towards quality.

With that in mind, how do you ensure that when hiring the culture team leader, they find the “crème de la crème”, so to speak?

Lowd’s Jesce Horton. Photo: Sam Gehrke

“When someone starts a business, if someone calls themselves a master producer, be extremely suspicious,” said Jesce Horton, CEO and co-founder of WEAK in an interview with MG Magazine. “The reason so many people like me are skeptical of this title is because the best producers learn every day. They are the most humble and hardworking people you will ever meet,” he said.

Horton added that the grower is an essential part of any cannabis business. In fact, he thinks that whenever possible, the master producer should help design the facility itself.

“Whoever is responsible for the culture and standard operating procedures needs to be [involved] with the design of this facility if they can be at this stage,” he said. “A lot of people hire general contractors for the design just because they think it’s like any other manufacturing plant, or because they have HVAC ‘experts’ and it just doesn’t work. generally not well.”

Horton pointed out that if you don’t have someone who knows the culture well to help design the facility, people will inevitably have to go back and do renovations or change the growing process in order to accommodate that. that was constructed.

Does the size of the grow setup matter?

While Horton has very specific qualities he recommends looking for when finding a master grower, when turning an operation into a very large grow facility, he feels that extra steps should be taken. “The bigger the facility, the more important it is for them to have more experience,” he said.

Horton added that with a large operation, there are factors such as managing more people and multiple growth cycles, and in this case the producer should have a few years of experience behind them. That said, he says even a more experienced practitioner should maintain an openness to suggestions and criticism, as well as the ability to learn from others.

Photo: MGarden

Advice from the producer

Frank Han has been a master grower for a number of successful cannabis companies over the years. More recently, he just completed a two-year run at MGardena publicly traded, large-scale cannabis cultivator with operations in the United States and Canada.

Like Jesce Horton, Han believes that the person in charge of cultivation should be on staff as soon as possible.

“If it were up to me, I’d probably have the master producer hired during the planning stage,” he said in an interview with mg. “You need to know what kind of growth strategy [the company] wants to implement. The involvement of the master producer during the construction phase helps to make it a little more personalized. »

Han added that one of the reasons for hiring the cultivation manager early is not only to help design the facility for optimal plant growth, but also for the workflow of the staff, who, according to him, is often overlooked.

“In many establishments, [items] like dining rooms, locker rooms, cleaning and storage are all neglected, simply because they want to increase the grams per square foot. They want to make the cultivation area as big as possible so that it is as attractive as possible for investors and shareholders.

Han pointed out that one of the facilities he worked for in the past had to stagger his break times, lunches and shifts due to a lack of adequate space for employees.

Be able to adapt

Another element that Han says can be overlooked when hiring a master grower is his knowledge of how to cultivate while adapting to the grow room environment. He pointed out that it’s not as simple as planting, setting the controls and waiting for the cannabis to germinate. A grower worth their salt must be able to adapt to the inevitable and sometimes inexplicable differences from room to room.

“Not all rooms or units will operate to setpoints,” he said. “They have to be able to manipulate the system in order to ultimately get what they want. Even though identical units are in identical rooms, with experience you will find that they all need a little modification.

Final Thoughts

No matter what type of growing technique, type of strain or even size of operation, whether your facility is the size of a football field or in a shipping container, someone who can speak the Cannabis language is critical to your success as a business.

When choosing that special someone, it is clear that it must be done with special attention as soon as possible, and not just to meet the need for a hot body to oversee the most important part of your business.