Time has a way of honing your skills regardless of what industry you work in. After years of investment, eventually your work becomes your craft. Experience is replaced with expertise, and the product of your labor becomes art. If you’ve been growing for 30 years, chances are you’re pretty damn good at what you….and your weed is epic.
There are people that have a green thumb and can grow just about anything. Fred at Iron Cross Enterprises has a green thumb…on steroids. He grows a total of 127 strains. Let me repeat that, 127 strains from the best seeds that money can buy. Fred will drive down to the bay area, and beyond, in his quest to buy and produce the highest quality weed in Southern Oregon. Needless to say, his reputation as a grower keeps him in high demand with the dispensaries he supplies.
During my tour we spoke about the cost of running a grow and the associated power consumption they can have. The costs can be extreme and can quickly have an impact on your bottom line. Fred has experimented with different lights over the years in an effort to reduce operating costs without negatively impacting crop yields. He’s found a balance and now uses a combination of yellow light and Metal Halide lights which give a nice blue hue and mimic natural light. This combination has dramatically cut his energy consumption while at the same time maintaining his yields.
The grow, as awesome as it is, is only part of the story here. Within the first couple minutes of talking to Fred it became apparent that his farm was only part of his plan. We began talking about the first dispensary he’s set to open next month, Southern Oregon Cannabis Connection, and how his grow will supply the 7-10 total dispensaries he plans on opening in the future. His plan is to be completely vertically integrated, in other words, he owns the supply chain. Using this business model, he will ensure the weed passing through the doors of his dispensary meet his demanding standards.
There’s no doubt the cannabis industry is evolving. Like any other industry, there will be a natural evolution and some players won’t make the cut. Fred has a unique vision on how to stay in the game, and for what it’s worth, I think he’s on to something.