Meet the grower: Smokey Point Productions
The two-pronged I502 company, based in Arlington, Washington, creates and sells cloned plants and also sells flower and concentrates at stores around the state, including Vancouver’s Main Street Marijuana.
Company owner and president Brian Lade, 39, has been growing since he was 17 years old. He’s been involved in the marijuana industry (both legal and underground) for most of his life, he said.
“I’ve spent a few days in jail in the past, I’ve been raided by the police and had my phone tapped, but I continued to grow,” Lade said. “I’m actually pretty passionate about that. I would die for my right to grow.”
When Washington legalized marijuana, it gave Lade a perfect opportunity to go legit and found a legal recreational Tier 2 site, he said.
“I’m 39 and I don’t want to go to jail again,” Lade said. “I want my wife to have a future. And if cannabis is to be supplied to people of my state, it should be me doing it – that’s what I was born for.”
The company got its license in November, 2014.
So far, his hard work – and that of his team – are paying off. Smokey Point Productions is easily a top seller at Main Street Marijuana and is gaining a reputation for quality at many stores around the state, said Ramsey Hamide, Main Street Marijuana’s owner.
“It’s our favorite grower so far,” Hamide said. “Their Dirty Girl? It’s great. He originated that strain. It’s a really nice high.”
On Wednesday, when Smokey Point Productions visited Hamide’s shop, the company rolled out a new strain called McBerry, which was selling well, Hamide said.
Lade said he selects strains for breeding based on certain qualities that might mix well, whether that be flavor, high or industry qualities like large yield.
“By knowing the genetic makeup of the males and females, the experience of crossing – you can take a strain with a great smell and high that doesn’t have a big yield, and you can cross it with a big yielder and see what you get,” Lade said.
In general it takes between six months to a year to create a new strain before it’s ready for market, he added.
Some of his favorite creations are his Cinderella’s Dream, Blue Cinex, Dirty Girl and Black 84.
“If you want go for a hike or out to the beach, Cinderella’s Dream is fantastic,” Lade said. “With marijuana strains, the effects are different for everybody, but there’s a time and place for almost all varieties.”
The company has invented between 20 and 30 strains so far and is working on more, he added.
“We don’t get any credit for it (when other companies grow and sell their strains) but we take pride in seeing our strains on shelves anyway,” Lade said. “We don’t need credit, but we are very proud.”
The indoor facility uses Gavita full-spectrum lighting and no pesticides, he said.
“We’re just extremely clean,” Lade said. “Our facility looks like a hospital. You can literally eat off the floor. Every Friday afternoon, we clean every surface.”
The company also uses diatomaceous earth, mineral salts and sprays organic compost teas to ensure the health of plants, Lade said.
“If I was talking to another industry person I’d say I’m a ‘salt and tea’ guy,” Lade said. “We’re really proud of our flavor and our extremely low mold counts.”
So far, he has nine employees plus himself, his wife and his father. He’s planning to expand soon, though. Entry level pay is between $13 and $15 – but the work is for serious job seekers, not people who want to get stoned, he emphasized.
“Most of the people who send us resumes, they like smoking pot, and that’s fine, but that’s not this job,” Lade said. “We come in and we get to work.”
So far, he has a great crew, he added.
“I’m so proud of all of my employees,” Lade said. “My company is a family. It’s a complete team effort.”
The Clone Zone: http://www.theclonezone.com/
Smokey Point Productions: http://www.smokeypointproductions.com/