What does your business do?
We develop agricultural farms for the cannabis and hemp industry.
This could mean services from consulting, manage the business side
of the farm, and help with growth within that farms area of
operations. We are veteran owned and operated. The farm in Maine
went from a small outdoor grow and a small grow tent to a fully
operational cannabis farm with two 30x40 greenhouses, a dryroom,
two lung rooms and several of our own genetics. This was not easy
as we did not have very much capital to start with and suffered a
large loss. Through the support of the community, our
determination (mostly because we are grunts and just don't give
up), and proper planning we were able to come back with plans to
continue growing and operating.
In Texas, we are developing a hemp decorticator facility. This is
in planning stage currently as we are researching the market. This
will require a large investment.
When and why did you start the biz?
August of 2017, was when we created the S corp. Mat, my business
partner, lives in Maine where the farm is located. I live in Texas
where I manage the farm's administration and finance. We broke
ground on construction in March of 2018 and have had one year of
harvests. We set a goal of 175lbs harvested for the first year. It
was liberal number, but we were able to achieve it. Why we started
this company was very personal to both of us. My business partner
and I served together during the Iraq War. We witnessed what the
opioids did to our brothers and sisters in the military and we
wanted to help get better medicine to vets through cannabis.
How Many People are in your Company?
Where's your office?
Two locations. The first is in Maine where the farm is. It's his
personal farm. 19 acres, one office up stairs, 2 greenhouses,
outdoor garden, and inside we have three rooms for growing
vegetables and cannabis. The second location is in Texas. Where
it's just one office in a our house. I am able to manage all
accounts and business online. What a wonderful world we live in.
What's the toughest part of running your biz?
In agriculture, it takes time to grown and reap what you sow. So
capital is very important until that cash flow is consistent
enough to cover all cost with more left over. This means making
decisions based on need not want. Focus money on things that will
produce your product. Then focus on moving that product. NO need
to buy expensive equipment if you don't have the money for it.
What's the most fun part?
We love creating the product. Creating the best product makes all
that work worth it. Our pride is our product. Our customers love
what we are able to produce and we see their health change
dramatically. That's what we love. We love our product, because we
know if we produce the best, it will sell.
Anything you would have done differently?
I made some big purchases to early. Those items sat for a long
time not being used. I felt like it was a waste of resources. We
eventually plugged that purchase into our system but it took 8
months. It was water tank for the greenhouses. It's easy to get
excited when making purchases for the farm, but you should
practice patience when making larger purchases if you are really
having to streamline your budget.
What's next on the horizon for your biz?
In Maine, we are going to keep doing what we are doing. No need to
expand that farm yet. We need to have all our processes defined
and sustainable. In Texas, we are developing a hemp decorticator
facility that will produce raw hemp fiber and hurd. This is a
large project that will need major investors for the future.
What advice do you have for others?
Work back from the customer. Find out what the market needs and
how to get that product to the market. We often think forward. How
to make the product, then how to get it to the public, then how to
make that exchange of money and product. The problem with this
approach is we tend to only think that the customer thinks like
us. So we have built this business model based on our idea of the
customer. If you work back from the customer to the product you
might find that changes in how you product the product will need
to be made. That's much easier to do when you in planning mode
rather than figuring it out after you built the business.
How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I came here to find grants for our farm in Maine. We need more
lights and I had hoped to find a grant in order to obtain those
lights. Grants are difficult to understand. What do I need to do
to get this grant? How to get the grant? Who is the point of
contact? Do I qualify? I would like to see a simple explanations
to these questions. Most grants are very vague or so specific it's
hard to find out what should be done first.
This also opens up a way for people to see grants and suggest them
for friends in their industry or other industries. A network of
businesses utilizing each other to grow.
School (where, still in school, degree)?
Texas A&M University
Prior jobs or business?
US Military Operations Specialist,
Inventory manager for aviation companies
What are your pets' names?
Is there any one person or event in your life that led
you to go into business for yourself?
My business partner and I lost some buddies that we served with to
suicide or drug overdose. He had been growing for 15 plus years
and noticed there were not very many veteran cannabis farms. So we
figured if we could get one going we could help out our local
veterans with the choice of cannabis over pills. It's legal in
Maine, but not Texas. So I spend a lot of time advocating for
veterans in Texas to have access to cannabis.
2061 Le Mans Dr
Carrollton, TX 75006