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The Sky’s the Limit at Vertical.

 

The team at the growing canna-brand has a motto: “the only way is up.”

Homegrown Heroes in Needles

Take a look around, and you’ll notice an interesting dichotomy. A sun-drenched town of about 5,000 where once upon a time, you’d be more likely to come across a team of tumbleweeds than a team of growers, has now been revitalized thanks to an all-in bet on green.

Among those who bet with their own careers: Vertical’s Mathew Kaplan, Orion Santana, and Laci Hedrick. Their journeys into commercial cultivation all began from disparate starting points, which makes their POVs into the industry oh-so- colorful and interesting.

Tech-focused Trailblazers

Step into the grow room at Vertical and you’re immediately hit with the efficiency of their operations. Their seed-to-sale business model has been a driving force in their growing success, and that is due, at least in part, to their early adoption of cannabis tech.

"There hasn't been a boring day in the past two years. We've always been learning something new. We've been designing something new. And when you're in an environment that just thrives on thought, it thrives on innovation; it's really a healthy environment to grow in."

Mathew Kaplan,
Regional Director, Operations at Vertical

"Dialing it in and just being able to see every aspect of the rooms and the plants at the same time, it's helped immensely."

Orion Santana,
Operations at Vertical

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Money Does Grow on Trees

While Matt and Laci had their own unique journeys that brought them into the fold, Orion Santana started out on the other side of the state, and on a slightly different path to where he is today: leading an entire team of growers.

 

"My dad did paint and upholstery on cars, and he always told me you're going to have to learn a trade. So we said, okay, we're gonna have to learn a trade, but he did also tell me that money does not grow on trees. After working my ass off sanding cars and doing the upholstery, I realized really quickly money does grow on trees. It grows on bushes and trees and vines and all kinds of stuff."

Orion Santana,
Operations at Vertical

The 1, 2, 3s of Cultivation

In order to scale to the size they are today, something had to give them a leg up. That’s where tech comes in. When the cultivation team started using AROYA sensors in the grow room, not only did previously unseen problems reveal themselves, but processes actually got easier for them.

"AROYA helps me keep everything. I just like how it's 1, 2, 3, basically. Every step that I do, whether it's bringing in the clones, it's 1, 2, 3. Same with harvest. I like the 1, 2, 3 method . . . everything goes a lot smoother."

Lacie Hedrick,
Harvest Manager at Vertical

Bloom Where You’re Planted

"All the tax money that's come in . . . the roads out here were a real big problem. It was almost kind of a joke where you could see where the city limit sign was. And five feet past that line, the road was nice because the county had maintained it, but inside the city, they didn't have the money to maintain it. So they went through and they re-did all the roads. And I know it's something that every single person in town appreciated and it was really cool. They put up these signs that said “Your Cannabis Tax Dollars at Work.” And I think everybody on our team kind of had a sense of pride when we walked by that."

Mathew Kaplan,
Regional Director, Operations at Vertical

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