It's been a little over a week since the whole team has landed back in their home states (and countries). The West Coast did us good, which set us up for an optimistic start to the second half of our tour on the East Coast. This trip, we were on a mission.
That mission? To get to the root of how cannabis cultivation is different out here where the air is cooler and cannabis has been legally grown and consumed for decades now (with medical being legal since 1999).
Mandy tapped in for this trip, and together Team AROYA ventured into new territory.
Read on to get a glimpse of our most recent case studies tour in Massachusetts and Maine.
The East Coast is a very interesting place, we came to learn pretty quickly. As soon as this Texan stepped off her flight in Boston and hailed an uber to her next destination, she was confronted with cannabis. Even though the dispensaries and grows out here seem to be discreet, one thing is less so: the abundance of canna-advertising.
From billboards to street signage, the historical city was plastered with evidence that the green wave was alive and rolling still. We knew we were on the right path. Yet, our time in Massachusetts would be limited to our travel days, with Maine being the, well, main state we traveled around to interview our chosen cultivators. So we geared up, rented the longest commercial van this licensed driver could maneuver, and set out for our first round of interviews.
Monday morning we hit the road and headed out to Farmingdale, Maine. A quaint little town, which we came to expect of most of the towns in this state, was our first stop of five. We were glad when we pulled in and found our cultivators waiting for us, since the night before when we were planning our route, Google maps led us to believe our interview would be taking place on an unmarked plot of land on a neighborhood street (thankfully, those were outdated coordinates).
We talked shop, dove into their data, said hi to their flower rooms, and left smelling dank enough to get funny looks at our hotel later. No matter, the next day we would be in a new town anyway, this time in North Berwick. Our second interview also had us driving further north, this time to visit the owners and cultivators at one of the largest grow operations in Maine. The crisp Atlantic air should have been a sign that we would later end the day somewhere near the coastline, which we found ourselves enjoying over lobster rolls and views of the golden sunset setting behind an idyllic Wells Beach. But the team never stays anywhere for long, so we thanked our interviewees and set out to our home base for the next two nights: Portland, ME.
The drive was scenic and it was about this time that we began to notice a theme (besides the lobster). Trees. Beautiful trees. Not just the kind that turn when the seasons do, but the kind grown by our friends and cultivators. We continued to our third interview in Topsham, where we got to meet with a third-generation grower and extractor. Don't get us started on the extraction kitchen they're known for. The sunny summer afternoons always seemed to encourage us to continue on, and so we did.
Bangor was the northernmost stop on our Grow Story journey, where we met with a duo of cultivators who seem to have never stopped scaling. They spent the morning with us at their facilities—which included multiple flower rooms, a clone room, and a tissue analysis lab—before inviting us back to their greenhouse to view their other setup at home. Again, more trees, and we were so thankful to be a part of what helps them grow to such a level. After a full day of interviews, we said goodbye and our cultivators headed off to appear at another city council meeting in preparation for their next expansion plans. It was a thread we saw a few times: cultivators and a community that truly has a hand in making changes in the local laws.
By Friday, the team started our drive back down south. Buxton was our final stop, where we sat down and spoke with husband-and-wife cultivators who've crafted indoor and outdoor grows with the help of some very smart techniques (and tech). Both had us thinking about trees again, and appreciating the craft cultivars that are coming out of these farms. Even though the team felt at home here, we knew we couldn't stay too long, so we wrapped up our chat, got ready to return our gear, and headed back to Boston. What. A. Trip.
This is just the start. We're here to learn from growers and tell your stories, to really get to the heart of what makes this industry what it is. Get ready for what's next (I know we are).
And be sure to stay up-to-date on all our case studies!
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