Tyson and Justine Wall run the day-to-day operations at Kush Mountain Craft Cannabis, a micro cultivator and processor located about 30 minutes west of Prince George, British Columbia.
The husband and wife team, who were licensed for their indoor grow in January, recently brought their first crop down and are currently sending it to BC retailers through the direct delivery program.
The two-person team covers the daily operations, with Tyson acting as the Master Grower and Justine as the QA. Tyson comes from a long history of cannabis, having grown under the MMAR and ACMPR before transitioning to the recreational market a few years ago. A third partner, and co-founder Chad Chisan, currently works off-site.
Tyson says they started with a micro licence because it was the easiest and most affordable, but they have plans to expand over time into a standard, depending on the direction of the market.
“We decided to start with the micro licence because we’re privately funded, but as we expand we can put more rooms in if we want to,” he explains.
Kush Mountain is taking that step-by-step process even with their micro licence, with only about 1,200 sq ft of canopy space of the 2,152 allowed under a micro cultivation licence.
“We just want to go slowly, one room at a time,” he adds. “Right now our focus is on building our brand and getting great product out there. This allows us to build slowly without spending beyond our budget. As we can prove this out and bring in more revenue, then we can add another growing room.”
Tyson says he uses a stadium-style grow and all of Kush Mountain’s cannabis is hang-dried and hand trimmed. They are also focussing their first crops on sales through BC’s direct delivery program, which allows producers to sell directly to retailers, something he says will help ensure they are getting a higher quality, fresher product to retailers much faster than if they went through BC’s central delivery system hours away in the Lower Mainland.
The small team will be hand delivering to a handful of local Prince George retailers, and utilizing a delivery service for retailers outside their immediate area.
Since they have their own processing licence, Kush Mountain is able to package all their own flower, too, which further helps them maintain their brand, says Justine. Rather than being at the mercy of an outside processor who can dictate their own prices, their “few hundred square feet” of processing space allows them to do packaged runs of dried flower and pre-rolls, all in-house.
“It’s definitely not easy to do, but I think a lot of cultivators can do that if they have the right team and can take the time to understand the regulations. By being our own processor, we can really bring what we want to market.
“And brand recognition is so important,” she adds. “You can work so hard to bring something to market, so of course you want to control that and make sure it’s your brand and something you can stand by. We really wanted people to know who we are and how much care goes into our product.”
Although they are also looking at selling into other provinces, the focus for their first few crops will be in BC as they try and get their brand message out to the region’s cannabis stores.
“What we’re really focussing on is building relationships with retailers, bringing them in for tours—anything we can do to stand out and educate retailers so we’re not just another bag on the shelf.”
Featured image of Tyson and Justine Wall, courtesy of Kush Mountain