In late December 2014 Amerifarms started selling marijuana to retailers. Their bud is called Juicy Fruit. Until then, theyd already seen returns on large amounts of Butane Hash Oil, used for dabs. Lately, its what people have blown themselves up trying to make in their apartments a la Breaking Bad.
In just two years, entrepreneurs have cooked up a fledgling industry from scratch. Retail pot shops are open for business and stocked with Washington-grown marijuana. And on New Year’s Day 2015, Colorado marks one year of legal pot sales. Nationwide, four states have since legalized marijuana for recreation, and decriminalization is looking more and more imminent.
Meanwhile, something was happening in the Silicon Valley business scene. Degrees in hand, their peers flocked to Facebook and Google, to venture capital firms and the temporary warmth of tech incubators.
Initiative 502, the ballot measure that legalized recreational marijuana in the state, allowed the Liquor Control Board to designate three different tiers of licenses: 1 to 3, for producing cannabis. Tier 3, the largest, allows Amerifarms to grow up to 21,000 square feet worth of plants. (Technically it’s 30,000 square feet, but that number was lowered when the state received four times more applications than expected.)
Amerifarms also has a processors license, which permits it to “process, package and label usable marijuana and marijuana-infused products.” Amerifarms doesn’t deal with edibles or any other infused products, but they do make hash oil, a pure form of THC used for dabs. In short, Bud Light is to a joint as Wild Turkey is to dabs.
Before they can sell to retailers, however, producers and processors must send their products to testing labs to meet state requirements. Plants can’t have mildew, mold or other living organisms. If they do, they can’t be sold to consumers, but they can be made into hash oil (the process kills bacteria). Weed purchased on the street, and even in medical stores whose products don’t require testing, would likely fail the state’s tests for cleanliness. Read more…