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Grower Stories: How 5 Cultivators Came to Thrive in the Legal Cannabis Market


Grower Stories: it’s not uncommon for the modern cannabis grower to have an extensive background in horticulture, commercial farming, or a formal degree in plant science. Many others start as hobbyists and let their passion for the plant guide their growing efforts. To paint a more genuine picture of the present-day grower and share their own stories, we’ve profiled five growers from legal markets across the country.

Excerpts from original post at sponsored by General Hydroponics

GrowersJosh Kelsch, 35, of Pure Joy Family Farm in Cheney, Washington grows cannabis indoors using a custom, organic coco/soil blend. He has been growing for over 10 years. Before legalization, he held down sales jobs and worked in fabrication while growing purely for economics. Over time, growing became more about the passion for the plant and sharing it with others.


Sierra McDonald, 29, grows cannabis for The Giving Tree Wellness Center in Phoenix, Arizona where they grow most of their crop hydroponically using a coconut coir medium. The exception being their CBD strains, which they grow using a no-till, living soil method. Before she started cultivating for The Giving Tree one year ago, she was putting her horticulture degree from the University of Georgia to use as a farmhand and research assistant at the university’s organic agriculture research farm.3

growerCorey Barnette, 47, grows cannabis for District Growers in Washington, DC.  Growing since 1992, he’s amassed over 25 years of experience working with the plant as both a hobbyist and a commercial grower. His preferred gardening method is to utilize aeroponic techniques to maintain a perpetual growth system. Before growing became a full-time profession, he found success as a financial sponsor working in private equity and serving on the board of the San Diego Medical Collective. SDMC exposed the opportunity to do good by helping others, as well as a promising career path in the cannabis industry.

growerTheodore Huggins, 28, has been farming organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers professionally using sustainable practices for the last 10 years. He refocused his efforts towards cannabis once he saw the potential to learn from the industry and guide growers towards more sustainable cultivation methods. At Solstice, in Washington State, the focus is on minimizing resources and total waste, while increasing total productive capability. They have found success by incorporating sustainable practices into their farm’s overall hydroponic growing methods.

growerKatariina Lindholm, 27, of Phoenix, Arizona has been growing commercial cannabis for The Giving Tree Wellness Center for over a year and a half. She has a Master’s degree in Plant Breeding and wanted to find a career where she could leverage her knowledge of plant science and pursue something that she loves. She grows indoors using a coco coir growing medium.


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