WAREHAM – Look at the oil industry, Trade Roots’ Carl Giannone says as he leads a tour through the 16,600-square-foot, cutting-edge cannabis facility on track to open in March at 6 Thatcher Lane with Wareham partner Jesse Pitts.
You have the people who prospect – dig and drill – and then you have the companies that refine. Then you have the companies that retail.
“We have all three. We have retail, then we also have the refining part, and we also have the growing part,” he said.
That’s important to understand as you tour the building, which is divided into three components – the front of the house, middle of the house and back of the house.
The front of the house is retail, and will blend fine art on the walls, as well as décor depicting Wareham’s own roots, nautical, and all. That’s to provide a positive customer experience and reinforce the perception that Trade Roots is providing a finely crafted product, like a fine wine.
The back of the house is for cultivating and manufacturing.
The middle is for employees, no retail customers allowed, and includes break room, offices, and conference room.
Only back-of-the-house employees can access that area through a pair of “bio-security doors.”
Pitts said they are hiring an estimated 50 employees between the three different licenses – and a “strong concentration of the local folks.”
He added, “I am a Wareham native, so I joke that a lot of my friends didn’t know their whole life was a job interview.”
Giannone said, “We’re going to be doing B to B (business to business) for probably four to five months before” opening retail at the site.
It’s going to take a few months to actually grow enough product to have on the shelves, but they’ll be able to start processing and contracting to extract for other cultivators and manufacturers.
Once retail is open, the customer will check in at the door, provide ID, and then have the option of window shopping on one side of the retail space or pick up pre-orders on the other. The room will feature an immense window looking into one of the facility’s three “flower” rooms where the plants are budding.
“So you’re going to see plants as you’re standing here. It’s going to be a very cool experience,” Pitts said.
He added their cultivator’s license allows them to have up to 10,000 square feet of canopy. “Right now we have about 7,000 square feet but we also have a special permit to add another building off the back” for added cultivation space in the future.
The science involved in the process at Trade Roots is evident.
There’s one “veg” growing room that supplies the flower rooms.
Growth is staggered so the harvest is perpetual. The veg room plants don’t bud because of the 18 hours of light they receive. It’s always summer for them and they’re always growing. In the flower rooms, the light is reduced and the plants react as if fall is coming and flower or bud.
It’s a perpetual cycle, and the plants are tracked from “seed to sale.”
Cloned plants, snipped from mother plants’ branches (and yes, they’re clones and will grow into a duplicate of the mother plant) feed the growing process. The clones feed the veg room which in turn feeds the flower rooms. The extensive security system helps by keeping track of the plants.
“You tag the clones by batch and once the clone gets eight inches tall you have to tag the individual plant and you track that all the way through its life to sale,” Pitts said.
“So it’s literally seed to sale and part of our security system is a compliance system and helps us make sure that inventory is accounted for and we’re not getting in trouble with the CCC because something went unaccounted for.”
Trade Roots will have two more CCC inspections once it’s issued its certificate of occupancy. Giannone and Pitts estimate those will be completed by March.
And then they’ll be good to grow.