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By Joining Union Electric's Flower Express, POSIBL Can Give You More For Less

Union Electric has partnered with leading greenhouse growers to provide premium cannabis at affordable prices.

Welcome to Union Electric’s farm-direct delivery service. The Flower Express is officially offering cannabis consumers the ability to join the journey to better weed at lower prices. And their easy to use online platform will deliver ounces of this high-end product straight to your door.

This isn’t the first time a brand’s formed strong grower partnerships to get a steady stream of product, but it’s certainly the most direct, transparent and reliable. Big distributors often white label their flower, which is to say they don’t give any attribution back to the farm itself. Some argue that this makes purchasing easier for consumers, but it also provides an inconsistent experience. Many of us have bought a killer strain only to find it completely different the following month. On top of that hassle, white labeling needlessly removes the ability for a consumer to form a relationship with the farm the way they do the brand.

When you think of wine, or even single-origin coffee, you often get the story behind the product. More than ever, consumers want to know where the things they consume come from, and what makes them unique. They're looking for transparency along the entire supply chain. Weed, with all of its variance in genetics, appearance and effects felt, should be treated the same way. Strains should be consistent, celebrated and talked about so people can make informed decisions and get reliable products time after time.

Proper and Union Electric have teamed up to tell the stories behind the bud, and what makes these farms unique. There’s never been a more immediate need for easily attainable, high-quality cannabis, and the first farm we’re focusing on provides it at scale. POSIBL focuses on sustainability, state-of-the-art technology and organic pest and disease management processes to provide premium cannabis on a regular basis. Let’s dig in to learn a bit about their property, people, process and purpose.


POSIBL’s initiation into the cannabis industry began with the purchase of their farm in December of 2017. Salinas, a once burgeoning flower industry full of commercial farmland and greenhouses, has since become overlooked and fallen into disuse. As you approach their property, the cross section of old and new is immediately apparent. Turning right off of the two-lane state highway leaves you at an intersection in multiple ways—but the literal sense of the road quickly fades as you start to see farms, both technologically driven and old school, colliding in a sense of beautiful harmony. Entering their office, a timeless Californian ranch, continues this theme in a few unique ways.

When you step inside, you’re immediately met by a statue composed of repurposed steel. A beautiful silhouette that beckons you into a space with more character than one could imagine. The property was for decades owned by a Japanese family whose greenhouses were dotted with every combination of colors chrysanthemums can offer. Their influence is woven throughout the property, as traditional sliding paper doors are abundant and lead from room to room filled with almost all of the technology Silicon Valley’s created. The still standing zen garden provides creative exploration both scientific and meditative. This marrying of old and new repeatedly shines through to create the perfect space for a company telling the story of how cannabis farming has always been, and where it needs to go.

In the 1980’s, flower growing operations headed to South America for cheaper operating costs, leaving a veritable wasteland of prime cultivating real estate in their wake. In more recent years, Monterey County has enabled licensed cannabis producers to use properties originally zoned for greenhouse cultivation in a way to both revitalize and reactivate an area with undeniable potential that’s been ignored for far too long. This also set POSIBL up perfectly to put their plan into action.

While they purchased the property in 2017, the plan to get into the cannabis industry started two years prior. Their Chairman, David Bon has long been rooted in Big Ag, and former CEO, Luis Espinoza, in global Food operations. The team had essentially perfected the use of greenhouses in Mexico for general agricultural purposes, while also selling products and facilities to leading names across the border. When he realized that many were using the same facilities to grow cannabis at a much higher cost than he could provide, it was essentially a no brainer to enter the space. Monterey, with its prime geographical location between NorCal and SoCal, and near perfect climatic and economical advantages, made perfect sense as the home base for this endeavor.

POSIBL Farms focuses on sustainability, state-of-the-art technology and time-honored organic agricultural processes.

Too many cannabis companies enter the industry concerned only for themselves. They don’t take the necessary steps for longevity, and don’t make sure to follow the rules to build a foundation with local officials. Many are more than happy to be non-compliant, as the illicit market is still thriving, and jumping through hoops that may or may not be there tomorrow doesn’t always seem worth it. POSIBL is not one of those operators. As of April 2020, there were twenty-eight annual cultivation licenses in Monterey County, POSIBL held ten of them (35%).

That’s just one of the many small steps they’ve taken to solidify themselves in the area for years to come. Beyond ensuring compliance, focusing on transparency and establishing meaningful partnerships, you'd be hard pressed to find a better site for what the team hopes to accomplish. The amount of variables making it a prime property are almost too many to list. There are general aspects, like the large amount of usable space, but it's the more unique factors that set them up for the future.

Having a potable water well with excellent quality allows them to not only have the best water their plants can get, but is also allows them to employ over 25 people—and if you have any knowledge of cannabis cultivation, you know it’s nearly impossible to do it properly with fewer than that. Throw on top an area rich in farming history and full of individuals with agricultural know-how, and you have the perfect setup to not only succeed, but thrive and continually claim market share.

While they’re currently crafting top-notch products and easily selling everything they can possibly grow, they aren’t stopping there. Their current utilized space on the property is 90,000 square feet, and their phase one plan of expansion will not only increase that to 200,000, it will also allow them to up their yields and reduce downtime for up to a 5x increase in production. From using infrared measurements of leaf growth to state-of-the-art lighting practices, they won’t leave a single variable to chance. Going from 5,000 to 100,000 pounds of cannabis produced yearly is no easy feat, and it’s a challenge POSIBL is happy to take on with their team and process. To learn more about their expansion, check out their site

The leadership team’s previous expertise in Big Ag, Food and Pharma has allowed them to succeed in their transition by applying these skill sets to cannabis. Three overlapping teams work closely together, and through constant communication and keeping innovation at the forefront they’re able to consistently accomplish their overall mission. The leadership, greenhouse and cultivation crews cover everything from the purchasing of clones to the packaging of the final product. The property and personnel are invaluable to the total POSIBL portrait, but the foolproof processes they employ are what make their cannabis consistently solid and sought after.

Matias

Before they were able to concentrate on the plants, they knew they had to first establish partnerships. The current scope of the industry is too narrow and focused only on today, and not enough brands are teaming up to take control of the future. Matias, POSIBL’s CFO, works tirelessly to establish and maintain these relationships. Through these collaborations, they intend to further cement themselves as a grower + packager, allowing them to partner with brands like Union Electric who can then direct their attention to everything else. With the way the industry is currently built, no single operation can do everything alone. Staying in your lane and doubling down on perfecting what you know allows everyone to thrive—and provides the consumer with the best possible product, at the best possible price.

Every single harvest at POSIBL starts with one of their clone partners, and they’re in constant contact to map everything out four months in advance. Matias and Isaac, who handles all Planning and Procurement, correlate each grow with their purchasing partners on the other end to lock everything down and eliminate any potential issue come harvest. Being this dialed in with everyone involved is something every grower should be working towards. Practices like these, while growing only their proven winning strains, are what will keep people coming back.

POSIBL originally started with their own mother plants, but quickly realized it wasn’t quite yet the way to go. They’re still in the facility today, nestled in the back overlooking the adolescents with care, and will be used again in the future when they’re ready. Starting with your own mother plants poses two issues, first they require a ton of space, and second you have to be extremely knowledgeable of each strain and phenotype. This goes back to everyone in the industry staying in their lane so that everyone can move forward together, and why knowing your limitations will ultimately lead to your success.

When the clones are in and the greenhouse team takes over, it’s all about being aware of your variables and controlling them to the best of your ability. It isn’t a mystery, it’s about dialing everything in to the most minute detail, and never before have we seen a commercial, greenhouse-focused cannabis operation as streamlined as theirs. Saying it so plainly may make it sound easy, but the hardest thing about growing is that there’s no magic bullet, and anyone who comes to you and says they know the secret is lying.

The greenhouse team knows that these are plants at the end of the day, and knowing how to push them to maximize their growth is all there is to it. It’s simple math, but it’s difficult to replicate at scale. One hundred centimeters is a meter, and it's just about doing a hundred things right to meet your yield time and time again. You could liken it to an Olympic athlete. If you're doing it right over and over you may only see a small improvement, but if you’re already in the 99th percentile you're doing far better than most.

Achieving this consistency all starts with one man, but it certainly doesn't end with him. While their entire team may make up a royal flush, Jerome is certainly the ace in the hole. When you look at how cannabis has been supplied for the past thirty years, it’s a result of the necessity of the illicit market that bled into modern regulation. The reactionary state of the industry is due to a lack of planning, and creates unnecessary friction resulting in less quality products making it to the consumer. Just because cannabis has been grown indoors or in a hidden field for as long as anyone can remember doesn't mean it has to, or should continue that way. Enter the multifaceted marijuana mastermind.

Jerome’s expertise cannot be overstated. While he didn’t get his start growing marijuana, he’s certainly at the top of the game now. Anyone reading this could study agriculture for 15 years and barely scratch the surface of what he knows. Combine that with his hardware and software knowledge, and you can see why he’s the linchpin of the growing side of the business. Though as we all know, a business isn’t built on, nor does it thrive through, one person. His automation of the facility is what allows it to continue on today whether he’s there or not, and will ultimately allow them to transition seamlessly into their expanded space.

Not only does he know how to use the technology he employs, he knows how it’s built, who built it, and everything about the data it provides. Few growers have such in-depth knowledge of the full-data set they're dealing with, and it’s because of this institutional know-how that POSIBL will remain in the top tier of greenhouse growers for years to come.

There isn’t a variable that he and his partner, Francisco, don't have complete control over. Technologies and practices like their on-site meteorological station, keeping ready multiple cisterns of water with varying formulas for plants at different growth cycles, and the creation of their own organic compounds for fertilization keep their cannabis consistent day in and day out. Their complete redesigns for their high-tech expansion are also already being implemented today in the form of comprehensive lighting systems. Proof of concept has always been at POSIBL's core, and they continue to walk the talk by implementing improvements in small scale before they expand their operation.

Future changes, such as rotating a greenhouse so that it’s ideally facing and upgrading the facilities to modern standards, are how they’ll attain their forecasted 10x production increase. Focusing this much on Matias, Jerome and Francisco may make it seem as though the well-oiled nature of this company lies only at the top, but it’s truly inherent at every level. It‘s like a beehive, everyone has their role that they’ve perfected to serve a single purpose: producing pure, premium cannabis as sustainably and cost effectively as possible.

Speaking of, sustainability is paramount in every step of their process. When you compare their practices to either indoor or outdoor farming, the numbers speak for themselves. POSIBL’s high-tech greenhouses will use the best in class climate control, require 50% less water per pound of flower and are three times more energy efficient. They use less and get higher quality at a higher velocity. It’s a win-win scenario, and it’s easy to see why they’re going all in.

This attention to detail extends far beyond the greenhouse. Their cultivation facility rivals scientific labs in its cleanliness and efficiency, and entering means you have to suit up in layers of protective gear. The curing and trimming rooms are joined in the middle by an assembly line that would make Henry Ford proud. The only thing more beautiful than watching them work is the flower surrounding them.

Jose and Rudy run the show, and Liz heads up the trimming room. There isn’t a question you could pose that they couldn’t answer in great detail, and watching them keep their teams on task was something to behold. With thousands of pounds being cured, processed and packaged simultaneously, there’s not a soul in the building unaware of when the next harvest was coming in, and where it was ultimately going.

Matias talked us through the evolution of the room to where it stands today, and where it's ultimately headed. Every square foot was accounted for in future plans, and the shared excitement for what’s to come was readily apparent. From the forthcoming pre-roll packaging station to the floor-to-ceiling racks of ready-to-sell product, it was another gleaming example of a team at the top of their game.

Liz

Walking through their facilities was a reminder that taking something from seed to sale is a beast of an undertaking, and is usually where things begin to bifurcate between brands. Vertical integration is the obvious ideal outcome in any industry, but in going that route you’re in a way balking at everyone currently reliant on, and thriving through, partnerships. And this industry has a short term memory. That is to say, if you plan to go it alone, you’d better not mess up because you’ll have shunned everyone in the space around you, and they may not be there if you fall.

Outdoor grows are inconsistent, and indoor facilities are unsustainable. Things can and should be done better.

Focusing on the aforementioned partnerships and practices give a snapshot of the overarching mission of POSIBL, which is to provide premium cannabis to the masses at drastically lower rates than what we see today. Adhering to the way things have always been done was a supply side misconstruction from the start, and that’s what POSIBL is setting out to address. Outdoor grows can offer unreliable quality, and indoor facilities are unsustainable. Things can and should be done better.

The cannabis industry is inarguably inconsistent. Be it regulation or general practices, the variations between companies and counties are staggering. It’s like the Wild West in a way. Some are operating within the confines of the law and others are currently doing just fine on the outside. But the past will repeat itself. Those following regulations today will be around tomorrow, and anyone focusing on sustainability and quality will always gain favor. Greenhouses are simply able to offer indoor quality at outdoor prices, and with everyone wanting better weed for less money—the writing's on the wall for where we’re headed. It may sound like a dreamworld, but it isn’t, it’s POSIBL.


Be sure to regularly check this article or Union Electric's page for POSIBL's current strains.

Fresh from the farm: Sundae Driver
                                     Garanimals
                                     Black Jack


This article was created in partnership with Union Electric. Photos by Skyler Greene.

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