Oklahoma industry advice and experience

Ns950641

Member
how is the market looking for someone wanting to start a smaller commercial grow in Oklahoma? I have a feeling the market is pretty saturated at this point with everyone and their grandma trying to get in on mmj. i have been spitballing around a few ideas ive had about a chunk of property i own in a small town such as running some indoor in a couple shipping containers or portable buildings. i have also considered something cheaper like light dep greenhouses. would likely keep it simple with top feed recirculating rockwool on flood tables or is there a better market for organic/soil/semi-organic bud. how much of a strain are dispensaries buying at a time and are there any strain/genetic trends that are exclusive to Oklahoma. oh and for the experienced Oklahoma commercial cultivators what has been your experience in general. i have a good chunk set aside to start another business with a nice monthly income aswell I just dont wanna throw money in the wind


all stories and experiences welcome
 

quirk

Well-Known Member
The key to making a small fortune in the burgeoning Oklahoma market is to start with a large one.
 

SpawnOfVader

Well-Known Member
how is the market looking for someone wanting to start a smaller commercial grow in Oklahoma? I have a feeling the market is pretty saturated at this point with everyone and their grandma trying to get in on mmj. i have been spitballing around a few ideas ive had about a chunk of property i own in a small town such as running some indoor in a couple shipping containers or portable buildings. i have also considered something cheaper like light dep greenhouses. would likely keep it simple with top feed recirculating rockwool on flood tables or is there a better market for organic/soil/semi-organic bud. how much of a strain are dispensaries buying at a time and are there any strain/genetic trends that are exclusive to Oklahoma. oh and for the experienced Oklahoma commercial cultivators what has been your experience in general. i have a good chunk set aside to start another business with a nice monthly income aswell I just dont wanna throw money in the wind


all stories and experiences welcome
I'm in the process of getting a commercial license in Oklahoma.... if you DON'T have a fortune you're gonna need to focus on quality...

You see it a lot in the market around Tulsa especially- the dispensaries are having trouble getting enough high end product. You also have to find a niche within that that separates you....

DON'T try to compete in the shatter game. Most of the guys doing that have fields farther than the eye can see (and with 6k growers there is a lot of it). I'm expecting a market crash this year between the pandemic and number of growers...the price per lb for mid or low quality is gonna drop out and all the ones left will be big ops that can produce a ton with lower overhead or the boutique growers.

This is mostly NOT my original advice. I've talked to dozens of growers (various scale) as well as friends in generic farming and one buddy that works as a cannabis consultant in several states...this is the culmination of that advice lol.

Also look into vertical integration (will take a ton more money initially). A dispensary under federal law can't deduct most expenses (rent, labor, etc...) whereas a cultivator can. That means if you co-locate the two you can write off your overhead and make more per lb.... if you can't afford to do that prepare to get r4p3d on pricing per lb.
 

Ns950641

Member
see this is the info i was looking for sadly it also confirms my thinking and strategy. it seems the market is flooded by the average at best grower with lower and mid-shelf flower. i was thinking mostly high end flower with my own strain/genetic preferences in mind and see how it floats. vertical integration is another option i would love to explore especially since there is only 1 dispensary i know of in a 75-100 mile range that sells what i would consider higher shelf flower. the question would be how could i get in on co-locating since the grow would be in a town of less than say 1500 people? i could open a small dispo in like a larger sized portable building with beefed up security measures and then a second larger dispo in nearby large town/city? also one specific question for you vader since you seem further along this process than me how much are dispos buying of a strain at a time? trying to figure out how many strains i would really want to start with haha
 

SpawnOfVader

Well-Known Member
see this is the info i was looking for sadly it also confirms my thinking and strategy. it seems the market is flooded by the average at best grower with lower and mid-shelf flower. i was thinking mostly high end flower with my own strain/genetic preferences in mind and see how it floats. vertical integration is another option i would love to explore especially since there is only 1 dispensary i know of in a 75-100 mile range that sells what i would consider higher shelf flower. the question would be how could i get in on co-locating since the grow would be in a town of less than say 1500 people? i could open a small dispo in like a larger sized portable building with beefed up security measures and then a second larger dispo in nearby large town/city? also one specific question for you vader since you seem further along this process than me how much are dispos buying of a strain at a time? trying to figure out how many strains i would really want to start with haha
That hugely varies. Based on the size of the area you just described I'd say almost nothing.... 1500 people in a town isn't much market- even if everyone smoked you'd only be dealing with a lb or two from a shop like that. If you're talking about large scale you're gonna need to get into the more competitive markets like big cities and that sort of thing.

As far as collocating you've got the basic idea. Get a warehouse or something where you can grow in the back and set up a small section as a storefront.
 

SpawnOfVader

Well-Known Member
My advice would be to call around, a lot of vertically integrated shops aren't even buying outside weed unless it's an emergency lol
 

cherrybobeddie

Well-Known Member
Try to vertically integrate. That is grow and sell your own product.
I will give you one scenario from another industry and one that happens all the time: you grow wine grapes and contract to deliver them to a winery for a certain price. When harvest comes the winery tells you that your grapes don't measure up, through lack of sugar or lack of tanin, or anything else. But, since you grew the grapes for them they will buy them from you. Just not at the contacted price. They want to make you feel as though they are doing you a favor. Sure, you can sue them to honor their contractual obligation. Do you have deep pockets and two to three years?
I am an old man and I've seen this forever. I could tell you story after story. Listen: you can grow anything. It's getting the money in your hand that counts.
Grow and sell your own. Up the ante. Grow organic. There is no government program for weed. Get the weed that you grow tested by an independent lab. Any dispensary that wants to compete with you must find their own clean weed. And pay for it.
At a certain point you will have to hire help. And managing your help will be your primary job. You will not be doing what you luv, grow weed. Many businesses fail at this point, because the entrepreneur just can't hand over the reins to a manager without looking over that managers shoulder. A good manager will quit and go elsewhere. Seen this time and again.
Do not get a partner. "my partner and I can't get along so we have to dissolve the partnership and sell the business". Heard that so many times.
If you can retail your own product you will be surprised at how little product you need. I can tell you of many successful small operations that are secure. The woman with the dairy goats, that man who raises old landrace hogs, the couple with grass fed beef. All these are making very good livings.
Now is the time for you to be testing strains and grow methods. Then you just scale up. Try to have very good equipment. You hire fewer people. Less breakdowns.
I would try to grow where your customers can observe the great care and cleanliness you put into your product.
You can't be just another marijuana growing face in the crowd.
 

SpawnOfVader

Well-Known Member
Try to vertically integrate. That is grow and sell your own product.
I will give you one scenario from another industry and one that happens all the time: you grow wine grapes and contract to deliver them to a winery for a certain price. When harvest comes the winery tells you that your grapes don't measure up, through lack of sugar or lack of tanin, or anything else. But, since you grew the grapes for them they will buy them from you. Just not at the contacted price. They want to make you feel as though they are doing you a favor. Sure, you can sue them to honor their contractual obligation. Do you have deep pockets and two to three years?
I am an old man and I've seen this forever. I could tell you story after story. Listen: you can grow anything. It's getting the money in your hand that counts.
Grow and sell your own. Up the ante. Grow organic. There is no government program for weed. Get the weed that you grow tested by an independent lab. Any dispensary that wants to compete with you must find their own clean weed. And pay for it.
At a certain point you will have to hire help. And managing your help will be your primary job. You will not be doing what you luv, grow weed. Many businesses fail at this point, because the entrepreneur just can't hand over the reins to a manager without looking over that managers shoulder. A good manager will quit and go elsewhere. Seen this time and again.
Do not get a partner. "my partner and I can't get along so we have to dissolve the partnership and sell the business". Heard that so many times.
If you can retail your own product you will be surprised at how little product you need. I can tell you of many successful small operations that are secure. The woman with the dairy goats, that man who raises old landrace hogs, the couple with grass fed beef. All these are making very good livings.
Now is the time for you to be testing strains and grow methods. Then you just scale up. Try to have very good equipment. You hire fewer people. Less breakdowns.
I would try to grow where your customers can observe the great care and cleanliness you put into your product.
You can't be just another marijuana growing face in the crowd.
Amazing advice! Keeping a majority ownership of my company has been a critical part of my plans... this is my blood sweat and tears... I’ll be damned if anyone else gets the final say on it

I’ve worked on those types of farms/ranches... and loved it. it’s not just fewer employees but the right ones and you need to treat them right. Give them a profit share bonus, do appreciation events and have their families come (farm to table dinner anyone)... make them invested in the business’s success as well.
 

shorelineOG

Well-Known Member
There's always a market for good indoor.
If you're a good indoor hydro grower and you have a monopoly on some strains you can name your price. Everyone is growing the same cuts, so having something different and better will eliminate any competition. Purple strains like Candyman sell quick and ECSD flies off the shelf because people love Sour D.
 

SpawnOfVader

Well-Known Member
There's always a market for good indoor.
If you're a good indoor hydro grower and you have a monopoly on some strains you can name your price. Everyone is growing the same cuts, so having something different and better will eliminate any competition. Purple strains like Candyman sell quick and ECSD flies off the shelf because people love Sour D.
For sure, outdoor you can get 2-3 times the yield but you'll be getting 1-2k/lb max whereas a top of the line indoor (hydro or soil) can get another grand on top of that.

See the common thread here @Ns950641 ? You need to go for quality and find a niche that makes you stand out, just like any other competitive industry.
 

Ns950641

Member
I definitely like what I’m hearing. I guess in a way I was more afraid of entering another industry that’s just a homogenized cookie cutter machine where I would basically “have“ to grow the hot local strains with some copy and paste grow system that left no room for creative or ingenuitive methods and processes. I guess in simple okie terms I wanna own my shit and uphold my own standards of product.

and @cherrybobeddie that made me a bit nostalgic I was my grandfathers caretaker for most of my life and I’ve heard those exact things so many times growing up I like to think listening to a lot of it has lead to my success in my other business ventures in life.

so this question might have been better in a general thread but regarding the quality in soil/coco/hydro ive grown a few different ways in soil most recently trying the full organic thing as well and in my experience soil is usually far better quality than what I have seen or grown in coco is hydro more on par with soil or coco quality I’ve always attributed the quality difference to the Cec difference
 

SpawnOfVader

Well-Known Member
I definitely like what I’m hearing. I guess in a way I was more afraid of entering another industry that’s just a homogenized cookie cutter machine where I would basically “have“ to grow the hot local strains with some copy and paste grow system that left no room for creative or ingenuitive methods and processes. I guess in simple okie terms I wanna own my shit and uphold my own standards of product.

and @cherrybobeddie that made me a bit nostalgic I was my grandfathers caretaker for most of my life and I’ve heard those exact things so many times growing up I like to think listening to a lot of it has lead to my success in my other business ventures in life.

so this question might have been better in a general thread but regarding the quality in soil/coco/hydro ive grown a few different ways in soil most recently trying the full organic thing as well and in my experience soil is usually far better quality than what I have seen or grown in coco is hydro more on par with soil or coco quality I’ve always attributed the quality difference to the Cec difference
Two ways to get to the same end product... really depends on your personal preferences and what you have skill with.

I’m 100% behind living soil and optimizing the natural conditions.
 

cherrybobeddie

Well-Known Member
I would think in Oklahoma that you have quite a bit of sun. Cheaper to get started. There are 450 grams in a pound. We can all do the math. Do it all: cbd, diesel, berries, etc. Check out small scale concentrate production.
It all sounds like fun to me: spreadsheets, business plan, flow charts, job descriptions, etc.
I have another story. Young man starts a small construction business. He hires only two men, but pays them cash to avoid payroll taxes. I'll bet you can see where this is going. One gets hurt when boss isn't there. Goes to hospital. On job injury. No state insurance. State gets wind of it. Long story short, it cost him his business and put him behind tens of thousands of dollars. And no way to pay. He told his father and I what he was going to do and we told him not to do that. We both thought we had got through to him. But no. Don't mess with government. Render unto Caesar.

I would drive around and visit all the dispensaries around OKC and Tulsa. Notice everything. Remember to keep receipts
As Spawn of Vader stated, you can deduct cultivation expense, but not dispensary expense. I don't know about tax law in this regard, but I am pretty sure things like driving from dispensary to dispensary can be expensed to the cultivation business. It is considered market research. You have to know what to grow. As would be the cost of meals away from home, 58 cents a mile, motels, etc. The more you do this the more likely you will be audited. Not a problem. As long as you have receipts, and everything is put down in writing, you won't get in trouble. All they would do is disallow the deduction. Or declare your business a hobby. I am not a lawyer or accountant. Seek advice from one and don't take the word of someone on the net. And of course you need income from which to deduct the expenses.
I say go for it.
 

Tracker

Well-Known Member
The market is getting flooded from both sides. Grows are popping up everywhere, and dispensaries are everywhere. It reminds me of how it was in Cali in the early 2000's, albeit a little more structured. I've visited a few grows and been rather underwhelmed.

Now that it's becoming saturated, the ones who survive will be all about their industrial processes and commercial efficiency. It's not only about having good quality. You have to produce it for a cost that allows you to sell it profitably. Like @shorelineOG said above, top shelf will have a place...as long as you can produce it for a cost that allows you to be profitable. The dispensaries are eager to get quality product for the right price. I think a lot of those people who rushed in will end up folding because they started without sufficient finances and can't produce profitably to keep the cash flow. And like @cherrybobeddie said above, you've got to figure out employees and business management.

Good luck to you!
 
So, @Ns950641, what have you decided to do?
I’m also in OK and have two grows under my belt so far. I don’t smoke much myself, but I have gotten good reviews from people I’ve given samples to. I’m interested in scaling up and have considered adding about a 1500 sq ft facility on my property. I’ve got a lot of the same questions that you do, so I’d love to hear your thoughts since you’ve had some time to think on it.
 

xtsho

Well-Known Member
If you have to ask for advice on an internet forum it's probably best you don't attempt to break into the commercial market. You should have your plans in place before it went legal like the big players did. There's much more to being successful than having grown some good weed in the past. Here in Oregon there are plenty of stories of broken dreams by those that invested a ton of money just to find out that they either had no outlet for their product or that they couldn't compete with the low prices from some of the bigger growers.

There is no shortage of people that can grow weed. And it takes more than just being able to grow. Money and business skills are more important than being able to grow. If you have those you can easily hire someone to do the growing which is what most of the successful outfits do. There is so much venture capital money flowing into the cannabis industry that there's not much room for the little guy.

i have a good chunk set aside to start another business with a nice monthly income aswell I just dont wanna throw money in the wind


all stories and experiences welcome
I'd focus on the other business and stay away from trying to become a commercial cannabis grower. I'm not trying to be negative but it is what it is. And it's more complicated than many people think regardless of what state they're in.



 

SpawnOfVader

Well-Known Member
If you have to ask for advice on an internet forum it's probably best you don't attempt to break into the commercial market. You should have your plans in place before it went legal like the big players did. There's much more to being successful than having grown some good weed in the past. Here in Oregon there are plenty of stories of broken dreams by those that invested a ton of money just to find out that they either had no outlet for their product or that they couldn't compete with the low prices from some of the bigger growers.

There is no shortage of people that can grow weed. And it takes more than just being able to grow. Money and business skills are more important than being able to grow. If you have those you can easily hire someone to do the growing which is what most of the successful outfits do. There is so much venture capital money flowing into the cannabis industry that there's not much room for the little guy.



I'd focus on the other business and stay away from trying to become a commercial cannabis grower. I'm not trying to be negative but it is what it is. And it's more complicated than many people think regardless of what state they're in.



For sure! Now I will add the note that Oklahoma is SLIGHTLY different. The state made a cap of 25% out of state ownership for any cannabis related business. Also they kept the fees low (2500 per license type).... This means ANYONE can get into it so there are like 6K growers in this state, and a lot of them aren't renewing their licenses for a reason. I've got guaranteed outlets, other people's money on the table instead of my own, and a niche concept... and I'm still debating on if it's worth the risk.
 

xtsho

Well-Known Member
For sure! Now I will add the note that Oklahoma is SLIGHTLY different. The state made a cap of 25% out of state ownership for any cannabis related business. Also they kept the fees low (2500 per license type).... This means ANYONE can get into it so there are like 6K growers in this state, and a lot of them aren't renewing their licenses for a reason. I've got guaranteed outlets, other people's money on the table instead of my own, and a niche concept... and I'm still debating on if it's worth the risk.
The licensing in Oregon didn't cost much more and the system got inundated. They are not accepting any new applications here until Jan 2022. They still have a bunch of unprocessed applications in the pipeline even while many that had already received their license have taken a loss and already gotten out of the business. Many people jump in money first without a solid business plan. More often than not it doesn't work out.

You need to have connections and good business sense. A legal grow room only means you can grow legally. You need to have an outlet for your product. You don't just walk into a legal dispensary, ask for the manager, and tell them you grow good weed and have pounds of it for sale. There are not going to be buyers lining up for your weed regardless of how good a grower thinks it is. It also has to be tracked, tested, etc... It gets complicated. So many people don't understand all that's involved.

If I were to get into the cannabis business it wouldn't be growing weed. In fact the only route that I would take that required dealing with actual cannabis product would be trying to build a brand of edibles. Gummies, candy, cookies, tinctures, CBD products, etc... And then I would just buy raw product in bulk and process it into the final product. But there is so much competition out there that I think about it and that's it.

Other cannabis related markets that don't require growing are nutrients which is already saturated, LED lighting which is saturated as well.

Seeds are a pretty lucrative market if you can get out there and market your product and sell it. The social media campaigning has given some very good marketers good exposure and the ability to get people to pay ridiculous amounts of money for a seed that's no better than other stuff but is the latest rage due to hype.

It's a cutthroat industry. I've decided for now to stick with IT work. I can basically work alone and not have to deal with all the crap.
 

cherrybobeddie

Well-Known Member
If I were to do this I would start reasonably small, vertically integrate and (like XT said) build brand. Think craft brewing. If I did little more than effectively end up with a decent paying job, well, that might be enough. I mean, you know, in this day and age.
 
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