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Photo by Alex Dubs

Grow Tour: Deschutes Growery

Deschutes Growery grows cannabis in a unique, rolling vertical arrangement. See how it works.

Cannabis is finally approaching a global milestone with new legalization and decriminalization occurring at an amazing rate. Though this may be an overall gain for most, new legalization comes with many other obstacles and consequential challenges – like the environmental impact that goes hand in hand with agricultural booms. With these changes rapidly occurring, companies like Deschutes Growery stand above their peers, adapting to the market’s needs and cultivating top shelf material, while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint and working toward a cleaner future. With their solar power and energy-efficient LED lighting, among many other environmentally friendly efforts, this Bend-based cultivation is a shining example that’s known for checking all the right boxes.

Initially meeting as snowboard instructors over a decade ago, co-founders Travis Busack and Justin Clapick became instant friends with their like-minded work ethic and enthusiasm for all things nature. Like many others back in the medical days, they started their grow out of that all-too-familiar neighborhood garage – making sure to stay on good terms with all the neighbors. When the opportunity presented itself, the two seized the chance and quickly took up new space in a facility that wasn’t exactly ready to rock a full Cannabis grow. After waiting a lifetime for this moment, Travis and Justin kept working full-time jobs, while still managing to dedicate the time and resources to build out their newfound home. They built out the entire grow – room by room, building by building – painstakingly fine tuning the little details, adapting to the circumstances, and going all-in with their time and money. According to Travis, “Failure was and is never an option.”

POUNDS HARVESTED ANNUALLY: 1,000

PRIMARY GROW STYLE: Soil Grown

LIGHTING: LED Lighting

NUTRIENTS: Custom Organics

EMPLOYEES: 28

CONSERVATION: Deliveries made in an electric vehicle, Pre-rolls packaged in recycled plastic, Solar power generates 140,000 kWh, offsetting 13.7% of total usage.

During the buildout, they knew that tough choices needed to be made with the right intentions – not only for the short term, but more importantly, for the future and long term function of their grow. They utilized the Energy Trust of Oregon, which allowed the state to incentivize the use of their LED lighting, and take on the financial brunt in order to minimize the long term impact of traditional HIDs. With solar panels attached to the roof, they’re able to utilize that abundant Central Oregon sunshine by converting solar energy back into the power grid. By tweaking their long-term impact over many years, the 8,500-square-foot flower canopy now has the carbon footprint of a standard 2,500-square-foot grow. 

The use of LED lighting means that they’re able to go ceiling-high instead of being limited to a singular level. Ergo, Deschutes Growery boasts seas of green four rows high on vertical rolling benches – instead of a room with lights on the ceiling and plants on the floor. By doing this, they’re able to take advantage of every inch of their allotted space, minimizing any unwanted energy expense and going one step closer to a smaller carbon footprint. One of the benefits of this type of system is the reduction in need for HVAC, and aside from its minimal energy output, this maximizes air flow in the garden and increases the ability to cultivate consistent products, time and time again. 

Deschutes Growery creates their own in-house soil amendments and recipes, carefully crafting the right environment and nutrition for their exclusive menu like Watermelon Gelato and Kurple Fantasy. Between popping seeds in search of the perfect pheno like their High Times Best Indica-award winning Strawberry Guava, and sourcing legitimate cuts like Star Pebbles, Deschutes Growery continues to stay ahead of the game with their exotic genetics and impressive selections. By taking the time to find the right strains for their specific environment, they’re again able to not only maximize yields, but maintain control over all aspects of the grow.

Once the flower is harvested, it’s sent to their immaculate, poplar-lined cure room that mimics a humidor with its attention to moisture content, temperature and leftover smell. Poplar lacks many of the essential oils that can affect the outcome of the flower, so Deschutes’ intention behind yet another one of their actions again proves their dedication to the craft of cultivation. 

While none of these methods may be new, the team behind Deschutes Growery go above and beyond the rest of the industry, not only with their genuine intention behind every one of their actions and environmental considerations, but also with the consistent quality of their flower, kief and pre-rolls. With an impressive dose of elbow grease and a hell of a lot of forethought, Deschutes Growery operates one of the most popular and environmentally conscious grows in the state.

Photos by @workdubs

This article was originally published in the June 2021 issue of Oregon Leaf.

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