Location: Chehalis, WA
Overall: Caring. Driven. Passionate. Incredible Quality.
The Green Vault is in Chehalis, WA, right next to my local marijuana retailer - Old Toby. It's a pretty nondescript location from the outside with a couple roll-up doors and a side entrance, in a strangely shaped parking lot across from a very busy food processing plant. It's literally 3 blocks from my house.
Inside the roll-ups is a garage/workshop area and a pathway to the premises of the i502 marijuana producer/processor. Before entering, you're required to show ID, provide your name and document it along with your purpose and business affiliation. Then you're allowed to enter.
On entry, the whole company's care, cleanliness, and professionalism was on display. Things were orderly and neat, signs were hung where they needed to be, every one I encountered was active and seemed to be on-point executing their tasks.
As I came in, this guy was measuring nutrients very carefully, someone standing behind him with a clipboard taking careful notes. There was a Wet Floor sign just out of frame, and the floor was being neatly cleaned up by a worker. Turns out this guy is one of the master growers and he is adding nutrients. This is a very important task very few people are authorized to do. It's critical that these are controlled - practically and legally.
All the growing plants start from mothers or clones. These are a wide array of incredibly cared for plants that are the mothers for all of the marijuana the Green Vault grows. They're hardy plants, growing as plants but not in flower. Clones can be drawn from these plants, from which further clones are derived into the actual growing, flowering cannabis which will be harvested for delicious marijuana. They swayed to the breeze of circulating fans as I watched them and breathed these lovelies scents in.
Once an appropriate mother has been grown it'll be cloned. The Master Grower will use their variety of mechanisms to determine the ideal stems to pull and these will be grown into full flower. I captured the steps of master grower Dan McCraw's
I met and spoke with Justin, Dabber Dan, and Mark. Each of these guys is incredibly experienced in grow operations. They're all independently and together experts in how to grow and care for marijuana, and each one absolutely loves what they're doing.
When I spoke when them, they were transplanting small plants into larger containers so they can develop more fully. The plants need lots of room and are transplanted several times as they grow to harvest.
Mark, Dabber Dan (who looked way happier when I took the shot), and Justin. Workin' it.
Dabber Dan, by the way, is also a master grower as well. He handles things later in the day and is widely known for his killer concentrates. I'm excited for all the things he's bringing to the Green Vault when they open up to that avenue of marijuana.
In the time I asked a dozen questions and snapped a few shots, this team of fellows cleared all the growing medium from the table and had transplanted a couple dozen plants. Professionals all.
These plants will take their rotations through the growing room, where all the growing marijuana grows. These plants are all on rolling tables like the one above. They can be rotated with minimal movement, touching and interaction. This allows for uniform light, nutrient, and water delivery. It also helps maintain isolation if needed. It's just a sea of beautiful green in here.
They seem like they're really ready to grow here - there is a huge army of tables waiting to be filled.
I've reviewed Dan's Alaskan Thunderfuck - the first strain that got a written review alongside a 10 Minute Strain Review podcast. On the pilot of Marijuana Encyclopedia, we smoked and reviewed Dan's Trademark (literally) Northern Pie with crazy terpenes of all sorts - an exceptional experience.
I was shown around the growing room a bit by Dan, and he showed me his unique UV Exposure Canopy method. On willing and workable strains he minimizes or eliminates entirely any trim, pinch, cut, bend, twist, bind at all with this method during the grow. By controlling the timing and direction of UV light, he's able to develop wide-branching, bushy plants on many strains.
Here you can see this result on Jilly Bean, early in growing, from the bottom while growing, and while later in the growing process.
So I want to jump back to the first minutes after I met Dan. He showed me around his flower room. He taught me about his habit of waking the girls up, and later putting the girls to sleep. This is his scheduled 15 minutes of infrared light before switching on or off the lighting in the flower room. It makes utter sense, as that's what nature does. Dan seems remarkably in tune with the natural world and feels that frequency and vibration have a huge effect in all things He's been growing marijuana for a long time and with beautiful results. I won't be the one to dispute him.
I was able to talk among the girls as he worked, and I spoke loving kindness to each of these beautiful plants as I passed. Just some softly spoken words of love from a Tree Wizard. Hopefully you'll smoke some that heard me.
This is two tables deep of marijuana growing to flower. These are all 7-14 days into flower.
It's impressive how advanced these plants looked. They had some incredible development for such young plants. This is from a plant in the flower room less than a week!
Back along the other side, I found a worker tending to some buds that ended up having a challenging run-in with an HVAC unit blowing icy air on them. They looked like the worst was well over and they all were really pretty and in great spirits.
Next I was taken to the boss, David, who was getting more stored product to be used in the packaging room. He let me look inside a pair of safes where the product is kept in lots. This is all tracked and controlled tightly from seed to sale, every single gram of it. It's stored very orderly and organized, this is way more marijuana than it looks like.
David is the owner of the company, and he was busy packaging and sorting product. He and Bruce were both busy with the job of wrapping and slapping.
Bruce has been here since the place was a shell of a warehouse. He showed up to help with some pressure-washing and hasn't left yet. He says he's not the manager here, and that's not his title. Fine. I did see the boss give him a dozen tasks, and heard him delegate them smoothly and professionally. I also saw him working in the other parts of the operation at different times. He was constantly following up, setting expectations, and motivating. I'm impressed by not-the-manager.
I spoke to David a bit about the goals of the Green Vault and his dream of not only being able to spread the love of marijuana, but being able to do it in a way that maximizes the pleasure of customers and lets him employ great people for a fair wage. It's awesome.
As you can imagine, setting up an operation like this is a massive undertaking. The City of Chehalis and others stood in their way long after the fight for recreational marijuana had been won. With the help of colleagues and other i502 business owners, they persevered, work hard, and are building an outstanding business with exceptional product. This is the American Dream.
I was privileged to get a sneak peek at a new marketing mechanism - colored tubes that are coded at retailers for easy pickings. These are separated pink and yellow by 0.7g net weight 'half gram' and 1 gram pre-rolls of prime flower. That's 6 different premium strains, all of them amazing. Their logo is sexy as hell, too. My opinion is it's top 3 among the #WAPot labels I've seen so far.
Overall, this was an exceptional trip to the Green Vault. I'm incredibly thankful of David and Shelley, for allowing me to come view their operation and share the awesome with you. Everyone who I spoke to was caring, professional, kind, and wonderful. It's no wonder they deliver such high end product consistently.
Since this visit, I've had several Green Vault strains, including those in the Marijuana Encyclopedia shared at the top of this post. Keep an eye out for my review of their two Seahawks related strains - I Am 12 and Beastmode Skittles.