It’s state inspection day here at Mohave Cannabis Co., in Bullhead City, Arizona. The state will send their brightest inspectors to comb every square inch of cultivation, looking for faulty points. These inspections are routine but can be stressful for any company staff.
Inspectors are looking for things that can contaminate cannabis or cannabis products at any point from seed to sale. Inspectors have a long checklist that they must maintain to help cannabis producers secure their facility entrances, exits, air flow, walls, floors and ceilings. They check for compliance in all areas like electrical to make sure the building is safe and also optimal for producing cannabis. Many of these regulations can seem tedious but are welcomed by companies, like Mohave Cannabis, who innovate ahead of compliance by writing their own strict procedures. Every state has different laws and rules it is hard to copy one playbook until federal cannabis policies are in place.
For example, in Canada, federal legislation regulates stringent cannabis policy for the entire country. Cannabis producers can release the same cannabis in any province where they are approved for distribution. Federal legislators in the US can open up the door for the United States to have interstate cannabis commerce. There is not one cannabis brand in the US who has the supply chain to meet the entire demand, for multiple states, but it’s possible that premium cannabis producers could export their most premium buds to other states to increase profit margins. It will be interesting to see how cannabis quality changes when interstate cannabis commerce becomes possible. I know that I would be proud to see Mohave Cannabis exported from Arizona, to my family, and other parts of the US. It will be fun to see which brands hang on for this ride to become a national household name.
Back to the inspection at the Mohave facility in Bullhead City, Arizona. It’s 6:00 a.m. when I arrive and this building is already buzzing with activity. In the trim room, workers are trimming nugs of cream pie Kush. Multiple flower rooms will be harvested today and wholesale orders are being loaded up for transit to Phoenix. Scott Trost and Curtis Lietheiser walk from room to room checking charts and schedules, like busy physicians moving between exam rooms, scribbling notes as they walk. My friend and Mohave Operations Director, Mitchell Gleason, explains to me how the new rooms are designed with refrigerant walls and central air systems. This HVAC system detects the humidity and temperature in every square foot of each room to ensure homeostasis over the entire plant canopy. The building is divided into zones and everybody is working cheerfully. On the other side of the building, construction crews are building out new flower rooms as fast as they can.
Mitchell Gleason walks around awaiting the inspectors, checking the grounds for loose pieces of trash, of which there is hardly any. So mostly he goes around looking for any place he can put a sign that says ‘Do Not Enter’ or ‘Employees Only’. Have you heard that song that goes, “signs, signs everywhere signs” by Five Man Electric Band. Or wait, how about “I saw the sign” by Ace of Base. It Opened up my eyes, I saw the sign…Anyway, the signs became a running joke among the crew. Cannabis compliance can be funny and also daunting as, together, we pioneer safer protocols for this entire industry. Like, a lock on the door isn’t enough? I love the attention to detail.
It’s just about noon and the team is sitting down for a deli sandwich lunch together. The inspector will arrive in the next hour and I find this my best time to make an exit. I eat a delightful turkey sandwich and begin the four hour scenic drive back to Phoenix.
I was very happy to see the smiling faces of this deeply rooted Arizona company. I am impressed by how they represent our cannabis industry with integrity and humility. I am certain they received raving scores and plenty of gold stickers from Arizona’s state inspectors. I give them a gold star for this Cream Pie Kush that I’m smoking now. Excellent genetics. Worth a trip to Debbie’s any day of the week!
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Michael Cassini is the founder and editor in chief of The Cannabis Cactus Magazine. He focuses on community relationships with a goal to maintain a culture of love, peace and knowledge in the cannabis industry.
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