VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver man said he will start legally growing pot next week. He’s launching the first marijuana growing business in Southwest Washington and will eventually have a thousand plants at his indoor facility.
But Brian Stroh is not a farmer. In fact, he doesn’t fit any stereotype for a marijuana grower. That’s because it’s never legally been done before.
Stroh has a background in financial services. And he said he saw a business opportunity when the legalization of marijuana was approved by the legislature.
“Regardless of what your stance is on recreational marijuana, it is something that is coming and you can either embrace it or you can ignore it," he said.
Stroh’s business is called Cannaman Farms, and by this time next week, he will be growing pot to sell to distributors.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board did a final inspection on his facility and he expects his license to be granted Friday.
“For me, I saw a business opportunity and I decided that I was going to embrace it. But what that does is it forces you to design from scratch because we have no infrastructure at all," he said.
Stroh will have a staff of at least six employees and said he has invested about $100,000 in his growing operation. He admits when it comes to following a business model, there is no prior experience in legally growing marijuana.
“We have limited insurance. we have no banking. We have hardly anyone within this industry with any tangible infrastructure experience like you would find in any other business vertical," he said.
Stroh’s operation will likely harvest about 500 lbs of marijuana each year. He will clone different strains of the plants in custom made flower beds. He has detailed irrigation, lightening, ventilation and climate control.
The stores that he will sell his marijuana to are expected to open in June. And because this is such a new venture, there are still obstacles to overcome. For example, there is no banking in this industry because Federal law considers growing marijuana illegal, any money made from the selling of it, even on a state level, cannot be deposited into a bank.
All bills, taxes, expenses and employees will be paid in cash. Stroh says he’s also invested heavily in security.