Trade Roots to begin cultivating, manufacturing cannabis
After nearly four years, the owners of Trade Roots will soon be able to begin cultivating and manufacturing marijuana products, and they hope to open the retail side of the business later this summer.
The company, co-owned by Wareham native Jesse Pitts and Carl Giannone, will eventually grow, manufacture, and sell marijuana products on site — and home-delivery is in the works, too. Trade Roots has received final approval of their cultivation and manufacturing licenses, while the retail and delivery licenses are still being processed by the Cannabis Control Commission.
The pair have extensively renovated their 6 Thatcher Ln. location to house several grow rooms, a lab and a retail store that Giannone said he hopes will be somewhere customers will be excited to visit.
At the heart of the company, the two explained, is a dedication to craft.
Pitts defined craft as “doing all the right things, no matter who sees it.”
Pitts said he has worked to figure out what can be automated, and which steps in the process require a human touch. While the process of watering plants is automated, for example, employees will check plants and systems regularly to make sure everything is functioning correctly.
Those careful checks, Pitts explained, are the most important part of cannabis cultivation. Employees will regularly spend time “scouting” the grow rooms: taking a careful look at each plant to see whether it’s healthy, how it’s growing or if any adjustments need to be made.
Employees will also spot-check to make sure that the systems in place are doing what they are supposed to do: Are the plants getting the right amount of water and nutrients? What is the humidity level?
Trade Roots will be recycling about 80 percent of the water used for irrigation, an eco-friendly and cost-saving measure Pitts said is rare in the cannabis industry.
Pitts and Giannone worked with other companies to create a system that collects water from condensation, the HVAC system, rainwater and other sources before purifying the water with ozone. The only byproduct of that purification is a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, which evaporates almost immediately.
From there, the water is filtered further before nutrients are added back in to help the plants grow.
Once plants have grown and dried, the flower will be hand-trimmed and some will be processed to create other products. Trade Roots will likely manufacture predominately extracts for vape cartridges and hydrocarbon extracts, known as dabs.”
Giannone and Pitts said they are particularly excited to get into cross-branding, which is a relatively new practice for the Massachusetts cannabis industry. That means they could take high-quality flower from small craft growers and manufacture vapes or hydrocarbon extracts which would be sold under both names.
Giannone said that would allow Trade Roots to get a variety of high-quality products on the dispensary’s shelves and would be an avenue for small growers to get involved in making a variety of products.
He said the idea is to sell cannabis that is “grown in Mass., not en masse.”
Giannone is particularly focused on the experience people will have when the dispensary opens — hopefully later in the summer, pending final retail licensure.
“We want to make retail not suck,” Giannone said.
From the backlit sign that will be visible on the highway to the sound system in the waiting room, Giannone has carefully curated the experience visitors will have.
One particularly unusual feature is a huge picture window in the dispensary that allows visitors to see an active grow room — the only open flower grow room east of Michigan, Giannone said.
Giannone, who moved to Wareham from New York City, said he loves living here, and that he’s been surprised by how welcoming and supportive the community has been.
The design of the dispensary is full of nods to the locale: Wall art will include driftwood adorned with scrimshaw carving and large oil paintings of ocean scenes, commissioned from a local artist.
“It has taken a village,” Giannone said.
Trade Roots’ dispensary will likely open later in the summer, as the company’s retail license is still in process. Pitts is also the majority owner of Trade Winds, a courier company that would deliver products purchased from Trade Roots to customer’s homes. The license for that company is also in process.