Jesce Horton, CEO and co-founder of the Lowd craft cannabis brand in Oregon.
People have long told me that Oregon has the best weed.
This is the question I asked Jesce Horton, the engineer who became a craftsman. Which state has the best grass in the nation? “Of course I have a bias, but I believe Oregon by a long way. There are just so many smaller grows out there. Cannabis gets better the smaller you are, no matter what. When you have a small facility with small batch cultivation, you have more options to monitor the plants, ”says LOWD CEO and co-founder Horton. “You grow fewer varieties more often so you just have the option to turn things on. There are many growers in Oregon, but only small, artisanal growers. “
Horton’s LOWD brand, based in Portland, Oregon, claims the niche market known as “Grower’s Weed”. Amid a glut of cannabis in the state market, LOWD is consistently sold out and endorsed before the jars even harden. Horton started growing when he noticed how much cannabis had helped his ailing grandma: “That was when I first came up with the idea of growing medicinal products in my basement,” says Horton, “after seeing the benefits. It went from the relaxing idea of cannabis, there is actually something to it when it comes to medicine. “
Horton is also the founder and former director of the Minority Cannabis Business Association and a board member of the Resource Innovation Institute, among other awards in his career. The 7,500 square foot acreage was featured on CannaCribs and local news channels for its tier 1 craft focus. Horton gave me a tour of the LOWD grow facilities to bring out some of his ingenuity, personal favorite innovations, and his decision to incorporate art from the local community into the grow space. The cannabis is indeed LOWD.
Platinum GMO biscuits grown by Lowd in Portland, Oregon.
How was the experience, for your family to grow, to see them healthier, at your LOWD brand today?
Jesce Horton: It was a development from my basement until today. When I learned how to cultivate, I spent a lot of time in cultivation sites, in grow shops. We finally got our first store in Corbett, Oregon, about 45 minutes away. It was down the gorge called Panacea Valley Gardens. On April 20th, 2017, we learned that we had an eviction notice in front of our door and had to move out because of the zoning of the Gorge Commission. It was in Multnomah County, which was the safest county the industry was betting on at the time. It was Portland County. Multnomah, you are safe. But this cultivation was on the edge of a national landscape area. So the Gorge Committee said no medical treatment, no recovery, nothing. We had to move here. Ultimately, we were able to find another system here, starting and building up from below.
Here my partner Dave and I had the opportunity to implement these innovations, to build the space from scratch.
Lowd cannabis in its pre-bloom.
Tell me, what are some of your favorite grow innovations at LOWD?
This is, in my opinion, the first ergonomic trim station in the world. If we catch it all, we will catch about 20 percent more kief than we would without these stations. There is really no waste with these trim containers. Normally you would go and throw that trim away, you would have to get up every time. Instead, they just brush the moldings over here and a moldings manager will come over and pick them up. You never really have to get up, everything is where you need it. Due to the height, they can both sit and stand. It is all focused on minimal movement. My background is industrial engineering. The room works hard for us. Everything is really organized with us.
A local artist’s murals are in each grow room in the lowd facility.
Are you using the trim for anything, like concentrates?
Yes. We have an extraction partner that we are working with and we will be launching some concentrate products soon.
So tell me what innovations you have in the grow facility that have resulted in better cannabis or lower costs?
This is of course our area of expansion. That’s one of the first areas of innovation, another thing I love is this living work of art. TK is the artist. One of the stupidest black artists in Portland, a friend of mine, with a quote from Maya Angelous: “Do the best you can until you know better. If you know better, do better. ‘
Lowd stands for Love Our Weed Daily.
It’s about continuous improvement. It really all starts right at the beginning of the process that would be spreading here right through to the end phase. We picked this piece to be here, reminding everyone to keep improving every single harvest.
We try to use as much space as possible with two levels of vegetation. We’re doing two stages, these are our mothers, and many of them are preparing to move into the flower room. They are chopped, crowned a little, and then brought into the flower room evenly. We have just completed our power upgrade. With the upgrade we will have a new room which is the mother’s room and also a new flower room.
Lowd Cannabis has an innovative curing room that allows stacking and storage usage similar to a. imitates … [+]
This curing room is unique and not a design I’ve seen before. Tell me what is the inspiration or idea behind the stackable curing shelves?
Everyone knows that tempering glass is the best. We designed this room to resemble a wine cellar. We designed the curing room so that everything can breathe, everything can cure as well as possible, but also so that we can fit everything in here, so that we can cure in glasses. The glass makes it hard for most companies to harden, but so much storage, so much space that you really need. You can only put 100 pounds on this wall.
It’s not cedar, it’s a neutral wood on the shelf, so there is no smell. We don’t want a smell to adulterate cannabis. At the moment everything is sold out. We’re sold out for the next 11 months. We have contracts to ensure security, which is also not typical for the industry, but it is going very well. It’s the brand that focuses on every single aspect of our work and doesn’t skip any steps. We try to add value to the market. As opposed to just walking in and selling weed, we’re figuring out where we can add value to our consumers, our retail partners.
Lowd cannabis in the flowering stage.