7Points is a cannabis company that has a very peculiar history. “We have a fully indoor facility that was created by retrofitting an old citrus packhouse,” Wayne Bishop, 7 Points CEO, explains. “This was owned by a citrus company since 1940. In 2010, this shut down, and we bought it back in 2017.” Exactly because of the inherent characteristics of this infrastructure, Wayne points out that the retrofitting process was easier than expected. “Of course, there were many challenges along the way, but overall, because of how the facility was set up, this made it easy for us to set up the cultivation.”
Retrofitted citrus packhouse
Because of the infrastructure, 7 Points was one of the first companies in California to obtain a license at the first try. “We are the 8th company to get an annual license from the CDFA,” Wayne remarks. “This was possible also thanks to this retrofitted citrus packhouse facility.”
Ryan Clark is the Director of Cultivation with 7 Points, and he takes care to explain how the cultivation is set up. “We spent much time to come up with a system that would be simplistic for us to run,” he says. “We do all our cultivation in old cold storage rooms, which greatly helps with climate control. We make use of rolling benches and HPS lighting. As of now, we have 16,000 plants in the operation, under a 22,000 sqft license. However, this is just the beginning, as we have expansion plans in the pipeline. Phase 2 and phase 3 are also going to be indoor and equal in size. There is also going to be a 55,000 sqft. light dep greenhouse here coming soon.”
Additional hygiene measures
Now with the added challenge of the Coronavirus pandemic, 7 Points had to take additional hygiene measures to accommodate the widespread social distancing policies. “We have about 10 cultivation employees and 10 trimmers, and we have organized their shifts in such a way that only a few of them are in the same room at the same time,” he explains. “For us, it is crucial to keep operating as we are an essential business. We have 9 flower zones and 3 veg zones. The whole operation runs on perpetual cycles: we actually harvest every 7 days; bluntly put, we have 52 weeks a year of harvest. We never stop: as plants enter the flowering rooms, other plants are being harvested.”
This perpetual work is even more important nowadays, as reports have shown that cannabis sales are increasing amid this pandemic. “Depending on the demand of the market, we, and the industry as a whole, might get out of this situation as strong as before the virus hit,” Wayne points out. “At the same time, this situation has also pushed everyone to be cleaner when cultivating, and handling cannabis flowers and products. There is the possibility that some folks will get sick, thus resulting in losing workforce: in such a moment, any resource is critical. As of now, we have been lucky enough not to lose anybody.”
7 Points is also going forward with its plans to become vertically integrated. “We don’t have a storefront as of now,” Wayne says. “However, in the next couple of months we expect to receive our dispensary license, which will benefit not only us as a business but will allow us to have retail sales for our flower products and distribute other brands.