Wise Guys Farms

US: “We are utilizing our greenhouses to stay competitive in the Michigan cannabis market”

“Greenhouse cannabis production is not very prevalent yet in Michigan. With most of the cultivators growing indoors, we are utilizing our greenhouses to produce at the lowest price possible.” With their facility opening in July 2021, Wise Guys Farms is aiming to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the needs of the Michigan cannabis market. By growing in greenhouses, outdoors, and in an indoor facility, the company has a trifecta of growing capabilities that allows them to produce a variety of products. Cort Kwiecinski (Co-Founder) and David Shears (Sales & Business Development) explain that they have had to go through some challenges and delays to get to where they are now. Even in the competitive Michigan market, they have already grown to be successful and are planning future expansions.


The Wise Guys Farms team. (Photo credits for all photos: Shawna Simpson)

Genetics and environment 
According to Cort and David, a key aspect of successful cultivation is a communicative relationship between the team members. “When everybody has the same common goal and understands the process, they can work at a much more efficient, productive pace.” When it comes to the plants themselves, finding the right genetics is the first step. “We start our process by selecting the best cultivars to produce a high-quality product. We are constantly adding new strains and testing them to see which ones will work best in different growing environments. As we have three different growing environments, each growing style requires a different variety of plants. Some strains do better in an outdoor climate, while other cultivars are more temperamental and thrive in a more controlled environment indoors. We can still cut overhead costs by utilizing our multilayer light deprivation and shading systems full spectrum of the sun, as the natural sun is a major deciding factor on how the plants grow and what the flavor and terpene production is like.”



Currently, Wise Guys Farms has around 63 strains in their catalog, but they are constantly updating those. “This revolving door of genetics allows us to keep our offerings fresh for the Michigan market and allows us to hunt for some of the best phenotypes.” Last season, the company grew 60 strains outdoors. “That was quite a challenge to manage on our five-acre outdoor plot. But we used that production to take a lot of data and see which ones grew the best. The next step was to flash freeze and distribute the product as quickly as possible, to preserve the flavors and terpenes. We have been distributing the frozen biomass to different processors who are keen to be partnering with us. Based on their information, we decided what to grow outdoors this season, which has gone down to 15-20 strains.



Being unique in a competitive market
With indoor-grown cannabis being the premier offering in the Michigan market, Wise Guys Farms’ outdoor and greenhouse production enables them to stay ahead of the curve. “Our outdoor production, for example, allows us to produce broad biomass for which there is a lot of demand. Using the greenhouses, our sustainable business model and ability to shift to what the market needs is what is setting us apart long term. Moreover, it is a much more affordable manner of cultivation compared to an indoor facility. Even when there is minimal sun in December, utilizing the power of the sun to its full extent is still a game changer. Utilizing our greenhouses, we can produce at the lowest price possible.” This is a major benefit as more and more cultivation licenses are being issued in Michigan, competition is growing, and prices are dropping. “It is a challenging market for growers, so it is important for us to stay competitive and produce quality flower.”



Yet there is a reason for indoor production being the main route for Michigan growers. “We do not have the same ideal climate as they have on the West Coast. Our growing season is shorter and much more humid. The lake effect weather that comes off of the great lakes causes a huge fluctuation in weather, and it changes on a whim. Therefore, we have selected strains that can withstand this type of environment.”



Overcoming the challenges
While things are going very well now, the start of the company came a bit later than planned. “We started the custom design in February 2021 and planned to complete the project in November last year. We are now in May 2022 and are just getting fully licensed for our entire facility, so there has been quite the delay. With the ongoing supply chain challenges, we were waiting for some key electrical components that were holding us back. We quickly decided to pivot and phase our project. We focused on our outdoor crop initially, as that was the easiest to get online the quickest. Simultaneously, we were building our 20,000 sq. ft. office and post- production space. Then, getting our greenhouses online was the final piece of the initial build.”

But the work is not yet done as there are already more future plans in the works. “We are planning to increase our facility size from 4 to 10 greenhouses within the next two years. We are also planning to expand our outdoor production twofold, increasing the fields from 5 to 10 acres. Moreover, with this added growing potential, we are planning to add an extraction facility to our site. We would then be able to internally produce extracted products and increase our product availability.” 

For more information:
Wise Guys Farms
Instagram: @wiseguysfarms
www.wiseguysfarms.com



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