Westword magazine shares that Michigan-based grower Grasshopper Farms is expanding to Colorado:
The Michigan-based outdoor marijuana grower just announced it has opened a 48-acre farm in Pueblo. Up to 3,000 plants are already in the ground despite just closing on the property last month, according to the company, which plans to produce pre-rolled joints, plants for extraction and smokeable flower.
Outdoor marijuana is still viewed as a tier below indoor flower thanks to the meticulous measures growers can take with indoor lighting, watering and climate control. Grasshopper Farms CEO Will Bowden sees beauty in the flaws of a natural product, however, and he prefers the term “sun-grown” to “outdoor.”
“Most of the outdoor we saw being advertised in Michigan was called ‘outdoor flower’ or not of great quality. This plant started outside, and it only went inside because of the illegality. This plant really thrives outside,” Bowden says. “When we say ‘premium sun-grown flower,’ I’m not saying we’re trying to compete against premium indoor flower. Indoor growers enjoy a very high degree of control, so that allows them to create something the way they want versus allowing Mother Nature to do its thing.”
Bowden hired longtime grower Chris Johnson of Northern California, a leading region in outdoor marijuana growing, to lead his Colorado farm. Johnson was a founding operator of former Pueblo cultivation Los Sueños Farms, the largest outdoor marijuana farm in North America at one point before being purchased and shut down.
The new Colorado operation is part of wider expansion plans. The company is about to launch a new cultivation in New Jersey and is nearing the finish line on facilities in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oklahoma — and all of them will be outdoor growing operations, Bowden notes. Those are bold plans in today’s current legal marijuana market, which still hasn’t pulled itself out of a two-year recession.
“We tend to talk about this like it’s a cannabis problem, but I think it’s more of a business-plan issue. You need to know your identity and your core competencies. We’re not retail and manufacturing. We’re just really good at outdoor growing,” Bowden says.
…The farm’s first harvest should be in stores before the end of 2023, according to Bowden. As Grasshopper Farms gets up and running, the staff plans to provide free tours to the public (21 and up) and hold annual open houses.
Read more in Westword & for sure check out photos and more from Grasshopper Farms’ Colorado grow on their website!