Growing the Industry: Q&A with Jeremy Green of Glaze Cannabis
Missouri’s medical marijuana market has now exceeded $400 million dollars in cumulative retail sales, less than two years after the state’s first dispensary opened. With nearly 9,000 agents, and averaging over 300 new agents per month, the medical marijuana industry has created opportunity and growth while other industries have become stagnant.
With Growing the Industry, Greenway aims to highlight and introduce the individuals behind the plants that Missouri’s marijuana market is built on.
Glaze Cannabis may have been one of the most recent cultivated brands to launch in the state, but upon arrival, the brand made an impact. Quickly, Glaze became a cult favorite and joined the conversation as one of the state’s best flower brands.
In this edition of Growing the Industry, Greenway speaks to Jeremy Green, Director of Operations for Glaze Cannabis.
Green, a Colorado native – embodies much of the free-spirited, adventurous nature that the cannabis industry – and cultivation in particular, often attract. “I was born in Boulder, raised in Longmont, and spent most of my time until I was in my 20s in Boulder County. I grew up near the mountains and spent a lot of summers at the lake – or on the river, camping, hiking, and driving 4x4s through campgrounds and back trails.”
In addition to his love of the outdoors, Green says some of his best memories are those formed through music and the summers spent at Red Rocks amphitheater. “My girlfriend and I had started dating after a concert we went to in Denver with a group of mutual friends and we had our 10-year anniversary last November.”
In Missouri, the Colorado transport brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Glaze Cannabis, helping to create some of the state’s most well-reviewed and consistent flower.
“I studied Horticultural Business Management in college and started working in commercial greenhouses through paid internships. I spent a couple years managing a ¼ acre of USDA Certified Organic greenhouses and a ¼ acre of NFT hydroponics greenhouses producing food crops that were distributed through Kroger, Wholefoods, and Sprouts grocery chains. In the same time period, I worked in a ½ acre Controlled Environment Agriculture propagation range that was automated with Priva Integro,” Green said.
From there Green branched into retail management, using his knowledge and experience as a Colorado Certified Greenhouse Grower, to run a Denver garden center for Rocky Mountain Ace Stores, before his hobby life and his professional life intersected.
“I started growing cannabis indoors at 18 and had grown substantial gorilla grows in mountains as a pastime every summer with my friends. My friends and I began a collective and by the time I was 21 had we worked on and off at smaller cannabis shops helping them set up and run their grows through and had supply agreements for access to our cannabis,” Green explained.
“From there I was hired by MJardin Group, a cannabis management consulting company in Colorado. While there I helped run and manage grows throughout Colorado, Nevada, Hawaii, and Canada.”
“I worked with MJardin for seven year and did a wide variety of jobs from entry-level Cultivation Technician through becoming an Operations Manager; moving back from Hawaii I became a Research Technician, and my final position was Fertigation Manager for North America. While Fertigation Manager, I oversaw crop health for 12 hydroponic production facilities throughout North America.”
In June of 2021, Green left MJardin to take on the role as Director of Operations at Glaze Cannabis.
What came first for you, a passion for plants or cannabis?
My interest in plants came first, I was inspired to learn where medicines came from and how they were manufactured at an early age. I had interests in Chemistry and Botany in high school during which I spent a lot of time researching plant-based medicines, alchemy, and essential oil manufacturing. I began to manufacture plant extracts and tinctures when I was in high school then continued through college in a small commercial kitchen we rented when I started to grow cannabis for my first patients. Alchemy has always been an interest of mine and the creation of medicines was right in line with my interests and quickly become a lifelong passion.
What does medical marijuana mean to you?
For me, medical marijuana means an option for patients. It empowers patients and gives them a choice of what to put in their bodies. For me helping patients have an option and empowering them is what medical marijuana is all about.
How big is the Glaze grow ?
Glaze Cannabis has just under 30,000sqft of flower canopy with 7 flower rooms each having 3560 ft2 of rolling benches. Each of our flower rooms are currently loaded with 1080 plants spread across 8 to 10 different cultivars totaling 7560 flowering plants. Our vegetative growing rooms are on the same corridor as one another, each room houses multiple production batches at different ages totaling 4680 plants in various-sized containers. Our propagation room houses 4000 to 6000 rooted and unrooted clones, and we have 500 to 600 mother plants in a separate room as well.
What information can you give Greenway readers about your grow method?
Glaze Cannabis is grown 100% indoors in a Controlled Environmental Agricultural facility. We utilize Argus controls and have a full integration for lighting, climate control, CO2 supplementation, fertigation, and alarms. Our different grow rooms use variable light intensities and spectrums curated to each of the plant’s morphological growth phases. We plant in a renewable OMRI Certified growing media, blend custom fertilizers, and use a variety of organic compost teas. We do not spray pesticides as part of our integrated Pest Management Program. At Glaze, we employ biological, beneficial, cultural, environmental, and mechanical controls, but the crops are never sprayed with pesticides. Our team at Glaze focuses on plant health care and promotes a clean culture to keep the pests below the economic threshold to warrant chemical treatment. We use DIF, DIP, and planed deficit irrigation techniques to improve flower set and quality. We use hyper oxygenated water filtered through glass sand rather than using wasteful Reverse Osmosis water purification for water treatment. The hyper oxygenated water free of chlorinates and heavy metals promotes faster ripening and better nutrient uptake increasing flower quality characteristics. This technology allows our Horticulturists to grow cultivars other commercial grows cannot. At Glaze we supply our plants water and nutrients using drip irrigation which decreases waste and pollution increasing sustainability. We utilize a cultivar-specific approach to cultivation methodology; each cultivar is pruned and trained differently to promote the best quality flower with uniform size. We have a 10 to 14-day flush period prior to harvest where we give plants only purified water. After flush we harvest, then we have a slow dry process where we dry at 60f and 60% humidity. Following our slow dry all cannabis is cured for a minimum of 14 days prior to being sold.
Tell us about your genetics and what went into your selection process.
For us there is a growth and quality characteristic that must be met before a strain is ever considered for commercialization. Genetic stability is really the first, we determine stability by performing stress tests. We ensure that we have genetics that can preform under a variety of conditions while still putting out consistent quality that is free from contaminates. We look for different growth characteristics in vegetative and flowering phases while trialing different cultivation methodologies to ensure the genetics fit with our program. Outside of meeting our standards for growth and stability we select for uniqueness and appeal. Our cultivars are all either loud or flashy, but there is absolutely something special about every cultivar we choose to keep here at Glaze. To us it’s not just about potency here for us the best phenotype is the most balance providing the most thc while also not sacrificing terpene content. Every phenotype we select is laboratory tested and then hand selected by our team.
What makes good flower?
Good flower starts with genetics, quality ingredients, quality materials, and passionate people. Quality cannabis comes from attention to every detail during the entire production process and its takes passionate people to do this. Quality comes from genetic selection, cultivation methodologies, harvesting techniques, drying and storage conditions, input materials, and the right equipment to achieve your quality goals. For me quality cannabis cannot be rushed, it’s about harvesting when the crop is perfectly ripe, a cold slow drying process, followed by a minimum two-week cure, and a quality trim. A lot goes into growing quality cannabis, but really the drying, curing, and storage are just as important to making great quality as the genetics and ingredients that are used.
What makes Glaze-grown cannabis unique?
Glaze Cannabis is unique because we take a holistic approach to cannabis cultivation. We plan each detail of the production phase, we have the right people, technology, and materials to consistently execute throughout all phases of production. Our passionate teams and their consistent execution promote consistent crops. Our consistency and passion are what truly set us apart.
What is the biggest obstacle you face with a grow like this?
The biggest obstacle with a grow of this scale is maintaining consistent quality with each production batch. Our crops take about 180 days from the time we start mother stock to the time the crop is sold which means there is a lot of time for variability. There are a lot of departments: cultivation, sanitation, harvest, dry, cure, packaging, and fulfillment each playing a huge role in putting out quality cannabis. Maintaining our infrastructure, motivating and training staff to execute consistently, are the greatest obstacles when standing up facilities like this. It’s easy for one person to grow some great cannabis, but it is an amazing accomplishment for a team of over 100 people to come together and produce as much high-quality cannabis as Glaze.
What lessons have you learned from day one to now?
I’ve learned that growing cannabis at this scale is truly about teamwork and passion. There is no amount of money that can make someone care about what they are doing, and it takes a passionate person to care about their quality of work consistently. I have learned to work each day to day to nurture the passion in each of our team members.
What are some pet peeves you have related to cannabis; growing, knowledge, or otherwise?
I think my biggest pet peeve about growing commercially is when people say, “How hard could it be it’s just growing a weed?” There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be a cannabis farmer, but it’s far from easy. When I see an operations team make it look easy, for me, it’s truly an homage to their abilities and their working toward mastery of their trade. To run cannabis businesses of this scale it takes being 100% dedicated and being present in the moment every day.
What’s your favorite cannabis cultivar and why?
Boulder County Island Sweet Skunk is my favorite cultivar. This strain takes me back to a special time in my life. It reminds me of the friends that I have made, and the experiences cannabis has given to me. The cannabis culture today isn’t what it used to be a decade ago. ISS reminds me of what it means being a part of this industry, the life that cannabis has blessed me with, and the opportunities I have today. I hope I never forget where I came from and how I got here. The smell and taste of ISS remind me every time what freedoms cannabis has given to me.
What are the most important things when growing cannabis?
For me the most important thing when growing cannabis is precision environmental control throughout the entire production process. Hygiene is equally as important because without sanitation protocols your product will never make it to market. A thoughtful Integrated Pest management program is paramount to success. IPM itself relies on both precision environmental control and quality sanitation protocols to prevent pet and pathogen introduction. Plant Health Care really is about cultivation methods, material inputs, and crop nutrition. Having a well-thought-out and dynamic PHC program will keep your garden consistent. Beyond those genetic selection and stability are the key to having consistency in the event of variability.