On We Grow: Looking Back & Moving Forward
Looking Back at 2023: The Year of the Pivot
2023 has certainly been an interesting year! We have enjoyed the ride of the first full year of adult use cannabis sales in Vermont. Setting up numerous cultivation facilities, and watching our legacy growers transition into the legal market has been a BLAST! We are honored to work with so many wonderful cultivators, and thank each and every one of them for making Growpro a part of their growing business.
In cannabis advocacy, we focused our efforts on hemp after receiving a cease-and-desist letter early in the year from the Vermont Cannabis Control Board, asking us to remove legal hemp products from our shelves. We fought to maintain access to affordable, high potency hemp products, and worked with the board to advocate for small hemp farmers. Unfortunately, the board went on to implement some of the strictest hemp rules in the nation, causing a fairly significant loss of hemp sales revenue at Growpro.
We tried like heck to get our expansion project off the ground at “Growpro 2.0” but were unable to break ground this year due to soaring construction costs and banking shenanigans. This delay, coupled with the effects of Vermont’s new hemp rules, required us to take a pause and pivot. Focusing on what we had in hand, we began redesigning the shop to add a cannabis dispensary, and began converting our legacy grow into a licensed grow facility.
Over the summer we raised our shelves up higher and moved just about everything in the store around. We built some partition walls for our new “store within a store” concept. This will allow us to keep Growpro open to minors shopping with parents, and have a 21+ only space for the dispensary. Miraculously we have not lost any inventory selection, and don’t worry, we remain committed to maintaining one of the best stocked grow shops in the state!
Our cultivation company, Easy Green Genetix, received it’s Tier 1 Indoor Small Cultivator License in October, and we recently completed our first legal harvest. Kendall is so excited to share his passion with our community, and boy oh boy, does he grow some amazing fire!
We received our dispensary license approval from the state on December 20th and are wrapping up approvals needed from the town. We look forward to launching The Hidden Grove, sometime in the end of January. You’ll find The Hidden Grove in our former “Pots & Containers” aisle. Yes, the irony of that is certainly not lost on us!
Looking Forward: On We Grow Into the Next Decade
As we grow into 2024, we look forward to celebrating TEN YEARS of business at White River Growpro! WOW! TEN YEARS! We look forward to adding to our amazing team – hey, we’re hiring for the dispensary! And we will continue to build on our vision as we work our way towards realizing our plans to build Growpro 2.0, a 4700sq foot building housing an expanded garden center and an indoor cultivation facility, with an epic permaculture teaching garden and community food resource located on the grounds. Side note, if you are interested to invest, or donate time to the community garden project, let’s chat!
We’ll be bringing on new fertilizer lines and introducing new bulk buy programs to help support our licensed cultivators and small hobby growers. We’ll be building out more cultivation facilities as our farmers find their footing in the new market. And we’ll be mastering the navigation of running not one, but two highly regulated businesses, allowing us to provide even better guidance and support to our farmer partners.
The Hidden Grove will provide a unique opportunity for us to share our cannabis ethos with the community. As we have always done in hemp, we will partner with brands who meet our standards for quality, affordability and ethics, brining you the best of the Vermont cannabis industry through our curated collection. We also look forward to offering clones for those who prefer to grow their own, a service our Growpro clients have been dying for. We can’t wait to provide you with an epic clone library to choose from!
The future is bright, the future is uncertain, but it will certainly be another wild ride. On we grow!