In this Grow Op Overview, we speak with Matthew Morgan, CEO, and Darren Carpenter, Director of Cultivation for Tryke Companies, the holding company doing business as Reef Dispensaries.
Matthew Morgan: Tryke is the holding company for Reef Dispensaries, our trade name. Technically, there are 3 different Tryke companies and each Tryke company works in a specific geographic location: Arizona, Southern Nevada, or Northern Nevada.
The same executive operating team runs all three companies, and each Tryke does business as Reef Dispensaries. We currently have 10 office directors and 250+ employees spread over the three entities.
Matthew Morgan: Tryke is currently operating about 100,000 square feet of cultivation space between Arizona and Nevada, with the potential to grow another half million square feet, if the demand is there.
Why grow in Las Vegas?
Matthew Morgan: Tryke originally started in Phoenix, Arizona, but we wanted to be financially stable. When we saw that there was a good chance to go recreational in Nevada, we found a building close to the Strip where we could flagship indoor cultivation.
Indoor/Outdoor/Greenhouse and why?
Darin Carpenter: Our operations are designed for indoor cultivation, because of location and regulations. In the Southwest, we have cooling issues to deal with. If we built a greenhouse in the middle of Phoenix, the costs would be as much as an indoor grow.
Darin Carpenter: Both facilities combined are growing about 30,000 different plants. Our genetics lockers have about 200 strains, but we are currently growing about 50-60 strains.
Darin Carpenter: Our strains are selected based on supply and demand with an extra rotation to keep our retails fresh with new inventory so that our patients don’t get bored of the same flavor.
Feeding Style and Media
Darin Carpenter: We use a top-down, drip-fed, drain-to-waste system. We grow with Coco Coir and Grodan rockwool.
Darin Carpenter: We make our own nutrients. While the mixture is proprietary, we keep it fairly basic. The mother plants are treated more delicately, so they get a different feeding regimen.
Darin Carpenter: We use a preventative IPM strategy that allows us to pass state requirements. Every room gets looked at every day. I can’t disclose too much more because it is one of our competitive edges.
Darin Carpenter: Nevada law requires us to test for:
- Pesticide residue
- Colony forming units (CFU) of microbes and fungi
Darin Carpenter: About 10% of our facility is propagation, another 15% is for veg, and the flowering rooms are about 75% of each facility.
Darin Carpenter: We follow the industry standard: T5 bulbs for propagation, metal halide lights for veg, and HPS DE for flowering. HPS in veg also works well. We use a custom paint spec for higher reflectivity.
Matthew Morgan: We have a building management system that runs automatic nutrient dosing and automatic feeding systems in addition to environment controls. It was custom designed for us by a controlled environment engineer.
The Tryke Perspective
MJ Freeway and the Repercussions
Matthew Morgan: We lost seven figures in revenue because of the MJ Freeway fiasco. People were working 18-hour days to move us over to a whole new platform, but we had no choice.
Now we’re using a hybrid system: We use BioTrackTHC and Microsoft accounting software for midsized companies. The software has multiple functions:
- Coordinates with BioTrackTHC.
- Tracks our inventory.
- Acts as our accounting system.
- Tracks our analytics.
- Provides redundancy in case another event happens.
Matthew Morgan: We entered Nevada when the market was brand new. We had to quickly adjust in order to stay profitable. Our size as a company can make that difficult.
Matthew Morgan: What’s going on in the White House is really making it difficult to plan out our future moves. Our business model requires a thriving recreational market in Nevada, and we don’t know what’s happening with the current administration.
Matthew Morgan: Tryke is our biggest success. We’ve grown from one person to over 250 employees. We’re in great shape for our third anniversary.
Matthew Morgan: Our biggest regret is not lobbying harder in Florida. We had high hopes and they were dashed by their regulations.
Put it this way: A cannabis company cannot succeed under Florida regulations. Everybody there is hemorrhaging money. They’re receiving a ton of public backlash right now.
Advice for New Growers
- Don’t cut corners.
- Listen to people who have done this before.
Companies bring in people with zero experience because they don’t have bad habits to unlearn. We bring in people who want to work hard, learn, and come up in the industry.
This article has been paraphrased with permission from Growers Network.
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