Welcome to Outside-In with DCN where we interview upcoming startups and businesses in the cannabis industry. Each interview you will get to meet the founders taking a leap into building a company they believe in. Gain knowledge of their services, their mission and what makes each of the unique. On this Outside-In, with DCN we spoke with Jennina Chiavetta of Legacy Nursery.
Meet Legacy Nursery
Legacy Nursery is a California cannabis nursery currently in the recreational permit process. They are the farmer’s solution for consistent high number orders while also providing genetic banking. One of Legacy Nursery’s primary goals is to get a lot of the classic strains dialed in and create new more outstanding cultivars. You can find them geeking out on Genetics, just as much as they are in production, they will be doing quite a bit of research and development, pheno-hunting and breeding. In reality, a lot of what you see on the market today is very similar when you consider the entire cannabis spectrum. Hybrids, bred with hybrids… they want to take it back old school and work from there.
Meet Jennina Chiavetta
Jennina grew up in Modesto as a 4-H/ FFA kid; she is a UC Davis graduate, collegiate division 1 water polo player. As a retiring athlete, she began to run into many issues, her body and mind needed significant healing. Not only was her body in physical pain but the transition from being an athlete to not was extremely hard. This was when she turned to cannabis and became a patient. Cannabis healed her into being whole again.
This transition immediately made her grateful for the plant. She then put her energy into the cannabis industry and started to work for the American Medical Marijuana Association, and Ed Rosenthal’s Green-Aid doing fundraising and activism. During her cannabis journey, she began to meet a lot of great growers and finally, it all came together. She knew that her agrarian past had positioned her to take the leap and start growing and healing herself. She then moved from the bay area to Tahoe and has been an indoor grower for the past 12 years.
DCN: How did the company evolve?
Legacy Nursery: I’ve been a medical grower for 14 years. Naturally, as a grower, I got more and more interested in genetics. When the time came to pick what tier I wanted to focus on, I decided to go the nursery route. There was a lack of consistency I saw as a grower, and I wanted to solve that problem for other farmers in the industry. There is a huge need for quality, consistent, vigorous genetics. There is also a need for some of these popular hybrid cultivars to be reinvigorated.
DCN: We would also like to state, congratulations, Legacy Nursery applied in Stanislaus County for two licenses and were scored number 1 and number 2 in the entire process. What was the process like? What does this now mean for Legacy Nursery?
Legacy Nursery: Well, we are still in the process. It started last year around September. The permit process is definitely a test of patience. We just started construction! In the interim, we are partnering ourselves with other great breeders and farms in the industry to help find new genetics and get our product lines dialed in for next grow season — just a few more hurdles before we can be operational.
DCN: Legacy Nursery’s primary focus will be on genetics and cannabis clones, why is this an essential need for the cannabis industry?
Legacy Nursery: I think it’s fair to say genetics is the most important. Vigorous starter plants result in vigorous growth to maturity. In this highly regulated market, you can’t gamble on genetics. If there is inconsistency in your genetics, there will be inconsistency in every aspect of your business, from timeline to product line, and most importantly your bottom line. Brand consistency is meaningless if your product isn’t consistent.
DCN: Legacy Nursery is currently in the land use and developmental phase, with California becoming a regulated industry, what pain points or changes have Legacy Nursery had to overcome to get you to where you are today?
Legacy Nursery: Nothing is as painful as being a medical grower in the pre-legal age. Trying to navigate those grey waters was stressful. Peeking out my blinds constantly and having a bug out bag ready to go… now that is painful! We are living the dream now. I can finally come out of the grow closet! I’m so proud of my work, and now I get to share my story with people.
DCN: I am very excited to hear that your facility will have a tissue culture lab, for those unfamiliar with this, can you share more into the tissue culture lab?
Legacy Nursery: Tissue Culture is a way of reproducing genetics. The process produces clean plants. It rids the issue of systemic problems in a plant. It solves the problem of genetic drift of mother plants. It’s a way of us cataloging and preserving cultivars. It is also infinitely more earth-friendly, mostly due to the fact we will use a tiny percentage of water compared to a regular mother plant system. It is the way the rest of agriculture has been supplying farmers with starter plants, now it’s time cannabis follows suit. With tissue culture, we can reproduce higher quality and higher numbers of plants in a much smaller footprint.
DCN: How can we as an industry find a way to make sure that we are building an infrastructure that includes the cultivators and operators who have been doing this well before cannabis became an industry?
Legacy Nursery: Everyone has a responsibility for their reality and future. Realize your strengths and position yourself to be of use. If you can’t obtain permits, get creative. There is no reason a person with years of intellectual property to get dusted if they try a little bit to evolve with the market. If you have true value companies with the legal pathway will realize and you will get work.
DCN: We have found that at times so many companies, especially in this space, are working so hard that many forget to celebrate the good things along the way, what is one accomplishment, goal or milestone Legacy Nursery has achieved that you would like to share with the DCN audience?
Legacy Nursery: Setting the bar for our County! I naturally thrive on competition. When I knew my business plans, and the entire application would be compared to other companies, I guess that just lit my fire. I honestly had no idea how I would stack up. I just knew I needed to turn in my application with no regrets, no wishing I had tried harder. I knew I had one chance to make my dream a reality. Finding out my applications scored 1 and 2 was a huge perspective shifter and tremendous validation that I was on the right track. It was the proudest moment of my life. It blew a lot of self-doubt out of my head, which has now helped focused my drive.
Realizing Legacy Nursery is a woman-owned business. I never like to use that as a crutch. I’m used to being the only woman in the room, but to be a woman in the cultivation tier is pretty darn unique and I’m proud of that.
DCN: What’s next for Legacy Nursery?
Legacy Nursery: Build out, finally! We are converting an old barn into a lab, and we have started pouring concrete for our greenhouse compound. I think when those walls go up it will start to feel more real. As we wait for our permits, we are developing relationships with other farms and companies.
DCN: Thank you, Jennina, for giving our readers more insight into Legacy Nursery and what you and your team have been working on the past year. Before we let you go, any final words to share with the DCN audience?
Legacy Nursery: At Legacy Nursery we will be offering health benefits, profit sharing, and a 30% higher rate of pay than the county average (which is higher than the state average). Our employees are our tribe; we want to keep quality people around us. Hopefully, our pay structure nurtures that. We want to make everyone feel as though Legacy Nursery’s success is their success.
To learn more about Legacy Nursery, please visit their Facebook Page.
Want to follow them on social media, visit them @legacynurseryca
Want to stay updated on the latest tech, entrepreneurs and innovative companies in the cannabis industry, click here.