Comstock's magazine 0818-August 2018 - Page 57

atory practices by some commercial property brokers, the company eschews traditional commercial facilities in fa- vor of souped-up, modular shipping containers for its grow spaces that are discreetly tucked away inside nondescript industrial warehouses. Individual containers are easier to make compliant with odor and security requirements, Az- imi says. The build out also costs less, the grow rooms are portable and having multiple contained spaces limits cross- contamination from common cannabis concerns like mold, mildew and bugs. “You probably can’t do anything terribly significant in this space for less than seven figures.” — Daniel Conway, managing partner, Truth Enterprises Each grow chamber — which includes roughly 500 square feet of plants in 8-foot-wide containers that vary in length from 10 to 40 feet — is automated for water, tem- perature, lighting and security. “We have heavy technology Nasser Azimi, of Ohana Gardens, uses shipping containers integration. We did that for operational efficiency, but also for his grow spaces, which helps prevent potential cross- to increase transparency,” says Azimi, who routinely gives contamination in his plants from mold, mildew and bugs. tours of Ohana’s facilities to regulatory officials. The verti- cally integrated operation covers a total of 22,000 square feet across multiple locations and cities and includes cultiva- “Right now we are small but growing organically across tion, manufacturing, distribution and a high-tech delivery the state,” Azimi says. “We do a considerable amount of cus- system that attempts to combine an Amazon-style point-of- tomer retention, which is how we keep up with the big boys. sale experience with an Uber-like delivery structure. And we do it smart, in an efficient fashion with an extensive Ohana originally started in 2014 as a medical marijuana amount of research and technology integration.” business that was self-funded by the entrepreneurs. Fol- lowing the passage of California’s Proposition 64, which UNDER ONE ROOF legalized the adult use of recreational marijuana in No- Launched in December 2016, Sacramento-based We Grow vember 2016, the company added recreational cannabis. CA began as a real-estate property management company The business has expanded its grow operations outside specializing in leasing and developing commercial canna- Sacramento to San Diego and Long Beach, and has landed bis space. Co-founders Guy Matalon, Ori Bytton and Barry its first retail facility in Emeryville. The company plans to Shy — entrepreneurs with years of industry-related experi- significantly expand its retail operations. While Sacramen- ence in commercial sales, real estate and solar technology to is currently not permitting additional facilities, Azimi — originally hailed from Israel. Matalon and Bytton have has storefront operations in the queue for San Diego, Long been in the states for a decade; Shy joined the two co-found- Beach, San Bernardino, Hayward, Modesto, West Holly- ers two years ago. Now, they are also developing their own wood and Santa Monica. large-scale cannabis operation that will cover all aspects of August 2018 | comstocksmag.com 57