CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 14 Sci-Fi & Fantasy - Page 66

there is now a state-of-the-art, State-licensed cannabis grow operation. The mastermind behind the operation is Kirk Mercille. Growing up a short distance away from Tacoma in the small bucolic town of Gig Harbor, WA., Mercille studied Commercial Aviation at the University of North Dakota where he had intended to become a commer- cial pilot. During his sophomore year, 9/11 oc- curred abruptly ending his dreams of flying. Mercille moved back to the Pacific North- west where he began working as a General Contractor. During this time he recruited his lifelong friend Chris Petrinovich. As the laws changed in Washington State it became legal to grow cannabis for medical purposes, Mer- cille and Petrinovich began to dabble in the medical realm. This is where the two devel- oped a passion for growing. The laws in Washington began changing. Mercille, sensing the tide was turning to- ward full recreational legalization, realized that medical cannabis was on life support as recreational stores come online. Mercille rea- soned why would the state keep open medical dispensaries and recreational retailers when they would reap much more tax revenue from closing down medical and forcing people to recreational shops. He and Petrinovich began making plans to apply for a 502 license, which would allow them to build a legal recreational grow facility. After some fits and starts, the duo landed at the old Nalley Valley factory located in Taco- ma, Washington. Because they finally had an address for their grow, they were awarded Tier 3 502 Producer and Processor licenses. The pair has spent 2 1/2 years building out what was once an empty barebones ware- house into a state of the art cannabis grow facility. Using investment from friends and family Mercille and Petrinovich have toiled without pay. Sacrificing short-term financial stability for their long-term vision the two have never given up.