About 200 miles east of Seattle, four young entrepreneurs are living the startup life in many of the same ways as Silicon Valley technologists. These guys aren’t writing code or creating the next 3d printing technology though. Instead they are wiring greenhouses, calculating nutrient formulas, and tweaking hash oil extraction methods.
The four twenty-something entrepreneurs have diverse backgrounds in politics, engineering, physics, and economics, but as so many students do, bonded smoking pot in college. After graduating from school and dabbling in the corporate life, the team converged in Washington on to use Miles and Connor Deife’s family farm for a large scale marijuana grow.
It took some convincing to get the family on board with the idea, as Miles and his brother Connor’s grandfather had once threatened their inheritance if they even smoked weed. As it turns out Grandpa Deife had a soft spot that you probably won’t find shocking; money. Miles and Connor’s mother was the one who pitched the idea to their grandpa, all but guaranteeing a return on his sizable investment.
The foursome got the ball rolling with $350,000 in capital and a 20 acre purchase of the family land. They submitted their paperwork to acquire three Tier 3 licenses (allowing for 21,000 feet of marijuana grows) back in December of 2013 and waited for their approval. Meanwhile they were each honing in on the task ahead, combing through every grow regulation, studying plant physiology, and fine tuning their leadership skills.
The team rolled up their sleeves and built out the grow facility by hand. It took the better part of a year to complete, working on things like constructing security fences, building the greenhouses, and wiring the facility by hand. As with any startup the guys wore many hats, worked through the night, and figured it out as they went.
Now that their grow facilities are built and operational, the young startup is moving full steam ahead. The team is processing marijuana into hash oil and say that they can make $40,000 a day doing so. Even with the high overhead of $10,000 monthly electricity bills, the team expects to pay off their $350,000 investment plus interest in early 2015.
The four guys are currently still sharing a small farm house (more like a frat house) and pulling all nighters. Miles spends most of his days making deliveries across the state and has secured a contract to turn 4 tons of marijuana into hash oil concentrate in the coming year.
It seems that the teams startup approach to the pot farm and entrepreneurial spirit will soon pay off. Big time. Similar to the Silicon Valley of the early 90s these guys got in at the ground level, and now the sky is the limit. As Washington and a slew of other states begin expanding their marijuana programs, this will be one of many more success stories of young entrepreneurs to come.