From the outside, a 50,000 square-foot cannabis cultivation facility doesn’t look like all that much. But inside Method Grow is an intricate maze of sterile rooms, cutting-edge technology, and hardworking staff dedicated to different phases of the cannabis harvest process.
Method Grow, founded in 2019, prides itself on being the most data-driven horticulture company. At any given time, it’s collecting thousands of data points about the cannabis it’s growing.
“We want to make sure that we have collected data at every different point of the process,” says Daniel Husted, President of Method Grow. “We're collecting data from everywhere — from the nutrients that are coming out of the irrigation equipment, to the moisture contents of the foam blocks, the vapor pressure deficit, the humidity, the temperature, the par of our lights, and how much lights these plants are getting.”
Most cannabis businesses in Oklahoma are focused on staying afloat and thinking about expanding, but Method Grow is a step above.
It’s focused on perfection.
“I try to look back at how many times a plant, a flower, will get touched before it goes out the door. It's 20 times. It's a lot,” says Daniel. “And all the touches really help us with our quality. And, really, it gets looked at every stage to make sure it's perfect before it gets put in that bag for the final sticker to go on, before it's shipped out and sent to a dispensary.”
‘I was carrying around so much cash in a bag’
But getting to this point hasn’t always been easy, says Daniel.
Before it found a cannabis-friendly bank, Method Grow dealt exclusively with cash. This was both inconvenient and dangerous.
“I was carrying around so much cash in a bag, and thinking to myself, ‘Why am I doing this? This shouldn't be a regular part of business,’” Daniel says.
So Method Grow started working with a bank, which relieved its dependence on cash. But the bank’s services were costly. Plus, it was constantly making mistakes.
“They were just really expensive. You're paying thousands of dollars a month per account and you have to have multiple accounts for licenses,” Daniel says. “There were some other service things that we had issues with, whether it's, ‘You delivered cash to the wrong bank,’ or, ‘You did this. Drive here,’ or ‘Call this other person.’”
Daniel and his team started looking for another bank. He said most of the banks that claimed to have a cannabis banking program didn’t really — instead, they’d transfer him to a “guy in a back office that kind of has an idea about the cannabis business, but he really doesn't understand what's going on.”
It wasn’t until they met Deborah Lin, Assistant Vice President and Senior Cannabis Banking Lead at Blue Sky Bank, that the Method Grow team felt like they’d found someone who was highly qualified and knowledgeable in the cannabis banking space.
Since working with Blue Sky Bank, Method Grow has taken advantage of many of Blue Sky Bank’s Cannabis Banking services, including armored cash pick-up for both their cultivation facility and dispensary and merchant services so they can accept debit cards.
“Blue Sky Bank was easy. They saved us money. They provided us better services,” he says. “And we've seen just amazing things they've provided, just relationship-wise and giving us access to all kinds of things.”
Method Grow produces approximately 200 pounds of cannabis every week.
The facility operates on an organized weekly harvest schedule:
Mondays are for cutting clones, which are clippings from a single marijuana plant that are then used to propagate and create a duplicate of the parent plant.
Tuesdays are for harvesting, Wednesdays are for cleaning the facility, Thursdays are for repopulating the rooms with new plants. And so on.
It takes about 20 weeks to go from clone to a finished product in customer’s hands. In that time, they grow for a few weeks, then flower, then get harvested, dried, bucked, trimmed, tested, bagged, and shipped out.
“It's really amazing to see where we've come, from where we started. We spent time years ago in Colorado and these other states looking at other grow facilities, and trying to emulate them,” Daniel says. “And now, we've surpassed them. We produce very high quality and at scale, and we found a way to really do it well.”
“World domination,” says Daniel, laughing. “We jokingly say that, but we're going to see what opportunities arise. We want to be the best that we can be at everything, and we want to be the best in Oklahoma.”
Starting out as a medium-sized grow, Method Grow has since expanded into one of the largest in Oklahoma. It also opened a dispensary in Broken Arrow, and started another grow business in Maine.
“We're just going to take it day by day, just getting better every day, and then choose where we're going to go from there,” Daniel says.
He says Method Grow is poised to take advantage of opportunities that come up, largely in part to having a solid bank on its side.
“With Blue Sky Bank, we really feel a stability and security that they're going to be here, we're going to be here for the long run, that they've done things properly, and they've laid the groundwork to know that we really have a safe and secure process and a service from them,” Daniel says.
In the meantime, Daniel says he knows he can always pick up the phone and call Deborah when he has questions or ideas to discuss.
“Deb's been amazing. It's amazing to have a person you can just talk to,” he explains. “I can just talk directly to the person that knows cannabis banking, that already knows my struggles.”
At the end of the day, Daniel says he owes the success of Method Grow to his talented team of 60 employees, and a bank they can rely on to keep them safe and compliant.
“We just want to run a business. We don't want to have to deal with being scared for our safety and our employees safety,” says Daniel.” “Blue Sky Bank helped us find a way to make that a lot simpler, a lot safer, and a lot more standardized, and a lot more normal. We were really able to get a secure process that really just helped streamline everything for us.”