How Redding’s Growing Cannabis Economy Continues to Thrive
Redding’s cannabis economy, a new hub creates a buzz
Happy friday! The country’s largest hydroponics retailer is buying from local businesses, a sign of growing Redding’s green economy.
David Benda, Redding Record projector
Redding has been described as an emerging cannabis market.
What happened recently may not be a better example of this.
The country’s largest hydroponics retailer has acquired The Harvest Company from Redding.
The purchase by GrowGeneration Corp. The Harvest Company stores in Redding and Hayfork bring GrowGen’s number of locations to 55 in the United States, including 20 in California.
Michael Salaman, president and co-founder of GrowGeneration, told me that he had known Harvest Company founder Robert “Bear” Masterson for several years, and had watched the business grow through the growth of the cannabis economy.
Salaman said they were looking for “the best of their breed” hydroponic stores and Harvest Company certainly fit that mold.
“He’s just running a big deal and we’ve been talking for several years and we finally came up with a deal that we closed last week,” Salaman said Thursday.
The acquisition comes on the heels of The Harvest Company opening a second location in Hayfork in March.
Together, Harvest Company has 16 employees, and they will be retained by GrowGeneration, said Masterson, who will also remain in an advisory role.
“We have built an incredible team and incredible clients. What I would like people to know is that our whole team is staying and they will have 401 (K) plans, healthcare, vacations, ”he said.
GrowGen operates retail hydroponic and organic garden centers that cater to cannabis growers. He sells supplies for growing cannabis outdoors in soil and indoors with a hydroponic setup using rock cubes and water pumps. Customers can purchase nutrients in 55 gallon drums, grow lights, soil, organic fertilizers, water lines, fans, air filters, dehumidifiers, and other products.
Salaman and Masterson said you can’t overestimate the effect of cannabis on the hydroponics industry.
“It explodes,” Masterson said. “Redding is an emerging market and there are only 500 cultivation licenses in Trinity County. So that’s a sleeping giant on the hill over there.
“It’s been really great, you talk about the green wave,” said Salaman, whose company is headquartered in Denver.
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Established in 2014, GrowGeneration’s 2020 revenue topped $ 190 million, up from $ 30 million in 2018. Its revenue is expected to exceed $ 400 million in 2021. The public company is listed on the NASDAQ under the GRWG symbol.
Among the sites that GrowGeneration is working to open in California is a 70,000 square foot big-box hydroponics center in Long Beach.
GrowGeneration’s mission is to come into communities and buy from existing retailers like The Harvest Company, invest in the city, and be part of the environmentally controlled farming industry, Salaman said.
“GrownGen will offer customers better prices, more inventory and more choice,” he said.
Alex Price, who runs the Redding and Hayfork sites and has worked for Masterson for five years, said GrowGeneration provides access to products and other things The Harvest Company doesn’t have.
“I think it’s better for us and better for our customers,” Price said.
And GrowGeneration’s Redding store on Athens Avenue will move to a larger location later this year, Price said. He declined to say where at the moment.
When he started The Harvest Company in 2014, it was not Masterson’s goal to ever sell the business.
“But I saw the opportunity to partner with an operation that is growing, with almost 60 stores, and they are able to offer more opportunities to our employees,” he said.
Redding’s Green Corridor
Highway 273 / South Market Street is emerging as a haven for Redding’s cannabis industry with a growing number of marijuana retail outlets and grow and pack businesses.
Retail stores include Nug X Sundial Collective and Vibe – which also has locations in Sacramento, Stockton, and Portland, Oregon.
Cannabis grower Wicked Gardens opened in March 2020 on South Market Street, near the Good News rescue mission.
In September, the city approved an 11-acre marijuana-making operation east of South Market Street on Technology Way. The business is owned by Ryan Muse, a native of Redding who also owns Shameless O’Leery’s Irish pub downtown and is working to open a restaurant / bar on Hilltop Drive inside the old Bleacher’s Sports Grill building .
And on June 8, the Redding Planning Commission is expected to review a planned cannabis distribution and cultivation plant for Cedars Road west of Highway 273 between Concord and Branstetter lanes.
According to a notice sent to neighbors, Ally Farms LLC wants to construct three commercial buildings on seven acres of land.
The three buildings are said to have a combined area of 109,300 square feet – the largest at 49,500 square feet.
The city’s planning department did not respond to an email requesting more information. A representative from Ally Farms could not be reached for comment.
East Redding Mall awaiting approval
June 8 should be a busy afternoon for the Redding Planning Commission.
In addition to the planned large cannabis operation, the commissioners will occupy the proposed Holiday Marketplace mall at the corner of Shasta View Drive on Hartnell Avenue.
The vacation store would be 30,000 square feet and surrounded by a drive-through Starbucks coffee shop, a Quick Quack car wash, a fast food restaurant that still bears the name, and other small retailers.
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The sign marketing the center also shows a Chevron gas station, but Ken Miller of Northstate Commercial Partners said it was premature.
“Let’s just say it’s a brand name yet to come,” Miller told me.
The center will also include a self-storage facility. The developer requests that this part of the property be rezoned from its designation of shopping center to heavy commercial to accommodate the storage units.
If the project is approved on June 8, Miller said grading work could begin this summer.
“I know they want to act quickly,” Miller said of the developer, a joint venture of North State Grocery Inc., which is the parent company of Holiday, and TJG / Summit Development.
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David Benda covers business, development and everything going on for the USA TODAY network in Redding. He also writes the weekly column “Buzz on the Street”. He is part of a team of dedicated journalists who investigate wrongdoing, cover the latest news and tell other stories about your community. Join him on Twitter @DavidBenda_RS or by phone at 1-530-225-8219. To support and perpetuate this work, please subscribe today.