Who is growing Washington’s weed?

Jul 21, 2014, 5:52 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2018, 12:58 pm
Tahoma Growers are hoping to pass their August inspection, and they share what the process has been...
Tahoma Growers are hoping to pass their August inspection, and they share what the process has been like and what it's like to participate in this historic Green Rush. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

It is now legal to buy cannabis from a pot shop, but the stores sold out of weed right away and haven’t had anything to sell since. That’s because growers are still waiting to pass state inspections. Including Tacoma’s Michael Ross who is president of Tahoma Growers, a budding marijuana growing business. Michael says he smokes everyday but he’s never grown pot before.

“By day, I’m an accountant. Been an accountant for ten plus years so that’s kind of a reason for getting out of it, right? You know, I’d rather count plants as opposed to numbers.”

But because someone needs to know how to grow, he’s assembled his dream team.

“I am more sales and marketing,” says Shelby Talmadge. “We have Tony who has 20 plus years of growing experience. My sister is the CFO, so, financial. We also have Josh who is our Chief of Engineering. He can build anything you put in front of him.”

Shelby says Tahoma Growers will be inspected on August 15, and if they pass, they will be allowed to legally grow and supply marijuana to state run pot shops. Last year, Michael bought some land in Goldendale, WA, applied for a license to grow on the very last day possible and has been working on getting everything ready for the inspection, which means investing tens of thousands of dollars, in the hopes that he’ll pass.

“Specifically it’s a lot of cameras,” Michael says. “They definitely want to keep an eye on the inventory. That was the biggest issue with the permitting process, was making sure there are enough cameras to cover all the blind spots. They really want to do this right, I think.”

The cameras must store footage for 45 days, so the growers are completely monitored.

“They have every plant with it’s special barcode,” Shelby says. “They track it from beginning to end. They know exactly where each plant is going so it’s very scientific. Essentially, they’ll know your entire inventory from day one. How many seeds you have, how many plants you have, everything.”

The government doesn’t demand it, but Shelby says Tahoma Growers are 100 percent focused on growing green, in more ways than one.

“Some farms haven’t been conscious about the environment and they use these pesticides that are very harmful. It’s crazy, some of the things they’ve been using. Being ahead of the curve, we’re going to go completely eco-friendly. We’re going to use GenHydro products where they have a whole organic line. We like to support small, local businesses. But our whole vision is to really help other farms that are going to do the same, and keep Washington green and keep it beautiful.”

Besides the fact that it’s unhealthy to smoke pesticides, Shelby says animals have been affected on some California farms.

“There was a rodent in the area that was eating the smaller rats that were eating the pesticides and it’s actually now on the endangered list. To put an animal on the endangered list from farming? That just seems a little backwards.”

The whole team is learning as they go, just like everyone else participating in what’s been called the wild west of weed. And Michael still can’t believe he’s really doing this and that it’s legal and completely transparent.

“It’s mind boggling for me to think I’m talking to people at work about this and I’m sitting here on the radio telling people that I smoke. That’s how it should be. We shouldn’t have to hide things that what we enjoy.”

Well, sometimes. Sometimes hiding what you enjoy is best.

Your Last Meal

Ron and Don

KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio

Last night was Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio.
4 years ago
Kelly Herzberg in her natural habitat. (Photo by Rachel Belle)...
Rachel Belle

In Seattle, a personal shopper and stylist who only shops at thrift stores

If you think you can't afford a personal stylist, head to the thrift store with Sweet Kelly Anne Styling's Kelly Herzberg who will pull hundreds of pieces for you to try on.
4 years ago
Viaduct waterfront...
Ron Upshaw

What do we do with the waterfront after the viaduct is gone?

After the viaduct is taken down, we'll be left with a choice: What do we do with one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the country?
4 years ago
Ron Upshaw

Shower Thoughts: Ichiro can give Mariners fans something to root for

Rumor has it that Ichiro might make a comeback next year, and I for one welcome it.
4 years ago
Border wall...
Ron Upshaw

Trying to figure out why people want Trump’s border wall

A little over 40 percent of Americans now support the idea of a border wall, but what is it about it that seems so attractive?
4 years ago
Dan McCartney, Pierce County Sheriff...
Don O'Neill

Why you could hear kids’ voices on Pierce County Sheriff radios Monday night

Sometimes, "gone but not forgotten" isn't always how slain officers are remembered. But in Pierce County, a special effort is being made to commemorate a fallen deputy.
4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Who is growing Washington’s weed?