Yesterday, I went to Anacortes to visit North Coast Growers, and got the tour of a lifetime. I met operations manager, Robert Atterberry at the door, and first thing’s first, he sprayed my legs and the soles of my shoes with rubbing alcohol to kill any unwanted invaders. Being a pesticide-free facility, this extra step is part of their "prevention is key" philosophy to pest management.
Once inside, I was struck with how sprawling and busy the facility seemed. There were rooms, hallways and staircases in every direction I looked, with music playing and people bustling about moving plants, trimming, talking, laughing. My first impression: This is a busy, high-production facility that cares about safety and knows how to treat its people (evident by all of the smiles and general good vibes).
Robert and I were joined by co-owner, Will Riegel, who started North Coast Growers with his old high school friend, Matt Sampson in the spring of 2015. Will explained what North Coast Growers is all about.
“Our vision has always been about providing the highest quality product at the lowest possible price—and variety. A major part of what we do is offer variety. We have about 80 strains that we’re flowering out right now,” he says.
They use Gavita grow lights, rock wool for flowering, and coco for their mom plants (these are growing mediums used instead of soil). Though North Coast does have a few proprietary growing techniques, their process isn’t what Will would call ultra-revolutionary. They just grow really good weed in a really efficient manner. “We combine some old technology with some new technology, and a lot of years of experience from several different people to put together a system that produces predictable results,” says Will.
We head over to what Robert called the ‘mothering space,’ which is a forest of towering female plants whose sole purpose is to provide clippings for clones. Some of these plants are over seven feet tall, with stalks that look more like tree trunks than plant stems.
A woman named Tracy is tending the plants. Her favorite part of the job? “The people are really great and the plants are fascinating—how fast they grow, and how different one strain is from another. I love getting to see all the transplants, starting them out from clones, and building them up big,” she says.
Robert walks me upstairs and we look out over the canopy.
Here are some clone clippings going into rock wool.
This is the ‘veg room’ with the Gavita lights, where baby clones are nurtured and grown into ‘teen’ plants.
When the plants are ready, they get moved up into the flowering room, where the buds grow and mature, developing all of their magical terpenes and cannabinoids. Robert rolls up the door and music blasts out with an orange glow and dank aroma that all overpowers the senses.
We check out some trimmers at a table, doing some “bucking, or deboning,” as Robert calls it. This is essentially a preliminary, rough trim before the fine-tune trimming happens.
And then into the dark, drying and curing room. It’s too dark to get a shot, so Robert brings out a stainless steel container of trimmed Purple Persuasion to look at.
It takes about three months to go from baby clone to finished product. Once everything is trimmed, and cured, it gets packages and labeled. And that’s where the North Coast Growers story continues. If you’re familiar with this grower, you know they use amazing artwork on their packaging—it’s practically collectable. And its uniqueness really helps set the North Coast Growers brand apart on the shelves. They work exclusively with one artist, Jessica, of Slow Loris Studio, in Anacortes.
From mother to clone, to the artwork on the bag, North Coast Growers is a well-oiled machine, with a clear direction and intention in mind. Given their insane variety, and availability, and knowing the product is 100% chemical pesticide-free, makes this grower a natural go-to brand.
2020 Solutions carries many strains by North Coast Growers, but they sell out fast. Be sure to check our menu or come in and ask your budtender for availability.
2018 Iron Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-11:45pm, Sun 9am-10pm
5655 Guide Meridian
Bellingham, WA 98226
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 9am-10pm
4770 Pacific Highway
Bellingham, WA 98226
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-10:00pm, Sun 9am-9pm
Phone: (360) 734-2020