We're off to meet the wizardz, the wonderful wizardz of Oz (Gardenz)
We are definitely not in Kansas anymore. But rather at an unassuming business park on the northside of Bellingham in Whatcom County, where a Tier 1 indoor cannabis producer is very quickly making a name for themselves, in the very competitive market of artisan cannabis.
Oz Gardenz (cue the orchestra and emerald green glowing lights)
Delightful and welcoming. Owners, Amy and Jonathan are just that. And why wouldn't they be? They're living the dream: growing a family business, growing cannabis - or as they like to say, "Spreading the Love".
But life was not always a bed of terpenes. Jonathan grew up in the idyllic Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle back in the '70's. After marrying Amy, his college sweetheart, the young couple went on to pursue a 30 year career in photography and video as they raised their 2 boys, Andersen and Parson. (Dad, fondly remembers sending the boys off to school each morning with one goal - "Spread the Love"). Life was good. But, when the recession of 2009 seriously began impacting their income, the family considered options (pivoting, before pivoting was cool).
Do what you're good at.
Do what you're passionate about.
The answer was clear: grow exceptional weed!
Originally launched September 25th, 2018, (after seeing a facility for sale on Craigslist) the farm has come a long way in a short period of time. Amy and Jonathan’s goals were simple: to create an epic brand and solid farm that could be passed onto their sons in a decade’s time. This left plenty of time for sons Andersen and Parson to 'blossom' into top notch growers and businessmen.
Oz Gardenz (the name just made sense for so many reasons) was born and the family was ready to "Spread the Love". For Jonathan, the resident “sommelier,” (who’d been illicitly growing and consuming cannabis daily since age 13), it’s been amazing getting to pursue “the thing I’m most at peace with” for a living, but, he says, “The most rewarding part is the whole family is working together for the first time ever.”
Jonathan and the boys quickly outfitted the barebones space with new rolling tables, checkerboard lighting patterns, dehumidifiers, raised ceilings and a double-tiered “vegroom” to increase the growing space. “The experience of getting the operation off the ground has been one that was never expected. Immense obstacles appeared, but in the end, our family has been brought much closer”.
Their openness has been received with open arms, with neighbors in their cannabis-oriented business complex freely sharing knowledge and offering support. Down the line, Amy and Jonathan are hoping to expand into a larger Tier II facility with an additional 10,000 square feet of growing space.
The Product Due to their stringent quality standards, not all of Oz Gardenz’ flower will make it to pot shops. “If it doesn’t have the effects, the look, and the smell, then we’re not going to take it to market,” insists Amy. Utilizing Jonathan’s penchant for exhaustive research, Oz has invested even more time and energy on phenotype hunting, refining their stable of nine strains out of more than 60 candidates. As well as developing “a broad spectrum of experiences,” they strive for flowers with a complex fragrance and bouquet, finding the combination of terpenes and THC delivers the best experience for consumers – some of whom can now identify their strains, like Slurricane or Truck Driver, through blind “scratch-n-sniff” tests alone. And since they always are looking to improve - watch for new strains like Og KB 2.1, High Octane, Grenadine, Mr. Big Stuff & Big Bums. Currently, Oz Gardenz' is rotating/producing about 27 strains like: Oreoz * Kitchen Sink * Tagalongz * Blue Cookies * Glookiez * Truck Driver and of course the all star, Gary Payton (now renamed Rally Man).
The reason for Gary Payton’s popularity is simple; it’s extremely high-quality cannabis. Born from a perfect cross between the Y and Snowman strains, GP will leave you cheerfully awake, yet relaxed. The high will last for hours and is especially great when used as a daytime strain. You can try to get work done, but will have much more enjoyment exploring the outdoors. Opening the jar fills the room with pure citrus and gas, letting you instantly know the quality on offer. Don’t believe us? Here’s a sample of what people are saying about Gary Payton on Leafly.
“This strain is absolutely phenomenal. Normally I will go through 1/2 oz in 2 weeks. A half ounce of this heavy indica lasted 2.5 months. It’s crazy. If you’ve never tried this strain don’t hit it like your normal strains. Try only a couple hits, because when the high hits, it hits hard.”
“I don’t know what to say besides the fact that I tried this strain, and from personal experience I can verify that this is indeed HIGH OCTANE GAS”
“This strain made my friend reverse puberty. He was talking in the highest voice possible for about 30 mins.”
“I think I can see now. This made me blind. Best thing on earth. We were hanging out in 2020 and an alien came up with bags of Gary Payton!” The Culture Ever since Parson and Andersen were kids, their parents would encourage them to “spread the love,” a Ross family mantra that’s now evolved into the Oz Gardenz’ business philosophy. “Once you spend the time and get to know the plants’ life-cycle,” says Parson, “you want to bring positive energy around (the plants), and make sure the whole business is run with positive energy.” All work is done by hand including feeding, watering and trimming the plants. The farm uses natural farming practices, including the use of beneficial insects, adding nematodes to soil, and C02 controlled rooms. "At Oz Gardenz, we treat our flower as family. We grow our natural cannabis with the same values that we live our lives – nurtured with care."
The Ross Family: (L-R) Parson, Jonathan, Andersen & Amy
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Bellingham Area Locations:
2018 Iron Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-11:45pm, Sun 8am-8pm
1706 Mt. Baker Highway
Bellingham, WA 98226
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am-8pm
4770 Pacific Highway
Bellingham, WA 98226
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 8am-10pm