While many people are trying to find a way to keep their doors open, Cannabis growers like Frontier Farmers are waking up to business as usual.
“I RECENTLY MOVED into a house across from my grow so I don’t go anywhere else really. It’s easy for me to wake up and be in my own little bubble,” explains Josh Hunter, manager and grower at Frontier Farmers in Palmer.
“I go to work and come back home, outside of a couple deliveries or paying bills.” With social distancing and federal protocols for Covid-19 in full swing, Cannabis businesses have been fortunate enough to remain open. Granted, there are still challenges.
“Getting cashier checks, paying bills, and getting ahold of companies we need right now are just a couple problems,” said Josh.
“Although, I have seen some great business changes to make things easier for us, like MEA [Matanuska Electric Association, Inc.], but it’s still pretty crazy.” Josh’s received assistance when their payment system was in flux – but with a simple call ahead – he was able to pay with no problem.
“All these government policies and protocols are crazy and changing really fast,” emphasized Josh. “We’re doing whatever we can to keep our people healthy, because we can’t afford to pay someone’s payroll for 10 weeks if they get sick. It’s a big deal and things are changing fast.”
Cannabis businesses are not eligible to receive financial aid from banks via the federal government, as they are still considered federally illegal. So, any expenses for these guys are coming out of pocket – at least for now.
On a more positive note, Josh had a chance to talk with me about their YouTube channel and “Grower’s Guide” – a series of videos aimed at helping new growers understand Cannabis.
“Growing weed is easy,” says Josh.
“It will grow outside – but growing great weed takes skill, knowledge and experience. We’re not giving out all the secrets, but it should help people become more happy with their products.”
Frontier Farmers started these videos a few months ago and have built a small library in partnership with Michael C. Marketing.
“We have an awesome marketing guy that helps us get out there in the market and produce our YouTube videos. He helped us to think outside the box, so we came up with these videos together. There are so many little parts to producing great weed such as curing, watering, nutrients, cloning, choosing strains and more,” explained Josh.
“We try to talk about what products we use, how we use them and why,” Josh said. “We have a lot of knowledge to share and we want people to avoid all those problems.”
Josh plans on continuing to provide these invaluable pieces of grow knowledge. “We hope to keep doing these videos and reach more people. With veterans out there needing care, new growers getting supplies in Alaska and a thriving Cannabis community, we’re hoping viewers take advantage of this.”
Josh Hunter, manager and grower at Frontier Farmers in Palmer
STORY by MICHAEL CONSALO for ALASKA LEAF