Pure Ohio Wellness is a medical cannabis cultivator from Dayton, Ohio who has recently made the switch to Emerald Harvest nutrients. Click here for more information about Pure Ohio Wellness or visit their website.
We’re really excited about the success Growers are having with our products. We want to share your success and tell that story and help promote you guys and what you’re doing In the Cannabis industry.
As a quick aside, before we start, I was looking at your website and I see that Ohio only allows consumption of cannabis using vaporizers? It seems like there are very specific laws?
NICK PERSHING Marketing Director
Yes we have vaping only, and how the day’s work with patients can be confusing, and we sell at 1/10 instead of 1/8 compared to what most are used to. Working in compliance can have it’s moments of confusion but we are learning a lot and making the right moves going forward. We’re going to have our third dispensary open soon – Being a level 1 cultivator with three dispensaries… No one else in the state has that.
How long has PURE OHIO WELLNESS been around and how did you start?
Our grow has been operational for a little over a year with two dispensaries, one in Springfield the other in Dayton, and a third on the way in London, OH. Our Springfield location has been open for 7 months and Dayton for 3 months.
We’re level 1 cultivator which means we have 25,000 square feet for our grow but we can expand 25,000 more at a time and already have plans in the works to do so.
How do you feel your startup went?
It was without a doubt a learning curve for both ourselves and the state with it being a new program. Just like any startup, it comes with the ups and downs. As the program grows, adjustments have been necessary to ensure that how we go about being medicinal is best for the patients. Our team has expanded and those who are still with us truly enjoy what they do and the cause that they contribute to. I myself have been with the company since the beginning and how we are today compared to my first day here is a night and day difference for all the right reasons.
Can you sell your products to other dispensaries or are you exclusive of your own brand?
Yes we sell to other dispensaries – our Pure Ohio Wellness brand is offered to other dispensaries. We also have a brand called Locally Grown which is only available at our dispensaries. At some point we’re going to have a boutique line that will be top cola, hand trimmed strains offered in glass containers that we hope patients can bring back to be recycled. Our products have been available in nearly every dispensary in the state of Ohio.
Did you start with Emerald Harvest or did you start with another brand of nutrients?
JOHN NUGENT Cultivation Facility Manager
We started with another large manufacturer – The original management had made a contract agreement with them – Now that we can take a look back it is quite a bit different than what the emerald Harvest line is. I hate to say the word ‘antiquated’… But I don’t think their nutrients have been tweaked or touched in 15 years. Since the original formulas came out
And they were, quite frankly, little to no help when we reached out to them for help about how to boost or how to change or line – we never heard from them so it was a lot of trial and error.
How did that affect the quality of your end product?
You could see lots and lots of salt build up. The plants would go through, well, it almost reminded me of the transition of potting shock – When they went from their veg cycle to their Bloom cycle they would almost immediately turn yellow. It was just the norm. and we were never really able to put a finger on why that was. Another thing was we would go well into week 6 or 7 before we’d start to get any of the smells when you walked in the room and now we’ll get a smell towards week two or week three in flower and down at that end there is quite a difference!
How do you find the Emerald Harvest formulation?
KYLE LEWIS Head of Cultivation
I tend to like the Emerald Goddess a lot. I use it exclusively in the Mom room. I noticed a lot of the Honeycomb has really brought out a lot of the terpenes that we haven’t been able to achieve before. I use Cal-Mag every third week and Sturdy Stalk silicate when they’re very young.
The Mom room looks exceptional. We can get usually about two good rounds of clones off of them – but around month number four or five they start kind of looking tired as most moms do when you get a good couple rounds off of them.
But, I was always an organic grower – and so I can’t stand salts. I don’t like AB salts – I’m not a big A&B guy. I don’t like to use salts. We found that in veg bringing it back a bit on the nutrients and putting them on cruise control seems to be a little bit easier on our plants. And then going into flower just getting improper and giving them what they need it seems like it’s making a difference.
Did you use our straight out-of-the-box nutrient feeding program or did you already have an established regimen that you followed?
Well I think it’s a combination of both. Court has definitely come in and helped point out some things and helped us zero in on some specifics. A lot of it has been us doing some R&D as we’re trying to grow and learn a lot about our grow and the specific strains. As you well know, some strains tend to use more Cal-Mag than others along with other nutrients.
So we are downsizing our strains which is a ridiculous 35 to 40 strains and we are going to get that down closer to 12 or 15; that way we can really dial in on our strains.
A lot of it has been just trying different methods – We were going from easy cloners, into ones and then into fives. That didn’t work real well so now we’re going from easy cloners into fives and then just watering them, easing them into Emerald Goddess and that seems to be working great.
We’re right in the middle of R&D on a lot of stuff and so we’re still getting dialed in on a few things but all in all we’re getting pretty close on figuring out what nutrients we’re needing at what times for certain strains.
Have you noticed a difference with your end products in switching to Emerald Harvest? Or have your end users noticed the quality difference?
I would say, at the end of the day, yes. The terpenes have definitely come through a lot more than what they ever have before so that has been a big plus. We’re still working on improving our yields and something we’re trying to dial in during our flowering to try to bump up our yields a little more.
We’re still trying to zero in on that because we’ve had a half of a grow that’s hooked up to a Dosatron and half the grow that gets hand watered so it gets a little entertaining when you’re trying to figure that kind of stuff out but I think we’re starting to zero in on that.
Yield is something that we’re starting to compare right now. We’re starting to look at a lot of the different yields we’ve had prior to using Emerald Harvest compared to now so we’re still playing with those numbers.
Are you able to command a higher dollar for better product? Or is it government controlled pricing?
The state always us to determine our pricing for products. The lower priced products always do well and the patients appreciate medicine that will not break the bank.
The terpenes are a lot better just by looking at the COAs, and we have a lot of patients that come in that are specifically looking at terpenes
People a lot of times come in and they say “The doctor recommended I look for this terpene.” We do our best to provide as much information as possible so that the patients feel more comfortable and confident in the decision they make for the medicine they feel will work best.
Ever since we switched to Emerald Harvest our THC levels have gone up. Back in the day we were happy to get a 23% or more but lately the results have been consistent in the tier 2 range. We have a Chiesel here that tends to land in the high 20s, low 30s each time so the consistency is great to see. That being said, as great as high THC numbers can be, we understand not all patients are looking for the high THC strains. So if we do test at lower numbers we know that there will be patients who are happy to see a more comfortable THC level at a lower price.
We’re the most affordable flower in the state. There are plenty of high THC strains available here in the state of Ohio, but not all can be the most affordable. To buy a tenth for $60 and up is a small group of patients who can afford that as medicine that they use on a daily basis.
Our goal is to always offer quality product at the most affordable prices. We are known for it and we want to continue to be known for that. We understand some patients come from a long way so to offer a range of products at different price ranges – their drive will be worth it. As we continue to build our brand and improve our product, the experience for the patients will only get better with time.
It’s kind of a different scene with it all being medical here because rec, as we all know, is a whole different ball game. With us being medical we have a lot of people that aren’t looking for the super high THC. They’re just looking for something that will help them with their ailment.
We all know that recreational is coming so it will probably be here in the next year or two. We are trying to prep ourselves for that.
How important is the EH piece to ensuring your final product is as clean and as healthy as possible being a medical cannabis product?
That plays a huge part because we are medical and we want to make sure we are producing clean medicine for everybody. And all in all, we’ve started passing almost everything. We’re really starting to hit our stride with that.
We were failing a few things that we are passing now. I don’t know if it’s a combination of Emerald Harvest and the State Testing Labs figuring things out, getting it coordinated. But I’ll take it.
Is clean Testing on the minds of consumers? Or do they just assume that all medical cannabis is safe and clean?
I think it does weigh on the mind. A lot of people want to make sure they know what they’re getting. Because if they can get it cheaper down the street on the black market they will… But if they know they can get it for almost the same price at our place but it’s ran through a lab and doesn’t have any molds or metals and wasn’t grown with Miracle Grow or sprayed with Roundup or something… It does make a difference. I think people are willing to pay a tad bit more for something that they know has been ran through a lab, is clean and natural. Rather than getting it on the black market and God knows who and where they’re growing it and if it could have mold and spores and stuff all over it and you’d never know it. So I think it does make a difference being medicinal. If we were a rec state it might be a different story. But being medicinal, people do look at that.
Are our nutrients playing a huge roll in that piece?
Yes. That and the overall cleanliness of our facility. We are very hardcore with the cleanliness of our facilities.
Because it’s a medical product you must treat it with that level of care and pride that is reflected by your operational practices?
Absolutely our whole purpose is to make sure we’re getting medicine into people who need it. If we’re not doing that we’re doing something wrong.
As the only legal tester of your product are you noticing potency or flavor differences?
I’d say yes. We’re still working on our curing process today to nail that down a little bit better seeing as how we’re such a large-scale grow. Trying to get it to cure proper and still be able to provide a lot of cannabis real quick is quite an interesting process to figure out.
Everything that has been done properly I’ve noticed a big difference in strains that I’ve had before like our Blue Hash, Chiesel, Pineapple Trainwreck, along with a few other strains. I can definitely tell the difference from just opening up the container, the smell, the taste and the overall effect. I definitely say we’ve improved all those categories.
That’s awesome. This has been fantastic. We definitely want to reconnect and stay in touch, especially in a year or so when the state flips over to include recreational cannabis use. It would be great to see how you’re doing in that new market.
Everyone here is a big fan of the product and everyone here is rockin’ the shirts and the stickers. They all love the stuff.
Court has been awesome. He’s welcome here like a family member when he shows up and I think he enjoys being here as well. Since he is not here all the time, he is able to really see the improvements.
It’s really great to have him here. He is willing to work alongside with us to try things that keep pushing us in the right direction. He is a team player and that’s what we all need in this industry. One person cannot do it all and having Court as part of our team is greatly appreciated.
ABOUT PURE OHIO WELLNESS
Pure Ohio Wellness is an Ohio based company founded by Larry Pegram, a world champion level motorcycle racer from the Columbus area. As a professional motorcycle racer, Larry witnessed his colleagues turning to narcotic pain medication to manage pain caused from injuries sustained while racing and decided there had to be a better way that didn’t include medication with a high probability of addiction.
Once Ohio opened the medical marijuana program, he felt called to lead the charge. This led to his business model that is based in creating natural medicine made from the highest quality nutrients and organic materials that will offer the patients of Ohio medicine of the highest quality that is also affordable.
Most of us here at Pure Ohio Wellness are lifetime Ohio residents and will only produce products we feel comfortable selling to our family and neighbors. We are a Level 1 cultivator, but at heart are a small family of passionate people growing from years of experience in all areas of agriculture that have come together with the common goal of making medicine that will help people and will not harm them by putting products into the growth that could cause unintended side effects.
At Pure Ohio we strongly believe that our products are superior due to the diligence we use during each step of production, from seed to sale. We feel passionate about helping our community and our planet. Our goal is to leave our community a better place that we found it. Pure Ohio Wellness puts that into practice in how we cultivate as well as at our dispensaries by creating an atmosphere within each location that allows for creativity, learning and kindness.