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Weed Win Win: A Look at Other Businesses on the Fringe

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With the cannabis controversy wilting away, this multi-billion dollar business is stirring up a potpourri of business ventures. From software development, delivery services and cuisine connoisseurs, the weed industry is sprouting new and innovative entrepreneurs every day. These three Southern Oregon businesses have caught the wave being felt around the world:


Andrew Valente (left) and Scott Liljeros, owners of The Shady Gardener. Photo courtesy of Shady Gardener

The Shady Gardener Soil and Hydroponic Garden Supply opened in 2015 and have since doubled their space, adding a 1000-square foot warehouse to their 800-square foot store in Shady Cove. They are a local supplier of products for outdoor, greenhouse and warehouse gardening.

Along with soil amendments, cloth pots and greenhouse equipment, such as air conditioners, they stock basic soil that growers can amend themselves.

“Everyone has their own recipe,” says Salina Piddington, store manager.. “I don’t think there are two growers out there who use the exact same thing all the way through.”

As the industry continues to grow, so does their need to keep an ever-expanding stock of products available to the buyer. “We probably carry ten different nutrient lines and now we have room to expand even more,” explains Piddington. Though specializing in marijuana, they can assist with any type of garden.

Owners, Andrew Valente and Scott Liljeros, work at the site together with other three employees. They expect to continue to grow based on their customers’ needs. “Since more growers are steering toward having supplies drop-shipped to their location,” Piddington says, “The Shady Gardener may expand into an agency assisting between retailers and growers in the near future.”

For more information call The Shady Gardener at 541-878-1444



Andrea Hudson, office manager at Rogue Staffing. Photo courtesy of Rogue Staffing

Rogue Staffing handles the needs of businesses and prospective employees in the marijuana industry. Opened in 2016 in Medford, the staffing agency can assist any state where the legalization of marijuana now creates employment opportunities.

“Farms can face a multitude of legalities and staffing costs,” says Rogue Staffing office manager, Andrea Hudson. “Applying our knowledge of human resources and Federal law helps to give an employee a legitimate job in the industry. ”Hiring an employee through the agency can cut costs for growers as well as offer applicants employment opportunities with licensed, reputable businesses.

Employees file taxes, build credit and can claim unemployment through the agency. “It’s a real job and there are a lot of perks that come with our services versus getting hired directly by a farm.”

Inspired by the agricultural history of southern Oregon, including the decline of the pear and timber industries, Hudson says Rogue Staffing is passionate about bringing to light the advantages the marijuana manufacturing commerce can offer to the community. “Growing up in this area, it’s been very hard to witness skilled, hard working people who just can’t get a job.” Last year they managed 175 applicants and she expects that amount to double in 2017.

Contact Andrea Hudson at 541-500-8844 or email orjobs@roguestaffing.com




Greenshade owners, Jonah Fence and Eric Kern, started constructing greenhouses in 2014, specializing in automated light deprivation design. This system allows growers to produce a higher yield of crops year-round. “Farmers could have as many as three to four harvests per season as compared to just a single in the fall,” says Fence.

Owners Eric Kern (left) and Jonah Fence at their shop in Phoenix. Photo courtesy of Greenshade

The popularity of their product has created more than double the amount of orders since they opened. “We do the install ourselves, design our own systems and back our systems with same day warranty service,” says Kern. After designing for the customer’s needs, initial fabrication is done at their shop in Phoenix before completing construction of the greenhouse onsite.

They’ve developed a light deprivation system that has a patent pending, designed from their understanding of the importance of maintaining an effective, reliable environment for the plants. “If the deprivation cycle is interrupted for any reason it can have a costly effect on yield,” says Kern.

Aware of the rapid growth of the industry, they aim to promote responsible farming practices. “We try to encourage passive ventilation, to grow without pesticides and with minimal outside energy,” says Kern. Their designs include touch screen, wireless and optional Smart Phone control technologies.

For more information visit their website at greenshade.com



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