Respect My Region recently visited Pot of Gold for a tour of their cannabis operation. Smaller farms tend to attract us the most, and this tier 1 facility left a great impression. Located in the industrial district of Tacoma, Pot of Gold lies in an unsuspecting building surrounded by other large warehouses.

Jonathan and Ray, two buddies from college, have created a beast and their tight-knit crew is producing stellar product. Cookies and Purple Punch have captured many local cannaseurs’ attentions and Pot of Gold’s is right up there with the best around Washington.

What Is Pot Of Gold?

A passion for exracts and quality cannabis power Jonathan and his business partner Ray’s thirst to produce cannabis. Before the introduction of this system, they would spend 2-3 hours hand watering rows and rows of plants. Each row of plants sits on elevated platforms constructed out of 2×4’s and metal roofing panels that are utilized to create an easy way to drain excess water. The panels are slanted towards a troft in the middle to collect water. While some farms utilize large buckets or pots for each of their plants, Pot of Gold uses small mesh style containers. This style fits the growing medium that they use as well as how their method for delivering nutrients to their plants.

Pot Of Gold might not be the largest farm in Tacoma, or anywhere near the top (yet), but similar to the small local craft brewery, there is a passion for what they do. Paying tribute to the pioneers that paved the way for them, the people that got the dirt under their nails. There is a distinct appreciation for the people that came before them, who pushed the industry forward regardless of its legal status.

I sat down with Jonathan with a handful of interview questions. His responses provided a tremendous depth and understanding of what makes Pot of Gold tick and how they deliver constantly high-quality cannabis to their consumers.

Getting Started

RMR Visits And Interviews Pot Of Gold Cannabis In Tacoma

Photo Credit: Dyllyn Greenwood

RMR: How long have you been a part of the 502 industry? Where you a part of the medical industry beforehand?

Pot Of Gold: We’ve been working to launch our i502 company since 2013; there’s miles of red tape to navigate and we were a bit late to the initial licensing party. My partner and I have been committed full time since January 2016 to Pot of Gold. Ray worked in the medical industry up here for a couple years prior to 2016 where he cut his teeth and began cultivating the Girl Scout Cookies.

RMR: What brought you into the cannabis industry?

A lifelong passion in a few good things. Ray and I have been dreaming of opening a business together and making a go of things ever since we first met at college. Things started with much more humble dreams: maybe we would open a sandwich shop or two together ~ We had graduated and started getting busy in a few different directions with life’s pressures, but we gravitated back together when opportunity struck. Ray had been growing and planning for it, and I saw an opportunity to support his passion and build a real organization around his skillset. I have been a passionate consumer of cannabis for over a decade at the time; together we knew it was too good a chance to not bend over backwards for. Ever since we’ve been fueled by our love for the plant, enjoyment of the high, and desire to deliver those quality experiences to as many as we can.

Problems With Washington State Liquor Control Board

RMR: Which 502 regulation do you see as the most unnecessary or cumbersome? Do they hinder your farms growth?

Pot Of Gold: Perhaps the most cumbersome regulatory experience we’ve had was the rollout of the new state-wide traceability system at the start of this year. We were a fledgling company, just booking our first harvest and trying to call retailers for the first time to showcase our flower. The state had a contract with the previous system providers that expired, and they were hustling to install a new system. Unfortunately, it seems like not enough work was going into the revision ahead of time, and the whole statewide industry lurched towards this mandated expiration. We were left trying to operate in a tightly controlled regulatory environment without a functioning traceability system, something the state is meant to provide, as well as demanded we use. Long story short: it was really tough as a tiny company, trying to make good first impressions, getting stonewalled by computer technicians and regulators because the computers weren’t working right.

RMR Visits And Interviews Pot Of Gold Cannabis In Tacoma

Photo Credit: Dyllyn Greenwood

RMR: What 502 regulations would you change if you were the WSLCB?

Pot Of Gold: I think there are pros and cons to every regulatory choice. In my opinion, one regulation that has an outsized impact on business here is the separation of producer and retailer. The general market structure makes growers in Washington state have to work doubly hard. If you study other state’s marketplaces you can find vertically integrated businesses able to deliver from seed to sale to their consumer. This lets them take home more margin and essentially frees up resources to deliver higher quality experiences.

Pot Of Gold Values

RMR: What are the company values you and your employees adhere to?

Pot Of Gold: Quality, family. We are a Tier 1 shop, significantly smaller than most of the businesses around Washington. Each crew member we have at our table has an outsized impact on our product and culture. We work to stay tight together and support each other through both our work and life. The world can be very difficult, we try to respond to that with consistent hard work. Just like each crop offers different challenges, and we meet it with dedicated cultivating every day. Bottom line: we work so hard in order to be confident in our flower – Just as we wanted the public to be confident when they reached for our jar too.

RMR: What activities do you use cannabis to enhance?

Pot Of Gold: Talks with friends, walks around the city, music enjoyment, concerts and shows, video games and stories are some of my favorites. Sleep!

RMR: Are there any pot celebrities that you look up to? Why?

Pot Of Gold: Deep respect to every cultivator who was working this industry since it was illicit – since before we had dirt under our fingernails. The real celebrities in this industry deserve to be the individuals who kept developing this plant and the medicine within since before it was mainstream; who made it apart of our American lives.

RMR: What did you do before cannabis?

Pot Of Gold: Before i502, Ray worked in the medical markets here. Before that, he had worked as a process auditor in finance. I was trying to open a restaurant with another friend, and working in securities consulting in the finance industry as well.

RMR: What sets your farm apart from the others?

Pot Of Gold: We are a Tier 1 trying to compete on quality with some of the biggest and best-organized companies in the state. What sets us apart and lets us deliver? We worked incredibly hard to plan this operation out and work doubly so to see it through every day. Its the standard we’ve set on quality, and the pursuit of perfecting this craft. We are at our facility seven days a week to make sure we deliver on this quality. Beyond that? It is just dedication. We hold our name in high esteem and do everything we can to uphold the high standards we set for ourselves.

Pot Of Gold, Cannabis And You

RMR: What are some of your signature strains or products that you produce? Which strain is your all-time favorite?

Pot Of Gold: I’d describe two of our strains as signatures: Girl Scout Cookies and Purple Punch. We’ve been growing this cut of GSC since medical days, and it has certainly helped put us on the map. She hits like a brick house, just that exotic head rush type of high. Secondly, something a little newer, is Purple Punch (the Larry OG x Grand Daddy Purple cross). We recently helped power Oleum Extracts to take home Runner-Up for Best Hash Infused Joint in Washington at the DOPE Cup with her. Purple Punch is a heavy smoking indica with a super-sugary appearance+nose, can’t miss the grape and berry aromas.

RMR: What qualities do you look for when selecting a strain to grow?

Pot Of Gold: First and foremost for me is Potency Profile, but there are many more qualities. To list a few: Aroma, Bud Structure, Resin Output, Genetic Stability, Strain Reputation.

RMR: Besides giving you an awesome job, what benefits have you experienced from marijuana?

Pot Of Gold: Cannabis has been a life-aide to me. It has been a part of my journey on this rock for the last half of my life. It’s been a conduit through which I discover new relationships, new passions, and new areas of intellectual curiosity. It’s one of the few things I’ve been able to find and unabashedly pursue my interest in. In both the consumption and the cultivation of the plant, it has enriched every bit about me.

RMR: What activities do you use cannabis to enhance?

Pot Of Gold: Talks with friends, walks around the city, music enjoyment, concerts and shows, video games and stories are some of my favorites. Sleep!

RMR Visits And Interviews Pot Of Gold Cannabis In Tacoma

Photo Credit: Dyllyn Greenwood

Your Stamp On 502

RMR: What do you want your stamp on the 502 industry to be?

Pot Of Gold: To be known as a little crew doing loud things. To deliver the Pacific North West some heady delirious highs, and help people feel confident that their free-time was well spent enjoying themselves.

RMR: Future plans for your farm?

Pot Of Gold: New strains, new product formats (blunts!). Tons of little process and engineering improvements that will help us get better and better at what we do. Many more years of hard work.

While Pot Of Gold might be a smaller farm, that doesn’t stop them from delivering a high-quality cannabis product. The two strains that they focus their time on are extremely well done. When you are producing a dozen or so strains it is easy for some to be neglected. That is not a problem you will ever experience with Pot Of Gold.

To learn more about specific strains from Pot of Gold, stay tuned for our West Coast Weed Tour reviews. There, we will go more in depth about the specific strains from the best cannabis farms on the West Coast.