The Woody Nelson Story: An Homage to Nelson's Cannabis Legacy
The Woody Nelson Story: An Homage to Nelson's Cannabis Legacy
Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of British Columbia's snow-capped mountains and lush forests lies the vibrant town of Nelson, a community rich in history and culture with a profound passion for cannabis and the great outdoors. Here you will find Woody Nelson, Nelson’s first licensed producer and maker of top-tier cannabis, deeply rooted in the community and committed to excellence in cultivation, processing, and fulfillment.
Woody Nelson is not your average cannabis producer. The company operates out of a state-of-the-art 26,000 ft2 vertical farming and pharmaceutical-grade processing facility, custom-designed to facilitate a seamless synergy between nature and technology. The company, including its team of over 40 Nelson locals, demonstrates a commitment to community investment and environmental stewardship by utilizing practices that are socially responsible, environmentally sound, and economically viable.
The founders of Woody Nelson spent their formative years exploring Nelson’s mountains while propagating the free-thinking spirit for which the town is well known. After leaving to build careers and companies in technology and finance, they returned two decades later with a vision: to create something transformative for the community that enabled them to grow. They saw an opportunity to create a platform in the regulated cannabis space by harnessing Nelson’s innovative (and sometimes rebellious) spirit and its notable cannabis talent.
Woody Nelson embraces a 'biomimetic' growing methodology, drawing inspiration from nature to mimic plants' natural habitats and optimal growth conditions. The heart of this approach is their custom-blended True Living Organic Soil, or 'grow-nola'. Unlike other growing media commonly used in cannabis production, 'grow-nola' creates a synergistic habitat that enhances nutrient delivery without added chemicals, allowing beneficial microorganisms to flourish. This results in cannabis with complex flavours, unique cannabinoid profiles, and greater potency.
For those looking for a more grounded cannabis experience, Woody Nelson offers LoFi, a sub-brand focusing on full-spectrum CBD products. And for those seeking a first-class ticket to outer space, they have HiFi, offering solventless extracts made from carefully selected flower and extracted using only water, temperature and pressure.
In this Herbal Dispatch exclusive, we'll chat with Walker Patton, Chief Commercial Officer, and Tai Lyon, Director of Horticulture, to learn more about Woody Nelson's story and their vision for the future. We'll delve into their journey, commitment to community and quality, and how their innovative approach is shaping the future of the cannabis industry in Nelson, and beyond. Stay tuned for an enlightening conversation that promises to take you to new heights.
Roots run deep: Exploring Woody Nelson's connection to Nelson, BC
Nelson, British Columbia, is more than just a picturesque town surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. With its deep-rooted cannabis culture and love for the great outdoors, this vibrant community has had a profound influence on Woody Nelson, shaping the company's ethos and operations in significant ways.
Lyon attributes their distinctive work ethic to the cultural environment of Nelson. "We have a work hard play hard mentality that came from decades of being a mountain culture town that also happened to be ground-zero for cannabis in BC," he explains. This mindset, born from a community that thrives on both hard work and high-quality leisure, has been instrumental in defining the company's approach to cannabis production.
The influence of Nelson's culture extends beyond the company's work ethic to the very people who make up the Woody Nelson team. Lyon describes the diverse group of workers as individuals who share a passion not only for cannabis but also for arts, music, food, and mountains.
"We have a diverse team, many with decades of experience in cannabis, that share a passion for the arts, music, food, mountains and cannabis." This shared enthusiasm has fostered a unique company culture where employees are united by common interests and a mutual appreciation for the local community.
But the influence of Nelson's culture doesn't stop at the company's operations. It permeates through to their branding as well. As Patton elaborates, "Art, music, food, and mountains are important parts of the culture up here in the Kootenays so we found some fun ways to incorporate those values into our branding. Graphic language like the mountains is an easy connection but if you look closely, you'll also find some subtle nods to the region's legacy roots."
This nod to the local culture isn't just about paying homage to their roots, but also about maintaining the high standards set by the region's rich history of cannabis production. "As for how that shows up in our products, it's simple: Quality. Patton explains, “There's a rich history of cannabis in the Kootenays and the generation of growers who came before us set standards that the rest of our industry still struggles to meet. If we’re going to represent the region, we have to do it with those same standards in mind.”
Woody Nelson is more than a cannabis producer; it's a nod to the vibrant culture and high standards of the Kootenay region. By honouring their roots, celebrating the local culture, and maintaining a commitment to quality, Woody Nelson is shaping the future of the cannabis industry in BC and beyond.
Crafting superior cannabis: The innovative techniques behind Woody Nelson
At the heart of Woody Nelson's operations is their state-of-the-art vertical farming facility, a testament to their commitment to innovation, environmental stewardship, and premium craft flower production. This system, designed to span the boundary between analogue and automation, pairs the world’s finest cannabis growers with a next-generation environmental control technology and analytics backend resulting in unmatched product quality, consistency, and operational efficiency.
The facility, as described by Patton, is "built like an F1 car with an abundance of horsepower and technology."
However, such a complex system requires a dedicated team to ensure smooth operations. "It needs a pit crew," Patton says. "The commitment that our team has shown to keeping things running smoothly so the plants can live their best lives has been beyond impressive. You can see that same dedication throughout the team, and I think our brand’s successes are connected directly to those efforts."
Woody Nelson's innovative grow methodology sets them apart from their peers. They combine cutting-edge LED triple-stack racking with living soil organics in pots. This approach, Lyon explains, makes for a unique system that results in premium craft flower they can proudly stand behind.
"We irrigate primarily through a bottom flood and absorption technique that reduces the overall amount of water used with very little runoff," he adds. This method not only conserves water but also ensures the plants receive the exact amount of hydration they need to thrive.
"We have a balance of sophisticated technology and automation combined with a manual, hands-on approach that ensures the plants receive the attention they need when they need it and where it counts," Lyon shares.
By blending advanced technology with traditional cultivation practices, Woody Nelson has created a unique system that stands out amongst its peers. It's a one-of-a-kind operation that yields premium craft flowers while reducing environmental impact.
Balancing act: Merging tradition and technology in cannabis cultivation
At the core of Woody Nelson's unique growing methodology is their use of Living Soil Organics. Lyon explains, "Living Soil Organics, one of the key components to our system, offers a bio-diverse and balanced nutrient media for the plants to thrive in by ensuring all the macro and micro needs are met throughout the various key stages of growth through to harvest." The 'living' aspect of the soil refers to the biology at work - beneficial microbes breaking down nutrients and making them available to the plant in a process known as nutrient cycling.
"Our job is to ensure, through consistent testing, that the soil stays within a range and amend as necessary with additional organic amendments throughout the life cycle," Lyon shares. "What we've noticed is a greater and full terpene expression growing in organics with some of our genetics that we've been growing for years using other methodologies."
This commitment to sustainable practices extends beyond their cultivation techniques. "We're constantly thinking about sustainability and in a variety of ways," Patton says. Their facility in Nelson, BC, for instance, incorporates a host of technologies designed with sustainability in mind, including LED lighting, water, and soil systems. "Our commitment to sustainability also shows up in our packaging where you'll see us lean away from plastic and into things that are recyclable if not reusable."
Through their use of Living Soil Organics and their dedication to sustainable practices, Woody Nelson is setting new standards in the cannabis industry. Their holistic approach ensures not only the production of high-quality, premium craft flower but also a more sustainable future for the industry as a whole.
Diverse product offerings: Woody Nelson, LoFi and HiFi
Woody Nelson's product variety is both expansive and innovative, catering to a broad spectrum of consumer needs within the cannabis industry. The lineup includes strains like Glade Runner, SSOG, Rainbow Driver, and sub-brands LoFi and HiFi, each with its unique qualities and value propositions.
Glade Runner, SSOG, and Rainbow Driver are standout cultivars from Woody Nelson, each bringing distinct characteristics, effects, and experiences for consumers. These cultivars embody the company's unwavering commitment to quality and choice, providing users with a range of options tailored to their preferences and needs.
On the horizon is the introduction of Purple God, a cultivar revered as a BC classic. As expressed by Patton, "It's a BC classic and one that really lives up to its name when done well. This cut came from a local Kootenay breeder and we're excited to see how it performs in our system."
Beyond these individual cultivars, Woody Nelson has successfully launched sub-brands that target specific market niches. LoFi, which focuses on CBD products, is one such brand. Patton explains, "Not many people know that LoFi was Woody Nelson's first brand. We saw an opportunity to disrupt the CBD market to the benefit of the consumer and found a way to do it without needing the licenses Woody Nelson was waiting for." This proactive approach has paid off, with LoFi becoming BC's best-selling CBD brand, underpinned by Woody Nelson's commitment to quality and transparency.
High Fidelity, another sub-brand under the Woody Nelson umbrella, specializes in solventless extracts. "They're part of the Woody Nelson family and have been making some of the industry's finest products for years," Patton elaborates. He further adds, "We're proud to have brought the HiFi brand to market and hope to offer a similar opportunity to others in the future."
Woody Nelson's commitment to delivering diverse, high-quality products is evident in its range of offerings. From strains like Glade Runner to sub-brands like HiFi, the company ensures it caters to a wide array of consumer needs and preferences.
The future is now: Woody Nelson's forward-looking approach
The future of Woody Nelson appears to be as vibrant and diverse as its product portfolio. With a keen focus on expanding its genetic variety, innovating in product development, and fostering collaborations, Woody Nelson is setting the stage for substantial growth and progress in the coming years.
One of the key areas of anticipation for Woody Nelson is the introduction of new cultivars from their extensive genetic portfolio. "We have a variety of genetics in our portfolio that are waiting for the right opportunity to enter our system so we're certainly excited for those," remarks Patton. Furthermore, the company is exploring strategic partnerships with other license holders for an exchange of genetics, optimizing cultivation environments for each unique strain. "On the product side, we'll continue to innovate and see what's possible. Jelly Doughnuts, anyone?"
Collaborations also form a crucial part of Woody Nelson's future. The company is actively engaged in discussions with various potential partners, exploring synergistic opportunities. "We're having some great conversations with a bunch of folks and just trying to figure out what makes the most sense for the market without losing sight of our core operations," shares Patton.
With all these exciting prospects lined up, the year 2024 could mark a significant milestone for Woody Nelson. Patton expresses his optimism, saying, "With any luck, 2024 will be a big year for Woody Nelson and our collaborators."
Charting new horizons: Woody Nelson's promising path ahead
As we wrap up our exploration of Woody Nelson, it's clear that this company is carving out a significant place for itself in the cannabis industry. With a robust portfolio of genetics, a commitment to innovative product development, and a drive for strategic collaboration, Woody Nelson is poised to not just keep pace with the industry but to lead it.
The company's dedication to broadening its genetic pool, pushing the boundaries of innovation, cultivating partnerships, and expanding its product range, sets it as a force to be reckoned with. The anticipation around what's to come in 2024 only fuels the excitement surrounding Woody Nelson's trajectory.
Patton sums up the company's forward-looking approach perfectly, "All kinds of fun: more genetics, more innovation, more collaboration, and more products. We’re excited to see how the industry evolves over the coming years and look forward to finding our place in it all."
Indeed, the journey for Woody Nelson is just beginning. As it continues to break new ground in the cannabis industry, consumers can expect even more top-tier, inventive products. And we, as observers, eagerly await to see what exciting developments this journey brings. The future is bright for Woody Nelson, and we can't wait to see what they do next.