Smokey Point Productions – Arlington, WA
Smokey Point Productions (SPP) is a massive indoor tier III producer/processor in rural Arlington, Washington, with staggering production numbers, a ravenous following and some of the best working conditions in the industry. Brand Director Craig Davis tells me, “We’re all about the industry and people. We want to work hard here in Arlington, get our flower out to the world, and re-invest in our infrastructure. This isn’t about getting rich quick.”
Owner and president Brian Lade, his wife Courtney Lade, and right-hand man Daniel King had been growing since the medical days before I-502. When they started SPP, it was important to bring in the family-centered vibe they were used to.
Today, their roughly 80 employees—mostly from Arlington and surrounding areas—are very well taken care of. “We’re proud of the fact that every single one of our employees is full-time with full benefits,” says Craig, adding that the company pays 100 percent of those benefits. “We want to attract good people and keep them.” And there are other perks, like a facility-wide sound system with music, lavish locker rooms with fresh, laundered uniforms waiting for them each day, and a well-thought-out infrastructure that allows for an efficient, employee-friendly workflow.
The sheer size of SPP’s facility is mind-boggling. The main building alone measures 75,000 square feet and houses a quarter-mile of sealed production rooms. They harvest 200 pounds of flower per week, and can extract—get this—16,000 grams of concentrate per day. Yet, even at this gargantuan scale, SPP still hand-waters and hand-trims everything. You’ll see gardener-friendly innovations like custom hose carts for easy irrigation, and a walk-in pressure-washing station for cleaning their rolling tables after each harvest. They do automate some processes—soil mixing and potting, for example. “But we spend as much hands-on time with the plants as possible,” Craig says.
SPP specializes in high-grade, pesticide-free flower and concentrates. “We’re very proud of our oil,” explains Craig, “but we’re growers first.” He proudly shows off a pouch of predatory mites, or “beneficial bugs” (a natural alternative to harmful pesticides) and points out some of their proprietary strains: Lodi Dodi, Dirty Girl, Cinderella’s Dream, Blue Cinex and—new on the scene—Illumidodi.
I ask Craig how someone can become so adept at deciphering—and therefore, breeding—the subtle nuances that differ from strain to strain. He says, “When you harvest on a cycle every week, you see so many variables. After fifty crops of Hindu Kush, you know Hindu Kush. But we don’t get hung up on particular strains—we try to keep it fresh. We do a lot of trial and error and keep movin’ forward, movin’ forward, movin’ forward.”