Mythological trickster inspires cannabis producers
By Patrick Wagner
SHELTON, Wash. – In Native American mythology, the rogue raven is a mischievous deity who stole the sun from a wealthy chief and shared it with the world. After long consideration, the team at M&R Distribution adopted the folktale protagonist as their namesake and launched Rogue Raven Farms.
Company: Rogue Raven Farms
Owners: Marc Van Driessche and Brandon Becker
Location: Shelton, Washington
Operations: Indoor, 30,000-square-foot grow operation, using 1,000-watt high-pressure sodium lights and a soilless grow medium
The company is owned by Rick Becker’s brother, Brandon, and Marc Van Driessche. They recognized that the supply and demand that pushed wholesale prices to more than $7 per gram wouldn’t last forever. Wanting to make a good first impression with consumers, only the company’s “A-grade product” is sold under the Rogue Raven label.
“People were so happy with what they got,” Rick Becker said. “If I paid $20 for a gram and it wasn’t that great, I probably wouldn’t buy Rogue Raven again. I think that played a big part of establishing our brand. We weren’t compromising our quality for a dollar.”
Flowers that don’t make the cut for the Rogue Raven label are sold through different product lines, depending on retailers’ needs.
“A lot of the stores want diversity,” Becker said. “They want to be able to sell budget marijuana. They want to sell B-grade. They want to be able to cater to all of the needs of the customers.”
Rogue Raven Farms has steadily grown in revenue and scope. The producer’s concentrates, vape pens and CBD products, as well as flower sold under different brands, can be found in nearly one-third of Washington’s recreational stores.
The company is now expanding to include a 2,000-square-foot commercial kitchen for its upcoming line of edibles.
“It’s not just about selling weed,” Becker said. “It’s about branding, strategizing, marketing, building a brand and having people on your team that can fulfill and orchestrate plans. That’s one of the main misconceptions about this industry: Everyone thinks that they can grow weed, but there is a little bit more to it than that.”
The company meticulously schedules its crop cycles at the 30,000-square-foot indoor facility to create a perpetual harvest. With plants flowering each week, the cycle keeps the year-round staff of 40 employees busy and retail stores’ shelves well-stocked.