Partner Highlight: HQ Farms

The GreenForce headquarters team got the opportunity to visit our partners over at HQFarms in Boring, Oregon. Having started their grow operation in 2010 serving medical patients cannabis, HQFarms has grown into providing high quality flower to both medical and recreational markets across the state. We got a chance to sit down with Camron Torabi and learn more about behind the scenes.

  • What type of cannabis business do you operate?

    We operate a Tier 1 OLCC state licensed producer.

  • What was your first experience working with cannabis? How has your view on the plant shifted since then? 

    I started growing about 11 years ago when I first got my medical card. Growing cannabis taught me patience more than anything, as naturally I am not a very patient person. My overall view has remained the same, and that would be love and gratitude to be able to cultivate such an amazing plant species. Of course I’ve learned a lot of great techniques through amazing friends, resources, and mostly trial and error.

  • If you could go back in time, what is one thing you would change about your operation?

    With regards to our current operation, I would have done the floorplan differently. To be more specific, I would have done square rooms instead of rectangular rooms. When we started building our current operation in 2016, I had only grown in garages and bedrooms up until that point so designing an entire facility dedicated to growing was totally new to me. With everything I was facing at the time, I didn’t put too much thought into the floorplan so I just went with what I thought would be easy and affordable to build out ourselves.

  • Who were your pioneers? Who inspired you? 

    I have been following medicropper and jungleboys for what seems like a decade now. I have closely followed both grow into the recreational market from the medical days.

  • What was your first experience consuming cannabis?

    I can’t remember too clearly, but it was with some good friends in my teenage years and I was obsessed with the plant afterwards.

  • What keeps you going?

    Being able to wake up every single day and do the thing I love. Since I started growing in early 2010, it has been a no days off kind of job, but when you’re doing the thing you truly love it never truly feels like work.

  • What challenges do you see on the horizon?

    Expanding past our current limitations. Being able to fund that expansion, and continue to keep up with the fast paced recreational industry. I consider this especially when things go national and large players consume craft cannabis in a majority of markets.

  • Who are your favorite people to work with? 

    If we’re talking about our farm, that would have to be all of them. Will, Avery, and Josh. On the GreenForce team that would have to be Derrick, Sam, and Alex, although we have worked with many GreenForcers that absolutely kill it.

  • What recommendations would you give someone looking to join the industry? 

    I’ve recommended quite a few people to GreenForce that are looking to get right into the industry and learn quickly. That would truly be the best way to experience dozens of techniques from start to finish of cultivation. The industry is extremely competitive and evolving – you need to know what everyone is doing to find where you fit.

  • What are some issues or difficulties you have run into when managing your business? 

    Running a cannabis business is very different than a typical business, and brings more struggles and regulations than most other businesses. I would say the largest difficulty is fully understanding all county, state and federal laws, specifically the detailed terminology surrounding these rules. A couple small and even honest mistakes could end your business relatively quickly. Taxes are handled differently as a cannabis business, especially with the feds/IRS – especially when it comes to what you can and cannot write off. We are a very audit prone industry so keeping fully legitimate books that agree with regulation is extremely important. Banking options are limited and costly, yet is such an important tool to have in a digital age. When it comes to growing cannabis with a good chunk of money on the line, there isn’t a lot of room for trial and error. A lot of people jump into the industry with limited knowledge of the growing aspect, and that can backfire quickly. I was fortunate enough to have many years of experience growing, technical and business knowledge before upscaling on a limited budget.  

  • How’s GreenForce been able to help facilitate and/streamline your business practices?

    As we started to expand, things like trimming and harvesting became difficult to keep up with having a small crew. Expanding our crew would have added unnecessary costs, because we didn’t need the extra help every day of the week. As owner operators, we do everything ourselves – facility build out, hvac, electrical, inventory, bookkeeping, sales, and the entire process of cultivation from start to finish. When it comes to harvesting and trimming, GreenForce has allowed us to speed up the process by having extra hands to get it done appropriately to meet our deadlines.

  • What made you interested in GreenForce’s services? 

    The previous answer kind of covers this, but it allows us to have those extra crew members on heavy load days instead of spreading that work out over weeks. This allows us to keep up with other important factors of the business on those saved days.

  • What’s been the biggest win you’ve had as an organization due to GreenForce’s support? 

    Being able to complete entire harvests, from bucking down to fully finished product in 2-3 days. Previously, it would take us up to 2 weeks to complete the same task. Now that we have more rooms and heavier yields, there would be no way to do that ourself and get the product out to stores in a timely manner. That has by far been our biggest win.

  • What has been the most helpful benefit GreenForce has provided? 

    Having consistent, friendly, and caring GreenForcers to work with on days when we really need them.

  • How did you hear about GreenForce?

    I first heard about GreenForce from Dustin @ Gadsden Gardens.

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