Aurora's Mayflower Farms is one of the largest grow operations in the state, and it's getting even bigger. In November, Mayflower will add an extraction lab for concentrates as well as a kitchen at its facility; in the new year, it will open its own retail store.
In February 2015, the new cannabis company took over an old Mayflower moving and storage warehouse (hence the name) and started overhauling the place; it had plants in the ground eleven months later, says CEO Bruce Douglass. It currently has five rooms totaling over 35,000 square feet devoted to growing flower, and has gone through eight harvests since January. Each harvest garners over 100 pounds of product. Today Mayflower has 3,600 plants in its facility, but come November it will up that to 6,000.
There's room to grow: The overall property is three acres, so Mayflower has plans to add 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of greenhouse in the back of the current grow. That upgrade will happen in the next year, Douglass predicts.
Today, Mayflower's recreational marijuana is sold in nineteen dispensaries across the state. The company has ten employees, seven focused solely on the plants and maintaining the grow.
Mayflower is able to keep its staff small because of the building's layout, Douglass says. The grow rooms run along one hallway, and each new room marks a life cycle in the growing process. The tables that the plants sit on are adjustable, so as staffers propagate the plants, they can slide them down the row.
The facility was also set up for environmental efficiency. At least half of the water used in the current operation is recycled, cutting energy use by about 30 percent.
"The way it's set up allows for that work flow, and it allows us to use less people to do more work," says Clayton Skulski, a member of the sales team. "It takes the workflow from seed to harvest to processing."
And when the Mayflower store opens, it can take that seed all the way to sale.