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Over 18 months ago, JustinCredible Cultivation’s final inspection to open up shop was canceled after Massachusetts closed down their cannabis industry due to the pandemic. Today, the brand serves as the first Black-owned, woman-owned, and veteran-owned cannabis cultivator on the East Coast. They are also helping to transform cannabis cultivation through their perpetual harvesting methods, high-quality strains, and technology implementation.
Reginald Stanfield, JustinCredible Cultivation’s chief executive officer and head horticulturist, along with his founding members, worked four days straight to receive their license during the long-awaited final inspection in March of 2020. After living in RVs on site for nine months, the founding members were well acquainted with sacrifice. Each employee took half-hour naps and quick bites to eat between installing equipment, last-minute repairs, and cleaning.
The next day the cultivators received a call from the inspector, letting them know that the industry was on hold in the state, which led to a three-month waiting period. Massachusetts was the only state to take that action at the time.
“While it was a challenging season for our business, I can look back with pride and appreciate those times for making us stronger as a business and as people,” said Stanfield.
JustinCredible Cultivation now supplies dispensaries and manufacturers with high-quality and perpetual harvested flower and pre-rolls of their strains.
The brand is known for its original high-quality strains. That includes Fruitville Station and Garrett Morgan Gas Mask. The cultivators also created an exclusive strain named after the brand. The “JustinCredible” strain crosses Tardis and Taffy, creating earthy diesel aromas and sour citrus overtones. It provides users with energy and relaxation simultaneously. The company recently launched new lines, including Justin A Lifetime. Justin A Lifetime features niche strains that are usually hard to access. The new options can be purchased through the dispensaries and manufacturers they work with.
Creating high-quality growth cannabis with organic derivative ingredients came naturally to Stanfield. Every summer, he spent the days on his grandparents’ farm in North Carolina growing tomatoes, corn, tobacco, and other vegetative crops. Stanfield later applied his background in horticulture and business experience to launch JustinCredible Cultivation alongside his founding members.
JustinCredible Cultivation is also one of the few cultivators on the East Coast to practice perpetual harvesting, which allows them to provide the market with new and dynamic strains regularly. This method requires continuous planting on a routine basis. As a result, more customers can have access to the latest cannabis strains at a faster pace.
The cultivation company recently added QR codes onto their harvesting strains, making them the first East Coast Cannabis Cultivator to take this significant step. The changes will be applied to all of their products, including their original, vintage, and lifetime strains.
Most consumers want to be educated about the products they are purchasing, especially cannabis. The QR codes provide a quick and easy solution to help customers understand the details about the products they are buying, such as terpenes, with the help of their smartphones. The new technology also helps shoppers understand the differences between the strains offered. This move further merges technology and cannabis to create simple and satisfying customer experiences. JustinCredible Cultivation partnered with Royal Technology and Agriculture to launch the QR codes. Royal Technology and Agriculture is a software firm that assists farmers, retailers, and consumers with the education and technology needed to move their brands forward.
As the JustinCredible Cultivation team looks ahead, they remember what helped them achieve success along the way: relationships and sacrifice.
The cultivation company’s chief operating officer and part owner, Che’Toia K. Walker, understood the importance of creating connections in the industry from the very beginning. After spending years in tech and building businesses with her partners, Walker quickly transferred her skills to the cannabis industry. As COO, she engages with stakeholders and implements effective solutions that improve critical applications’ efficiency, quality, and user experience. Walker also has several years of experience in entrepreneurship, project management, and risk management.
Through her role and the connections she’s made, Walker loves the solidarity that she built with other women in the field and knows that they are all secretly rooting for one another to achieve success. She and her peers lean on one another as they navigate through entrepreneurship and their leadership roles.
“Although there was a small percentage of women of color at conventions and conferences that I attended in the beginning,” said Walker, “I made sure to connect with them and build our community within the larger industry.”
Recent reports found that there is still a gender gap in cannabis companies, where “women hold 46.8 percent of professional-level jobs, but makeup only 29.5 percent of executive or senior-level roles.” However, Walker has noticed a shift over time, increasing women attendees at industry events. She encourages women to be their whole selves boldly and not compromise their authentic selves to fit in.
“It doesn’t have to be a ‘boy’s game,'” said Walker. “As the industry embraces and helps women feel included, I notice more and more women stepping into the field.”
While spending the early days of their business sleeping in RVs and overcoming the pandemic, CEO Stanfield also continued to build relationships with his employees at every level. He takes pride in creating meaningful connections with those around him instead of only focusing on grinding around the clock.
This was further enforced after Stanfield faced a severe health scare in 2018. He decided to change his workaholic mindset and live a more grounded lifestyle. While Stanfield remains dedicated to JustinCredible Cultivation, he carves out time for his family and everyone he works with. Stanfield takes time to get to know each employee individually and understand their personal and professional struggles. He also frequently takes them to off-site events to understand their impact on the industry, the company, and its growth. Everyone who started the journey with him is still there today.
“I have never placed profit over employees, and I don’t plan to.”
Malaika Desrameaux is a writer and content creator from Miami, FL. She writes stories about tech, human interest and self-care.