Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at a cultivation facility? Dr. Dabber visited local cultivators, Bond Road, last month for an in-depth and up close tour of how these plants develop, all the way from seed to finished product. At the end, we were able to sit down with Bond Road’s General Manager, Jonathan Krajnak and pick his brain. Check out the exclusive interview here.
Our tour took place at Bond Roads’ headquarters, right here in Las Vegas, NV. Upon entering the facility, we changed into scrubs, and put on gloves, hairnets, and disposable shoe covers. In case you’re wondering, this protocol was not due to COVID-19; Bond Road takes their facility’s cleanliness and sanitation very seriously and for them, this is normal practice.
We began in the Vegetation Room, where plants are seeded and monitored under careful conditions including specifically calibrated light and temperature settings. On average, Bond Road keeps its plants in this room, or what they called the “veg phase” for about 25 days. While Bond Road grows several different strains in their facility, they’re best known for their Bond Road Kush hybrid strain - at 30% THC, it’s no wonder this strain is a best-seller.
Next door, we got to check out the Trimming Room. As the name suggests, this room was filled with several staff members trimming plastic tubs full of buds (any stoner’s wet dream). Once a plant is harvested and ready, buds are plucked and taken to this room, where stems and leaves are trimmed away. There are several reasons why buds are trimmed - trimming provides a better smell and appearance, less harsh experience on your lungs and throat, and a higher THC concentration.
Last stop (and our personal favorite) was the Flower Room, where plants go to harvest. As we stepped into a massive room, it immediately felt as though we had entered a jungle. From wall to wall, we were surrounded by rows of plants so tall, we literally had to get on a step stool to see over them. Bright yellow lights shone over the entire room with fans blowing from all directions. Once moved to the Flower Room, Bond Road keeps plants here for roughly 66 days.
Jackie, Facility Manager, and Mario, Processing Manager, joined us at the end of the tour to talk to us about their experiences working as cultivators. With five years experience in the cannabis industry, Jackie originally worked as a Medical Trimmer, and got into Cultivation about three years ago. She’s been with Bond Road ever since. When asked about the cultivation process, Jackie’s eyes lit up - it wasn’t hard to notice the passion she has for this industry. Her favorite part of her job is witnessing the entire process of growing the actual plant and seeing it develop from start to finish. Cultivation has always intrigued her. Mario has only been with Bond Road since January, but also comes with years of experience. Mario’s favorite part of working in the cannabis industry is his contribution to the innovation of everything. “This industry is still so new, we’re learning new things all the time and it’s so cool to be part of the very beginning”. The two wrapped up our conversation by saying they like to play all different genres of music for the plants. As our tour came to a close, we got to sit down with Bond Road’s General Manager, Jonathan Krajnak, for an exclusive interview.
Give us a little bit of background on who Bond Road is.
Bond Road Cannabis Company is a boutique cultivation facility located in Henderson, NV. We have 2,275 square feet of flower room and produce between 130-150 pounds of flower per month. Bond Road was the name of Tropicana Ave until 1958 when the Tropicana Hotel and Casino opened. It was named after the Bond family. We wanted to incorporate old, retro Vegas into our culture. By that, I mean back when customers mattered, and the various gaming companies really made an effort to have a connection with their customers. At Bond Road, we’re working on doing the same. I respond to each and every direct message on social media. I also personally respond to all customer inquiries and emails. And, when we do pop-ups, only our staff attends. So, you aren’t going to speak to an ambassador. You’ll be speaking to me, our managers and our staff. It’s important to us that we’re able to thank each person who supports us as a company. I mean, after all, they’re the ones paying our salaries and feeding our families. They deserve to be able to meet us and hear us say “Thank You”. That, in a nutshell, is who Bond Road is.
Walk us through "a day in the office". What do your daily operations look like?
Controlled chaos. As the General Manager and Owner’s Representative, I have many, many jobs. Of course, my first and foremost task is making sure that each and every one of my staff has everything they need to do their job to the best of their ability. Whether that be equipment, moral support, or me putting on PPE and getting dirty right along with them. After that, I handle sales, marketing, advertising, some HR tasks, accounts payable and receivable, meeting with vendors, chatting with customers on social media, putting out fires…you name it. It’s a big job. But, I’m beyond lucky to have it! And, even my worst days are better than some of the best days I’ve had in other jobs.
What happens if you're not happy with how a plant grows? Are you able to salvage it or do you have to start from scratch?
It’s seldom just one plant. When things go awry, it’s usually on a larger scale. If we have a harvest that’s not to our liking, we have a few options. It depends on just how unhappy we are. I mean, if it’s just pure garbage, then we’ll most likely send it to extraction. But, if it doesn’t come out looking good, or has a bunch of popcorn bud, we might turn it into prerolls. Or, if it has low THC numbers, but a phenomenal terpene profile, we might sell it as quarter, half-ounce, or ounce specials. It all just depends. But, the key is to keep plugging away at it. Trust your process. Do the simple things better. And, eventually, things improve, and you have fewer and fewer disappointing harvests.
Are there differences in growing sativa vs. indica? What are they?
Sativas are grown in warmer, more humid conditions. Indicas are grown in cooler, more arid conditions. Sativas are generally fluffier, whereas indicas are tighter, more dense buds. There’s a misconception that sativas are for daytime and indicas are for nighttime. That’s a misleading generalization. It’s all about the bud structure and the climate it’s grown in. There are indicas you can enjoy all day long and sativas that’ll knock your butt out. It’s best to learn terpene profiles and to keep a journal of everything you consume so you’ll be better informed.