From a beach front café in Costa Rica
to a cannabis company in Durant, Oklahoma
This month I visited Hicksford Farms and CannaMed dispensary. Hicksford Farms is a combination of the Hicks and the Crawford families. These families have been close friends for many years and jumped at the opportunity to become business partners with the passage of SQ 788. This family owned cannabis company makes you feel like part of the family and puts the patients first with quality products. After a tour of their top notch facilities, I sat down with Master Growers Kory Bailey and Jory Hicks. Also, joining us was Jory’s girlfriend Brett McMartin. Brett works in the dispensary and is the social media manager.
Tell me a little about how the two families came together to create Hicksford Farms and CannaMed dispensary.
Jory Hicks– The Hicks’ and the Bailey’s have been friends since I was 10 years old. Kory’s older brother (Cooper) and I went to school together and became instant friends because we were both the new kids. Kory and Cooper raced Motocross for years and ended up leaving school to compete. Our moms, Jennifer and Kristen, kept in touch and became close friends over time. Kristen remarried about six years ago to James Crawford, who is a well-known electrician in Southeastern Oklahoma. When SQ 788 passed, the two couples took the opportunity to follow a mutual passion in cannabis.
What was it like in the beginning?
Jory– The four partners, Jennifer & Jason Hicks and James & Kristen Crawford decided they wanted to apply for all three licenses: grow operation, dispensary, and processing. They knew that with hard work, the families could excel in all the facets of the cannabis industry. On October 1st, 2018, we popped 500 seeds. Kory and I were soon tapped in to have full control of the grow, with Jason and James overlooking the entire operation, and planning the future for the company.
It’s super cool seeing a family run operation. Can you tell me about the family members and their roles in the company?
Jory– Everything was done in house by the family. We built the racks in the grow room, painted all the beds, planned out every room, and my grandpa even hand-built the display cases at the dispensary.
Kory– I was previously working for Crawford Electric, and myself and James’ son, Jeremy, helped with the building renovation and put up all the electricity.
Jory– It was definitely an all hands on deck situation. My little brother, Tristan, and all the other partners’ kids were up here in the summer making this building into a grow operation. During this time my girlfriend, Brett, and I were in Washington. This was before it became legal in Oklahoma and at the time, we were working with her family who are in the industry in Washington.
Jory– This was summer 2018.
So you guys were risking it? You didn’t know it was going to be legal?
Jory– The partners had a strong feeling, an instinct that it was going to pass this time around. That mixed with hope and hard work made all this happen so we could start growing as soon as possible. It was definitely a go big or go home thing acquiring such an ideal large scale commercial facility so close to the vote.
What’s your favorite thing about working with your family?
Kory– I really like working by myself, putting my headphones on and connecting with the plants and really zoning into my work. I love working with Jory because we click pretty well.
Brett– The cool thing that both the Hicks’ and Crawford’s have in common, is that they are not passive aggressive in the least. If you are saying or doing something they don’t like, they will ask you why you are doing it that way. It saves a lot of time and energy in wondering. I think it helps make all of us feel more connected because we feel we can be honest with one another.
So Jory you said earlier that you lived in Costa Rica for a while?
Jory– Yes, our family is super close and when I graduated high school, we moved to Costa Rica together to chase the waves and live a different lifestyle. We were there for a while and got to meet a lot of interesting people. I linked up with some ex-pats who were growers in California, and my dad and I got to go out to their operation to trim as well as take care of an outdoor grow during the Fall of 2016. While I was in Costa Rica, I was part-owner and operator of a vegetarian coffee shop right near the beach. It was an incredible time and much different than life here. It’s all of our goal to be kicking it at the beach real soon.
Why did you guys decide to go with the optic LEDs?
Kory– Heat gain.
Jory– Before this, I had only worked with HPS. I think the more LED cannabis that comes out the more people will want that quality. It definitely seems to be a little better quality. Maybe not higher THC per say but the full synergistic effect of all the cannabinoids and terpenes seems to be on point. I really think the COB LED especially brings the full effects out of the plants. The optics are rocking it.
Do you guys spray pesticides?
Jory– No, we try to stay on top of pruning, cleaning, and staying in the gardens that way we can avoid having to deal with issues on the back end. We haven’t had to spray anything. There aren’t any chemicals in the building at all and we release beneficial nematodes occasionally, which we think are a great tool.
What’s your advice for new growers?
Kory– First thing you should look into is your budget because you are probably going to go over it. Pretty much everyone goes over their budget for growing.
Jory– Spend the money on the genetics. Get good seeds first.
Kory– Yeah, definitely. Then it’s just other little things like fans. You’re going to need fans in there. If you have an LED light hopefully it won’t get too hot. You’re going to need a hygrometer to check the temperature and humidity and a PAR meter.
Jory-The PAR meter is key. A lot of people just go by the companies recommended heights on the lights and scorch their plants.
You guys are crushing it man! So, you guys also have your processor license. What all products are you guys offering and where can you purchase them?
Brett– Most of our flower is sold about 10 minutes from here at our dispensary, CannaMed in Calera, OK. We have Hicksford flower, moonrocks, rosin, cannagars, and pre-rolls. We are really wanting to expand our extraction operation and get into making clean cartridges. Currently, we have partnered with some awesome Oklahoma companies for cartridges, edibles, tinctures and more at CannaMed!
Check out hicksfordfarms.com