Washington pot harvest begins - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington pot harvest begins

Posted: Updated:
The harvest has begun at Buddy Boy Farms. The harvest has begun at Buddy Boy Farms.
REARDAN, Wash. -

Steve Walser's life on the farm has changed dramatically over the past two years.

Walser has been a farmer in Washington for decades. He built Willow Wind Organic Farms in Reardan, Wash., to be a family business. They've grown several crops over the years, including potatoes and hay. Today their premiere food is blueberries.

But beside their berry crop sits a secure facility filled with their newest crop: Marijuana.

Recreational cannabis hit stores around Washington in 2014 after voters legalized its use.

Walser joined the pot industry in its infancy. He says his business partner brought knowledge of cannabis to the table, and Walser applied his farming skills.

"I love growing things," Walser said. "And I was like, 'Oh, it's legal.'"

Today, their weed venture, Buddy Boy Farms, grows around 1,500 plants. They're one of the five largest growing operations in Washington.

"It's been an interesting ride," Walser said. "It's still a little strange to me that you can do this."

Walser's crew has been learning on the fly, and the work hasn't slowed down. This week they began the Fall harvest, their biggest production of the year.

For the next month, between 40 and 65 employees (depending on the week) will be preparing the pot from plant to packaging.

In 2014, Buddy Boy Farms produced around 1,500 pounds of marijuana for retailers around the state. This year, they expect to package upward of 2,500 pounds.

Walser says business is booming, but he's been cautiously optimistic about this new industry.

"This is an uncertain business," he said. "I mean blueberries, we know there's a market every year. No one is going to declare them illegal."

"This, we aren't sure."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:13:21 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>
  • Central Washington school district shortens school week to 4 days

    Central Washington school district shortens school week to 4 days

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:10 AM EDT2018-08-17 06:10:51 GMT
    Photo: PixnioPhoto: Pixnio

    SEATTLE (AP) - A school district in central Washington state is moving to four-day weeks when the school year begins later this month. KING-TV reports the Waterville School District will hold classes Monday through Thursday, giving students and faculty three-day weekends. Superintendent Tabatha Mires says the change aims to increase staff retention and recruitment as well as boost attendance and improve classroom experience.    

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - A school district in central Washington state is moving to four-day weeks when the school year begins later this month. KING-TV reports the Waterville School District will hold classes Monday through Thursday, giving students and faculty three-day weekends. Superintendent Tabatha Mires says the change aims to increase staff retention and recruitment as well as boost attendance and improve classroom experience.    

    >>
  • Police say possible bad batch of drugs hits Spokane

    Police say possible bad batch of drugs hits Spokane

    Thursday, August 16 2018 2:25 AM EDT2018-08-16 06:25:12 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. It's been 24 hours of chaos for Spokane's police and fire departments. They have been running from call to call with reports of people walking in the middle of the street yelling at random people or at objects that don't exist. What Caused it? The Spokane Regional Health District is still struggling to find out "What we are hearing is that these individuals are demonstrating almost what would be what looks like a stimulant psychosis,"  said Doctor Bob...

    >>

    Spokane, Wash. It's been 24 hours of chaos for Spokane's police and fire departments. They have been running from call to call with reports of people walking in the middle of the street yelling at random people or at objects that don't exist. What Caused it? The Spokane Regional Health District is still struggling to find out "What we are hearing is that these individuals are demonstrating almost what would be what looks like a stimulant psychosis,"  said Doctor Bob...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Messages of hope disappear, reappear on Monroe Street Bridge

    Messages of hope disappear, reappear on Monroe Street Bridge

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:19 AM EDT2018-08-17 06:19:12 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A row of hopeful messages pinned to the railing on the Monroe Street Bridge disappeared overnight. The City of Spokane says they did not remove the notes, which were put on display by an anonymous person. However, more than 30 new sings, aimed at suicide prevention reappeared Thursday morning. The woman who pinned them isn’t choosing to be anonymous. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A row of hopeful messages pinned to the railing on the Monroe Street Bridge disappeared overnight. The City of Spokane says they did not remove the notes, which were put on display by an anonymous person. However, more than 30 new sings, aimed at suicide prevention reappeared Thursday morning. The woman who pinned them isn’t choosing to be anonymous. 

    >>
  • Community pulling together funds for Cd'A Little League team

    Community pulling together funds for Cd'A Little League team

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:18 AM EDT2018-08-17 06:18:33 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - When parents of the Coeur d'Alene Little League asked to set out donation jars at the Caddyshack, all the managers said yes. "Of course we said yeah. They're here all the time and are regulars of the Caddyshack," Johnny French, general manager, said. The World Series for little league baseball is here. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - When parents of the Coeur d'Alene Little League asked to set out donation jars at the Caddyshack, all the managers said yes. "Of course we said yeah. They're here all the time and are regulars of the Caddyshack," Johnny French, general manager, said. The World Series for little league baseball is here. 

    >>
  • Spokane man makes DIY air filter to escape smoke

    Spokane man makes DIY air filter to escape smoke

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:17 AM EDT2018-08-17 06:17:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Due to the dozens of wildfires burning in the Inland Northwest, the skies continue to be blanketed with smoke. While the haze can be unhealthy to breathe, those without air conditioning are in a dilemma: To shut the window, or not shut the window? But bringing in the outside air might not be so daunting if you’re able to build your own filter. According to Daniel Bruce, who runs a Permaculture design company, all you need is

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Due to the dozens of wildfires burning in the Inland Northwest, the skies continue to be blanketed with smoke. While the haze can be unhealthy to breathe, those without air conditioning are in a dilemma: To shut the window, or not shut the window? But bringing in the outside air might not be so daunting if you’re able to build your own filter. According to Daniel Bruce, who runs a Permaculture design company, all you need is

    >>