Cannabis business keeps coming to Eburg

Kyle Fenton, Staff Reporter

e382670261d7c6f5ca4bf7f218c8f38d-2Kyle Fenton/Observer

The marijuana business boom is officially here, and Washingtonians are in the thick of it.

Entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes are ready to take aim, and give their shot at this potential billion-dollar industry.

Old McDonald’s Farm, Kittitas County’s latest marijuana business, passed it’s state inspection and is now just waiting on the county before going live with a tier-three producer/processor.

Old McDonald’s Farm is located on a commercial/Ag plat of land and is allowed to cultivate outdoor marijuana there because of a conditional use permit with the county, which vested their farm before regulations in the county were changed.

In Kittitas County, unless your farm was vested, marijuana growers aren’t allowed to cultivate outdoor marijuana unless they are located on industrially zoned land.

Old McDonald’s Farm is made up of Tj McDonald and his partner Zack Dekker.

McDonald and Dekker tending a crop right before harvest

BinxBuds is the brand name of McDonald and Dekker’s processing company and it will be the logo on the packaged product you buy grown from Old McDonald’s Farm.

As far as processing, McDonald said that the first year they will package flowers and make their own joints and solvent less hash.

“Were going to make water and ice hash (solvent less), true Solvent hash (BHO and C02) requires a lot more permits, you basically have to have an explosion proof room that your doing the processing in.”

McDonald and Dekker have plans to expand within the industry by taking on a fertilizer company, Simplified Nutrients, that’s key customer would grow commercial marijuana.

“We are the opposite of every other fertilizer company, we have three parts to our entire line, where most lines (company’s) have ten parts,”

McDonald said that Simplified Nutrients is not a complicated application compared to many of the other fertilizer companies out there.

“The biggest complaint we had is overpriced nutrients, the second complaint is the complication,” McDonald said.

Foot in the door within the industry

McDonald hasn’t always wanted to be a marijuana farmer.

After McDonald graduated Central in 2010 he quickly purchased a building within the city of Ellensburg, the building eventually became know as The Lounge, one of the state’s first 420 friendly hookah bars. However, members weren’t always allowed to smoke pot inside the establishment.

“We were set up in 2011 as a private smoking establishment, smoking hookah six nights a week,” McDonald said.

Washington voted yes on recreational marijuana in 2012, at which time McDonald started getting a flood of people into the hookah lounge asking if it were okay to smoke marijuana.

At first McDonald had to tell the patrons no because at the time smoking marijuana in any public place was such a foreign concept.

After about six months of owning The Lounge, and multiple meetings with county and city officials, McDonald figured out that members of his hookah lounge had the right to openly consume marijuana inside The Lounge, if they were 21-years-of–age.

“Its not that you’re allowed to do it, it’s that your not, not allowed to do it,” McDonald said.

McDonald eventually sold The Lounge to Tawnie Shockley, she renamed it The House of Haze, and it still functions as a 420 friendly hookah bar.

Izaak Fukuyama, volunteer at The House of Haze, said every time he has interacted with McDonald it has been real professional and he has gotten right back to him.

“He is a really dedicated person to what he is doing,” Fukuyama said.