Name: Thomas Vaughn
Location: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
One word to describe your cultivation style: Passion
Indoor, outdoor, greenhouse or a combination: Indoor
Can you share a bit of your background and how you and your company got to the present day?
I got started in Los Angeles, Calif., medical program in 2003 through 2010. I moved back to Oklahoma with no expectation of Oklahoma having a medical marijuana program. In 2018, S.Q. 788 passed and we built a team of like-minded individuals but with wide ranging skill sets and took off.
What tool or software in your cultivation space can you not live without?
Rhythm Environment Controls.
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your business in the last six months?
Without a doubt, Dramm Touch N Flow 30’’ Wand. We hand-water all of our plants, so the time savings that the Dramm provided us has been one of our best purchases of the entire adventure, regardless of price!
What cultivation technique are you most interested in right now, and what are you actively studying (the most)?
Organic living soil beds. Studying tissue culture a lot.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
Overlooking a small contingency detail can create massive failures. Early on, we had a contactor go out on our HVAC unit and had not installed our controllers yet to shut the lights off at high temperatures. Luckily, we caught it early, but it could have been disaster. It was a detail we will not miss again.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven grower about to enter the legal, regulated industry? What advice should they ignore?
Pay attention to local laws and regulations. Watch mature markets to develop what will work in emerging markets. Prepare for adversity. Prepare for challenges and meet them with the same enthusiasm as you do the wins. Ignore the idea that there is only one way to do it. This is a relatively new industry and the ones that continue to innovate will be at the forefront.
How do you deal with burnout?
When you are passionate about your job, burnout isn’t as prevalent. We have so many projects we are currently working on that I couldn’t even think about burnout. We are having a blast continuing to innovate and push the Oklahoma market in the right direction. In cannabis, every day is something different, so complacency isn’t an option under our roof. Having a reliable, focus driven team helps. High-quality organic Resonant Cultivation cannabis helps as well!
How do you motivate your employees/team?
We have a “No Bad Vibes” policy and our culture starts at the top. We communicate to our team the opportunity within the growing cannabis industry. For our employees who want to focus and learn, we communicate the chance to continue to grow in our company. We invest in our employees and their professional growth. It has been a joy to see them develop talents and skills that are valuable to the team. We communicate to the team the opportunity that we have to make an impact in the quality of life for our fellow Oklahomans with cannabis and that is enough motivation in itself.
What keeps you awake at night?
Timing, planning and scheduling of a plant that has its own schedule can keep me up at night.
What helps you sleep at night?
We installed a full system generator. In Oklahoma weather, you’d better be prepared!