Cullen Raichart, founder and CEO of GreenBroz
GreenBroz is a world leader in automated harvesting tools for the hemp and cannabis space. They are constantly innovating new equipment, solving bottlenecks, and releasing new creative solutions to this fast-paced industry.
What is the biggest obstacle you're facing right now in relation to the pandemic?
We’re waiting for an emergency use authorization for our PPE Remediator.* Currently, that's our biggest obstacle. Otherwise, we've been open and running. We've implemented CDC guidelines around protective gear and social distancing in the workplace at our facility, and the whole company has embraced it and it's working very well. We've had no illnesses, and as far as I know, no exposure. Everybody's been given the opportunity to take time off if they wanted to, or not be here, if they felt threatened or insecure in any way. As it has turned out, we've all been here working and plugging away.
The regulatory challenge surrounding our PPE Remediator is one of our biggest challenges. It’s our first launch into the medical field and non-cannabis marketplace. This level of regulatory challenge is just something we haven’t tackled before. It’s interesting because I talk about this all the time. People have heard me talk about it with regard to our customers: Regulation, regulation, regulation, it's coming to get you! Well, it got us. And so now we see it, which just helps us understand. This is the challenge that our customers have—jumping through these hoops. And so, if we can internally get through these hoops, we can potentially pass on value to our customers when regulation comes their way.
How are you adapting your business to meet the needs of your clientele?
Internally, the business is continuously going through a stage of development and improvement. We're always working on process improvement, and looking at ways in which the company can get better at the things we do. We keep our eyes open for the ability to expand into things that we aren’t doing yet, but might be able to, like our new PPE Remediator, which we recently brought to market. The company is all about penetrating and filling the marketplace with what we have, and continuously growing internally, continuously looking for opportunity.
And we are always innovating. We want to solve the next problem, whatever it is. We listen to our clients: their feedback on our current equipment as well as the details on bottlenecks that are still hampering their harvest process. Our engineering team consists of all-stars that are constantly looking to improve our equipment, no matter if it’s been on the market for years, or we’re just about to release it. Creativity is key. We want to engineer creative solutions that are new, and that will push the industry forward in a positive direction. When you’re designing equipment to make your customer’s life easier, you can’t rest on your laurels or be too prideful in thinking your design is perfect and should never be changed. Our clientele is amazing at providing real-world feedback and we’re always listening to implement those ideas whenever we can. It’s one of the reasons our clients stick with us and trust in our new machine releases. They know we do the work to make the machine what it needs to be, and that it will be a machine they can count on to solve the bottleneck they are dealing with in their harvest process.
Probably the biggest takeaway for me personally is simply being reminded that when you put together a strong, resilient team you can weather any crisis, even one as unforeseen as the current crisis.
Are you experiencing an uptick or decline in business?
We're on pace for a great year. I would say definitely an uptick. The move to Vegas (from San Diego, California, last year) and the retooling of the whole company, aside from our remote team, has provided a fresh start and a chance to implement even better habits. Here in Vegas, we've found a very good stride, and we've got a great foundation. The team is stronger than ever and just cranking away.
What is your takeaway from the new reality of operating during the pandemic?
It's such an interesting question. I think it makes a lot of sense to ask that question, but for us, we weren't that affected, because we were always considered essential as manufacturing falls under the essential business category. So, we were thankfully able to stay alive and open. It’s been kind of business as usual, with the exception of obviously implementing the CDC guidelines around health and safety. Our customers have been more impacted than we have because of the issues surrounding labour. We have 50,000 square feet and we have 30 people at our production facility, so there's plenty of room for people not to be bumping into each other. That's not necessarily the case with many of our customers, where they have a lot of processing going on in close quarters. So, we've seen a real interest in more automation and we’re able to reduce the impact of labour shortages on a company by giving them better tools to solve some of these problems. Probably the biggest takeaway for me personally is simply being reminded that when you put together a strong, resilient team you can weather any crisis, even one as unforeseen as the current crisis. I’m just really proud of my team.
The IGTCAN PPE Remediator system safely and quickly removes pathogens from various surfaces including porous materials resulting in fast and effective decontamination. The PPE Remediator technology Gard’nClean CIO2 is FDA approved, eco-friendly and OMRI organic certified, requiring no special disposal or handling requirements. Unlike other disinfectants, Gard’nClean ClO2 can be used on food, and water, in food preparation areas and there are no corrosion concerns at use levels. The activated solution is 99.9% pure and has a neutral pH. Pure ClO2 is many times more powerful than bleach as a disinfectant and sanitizer. The PPE Remediator disinfects all surfaces including porous materials gently and thoroughly. The machine is portable and easy to move from one location to another.
To find our more about GreenBroz read our feature GreenBroz: Building a cutting-edge American business on time-honoured values.
The New Canna-Normal is an ongoing Q&A series with the cannabis community as we evolve to greet the new normal.