Jesce Horton’s newest cannabis brand, LOWD, launched the week of Oct. 26 at 28 dispensaries in Oregon’s adult-use cannabis market. Cultivated in a 7,500-square-foot facility in Portland by 12 employees, LOWD cannabis’ brand and flower products have been years in the making. (Horton made a facility and brand pivot after his first cannabis business—Panacea Valley Gardens—which operated within the medical market, didn’t qualify for an adult-use license because of zoning restrictions.)
In this Q&A, Horton—a former engineer for Siemens, founder and former director of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, board member for the Resource Innovation Institute and Cannabis Conference 2020 advisory board member—discusses the road to officially launching his adult-use cannabis business, what the LOWD brand means to him and his team, and the steps the company is taking to build a strong culture and high-quality products.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Cassie Neiden: Could you provide us some background into your journey of launching LOWD?
Jesce Horton: I am one of the people in the industry that started growing from their basement—actually just a clone in my backyard. Like many people, through the different regulations, from moving from an unregulated market to a medical [market], here in Oregon there were a lot of changes. And then [when] moving from medical to recreational, we experienced even more in that the facility we built while being medical no longer qualified [for recreational cultivation] from a zoning perspective.
So throughout that time I was doing a lot of nonprofit work. I decided to step down from the nonprofit [Minority Cannabis Business Association] and focus 100% on finding another facility and building it out steadily over about a year and a half. And then we waited for about a year for licensing. We started again from