The Heights Co.
“Legendary!” That’s how I’d sum up my first The Heights Co. (THC) experience, which came in the form of a mighty fine cannabis pre-roll that was smoked during early 2022 R&D rounds. Considering the source of that pre-roll, and the ensuing tokes, nods and overall elevated experience, it was clear that a collaboration with this crew was on order. While many said, “good luck”, in acknowledgment of how hard it could be to get this opportunity, that provided even more firepower to take on the required effort to make this run come to fruition. It does help to have one of Oregon’s finest cannabis establishments cheering you on, encouraging you to take the leap and to make the connection. I remember the dialogue clearly…
You’ve got something to say? You want to talk to “The Man?” Historically, you’ve had to earn your way to the top, or rather, to a place where you have access to grab the microphone in an attempt to talk to anyone. With perpetual harvest in perpetual motion the availability of “fresh fire” is pretty much nonstop. I say that with a sarcastic tone because everyone seems to have the fresh fire on a weekly basis. The noise in the market is so loud that often times I seek silence to acknowledge my own consumeristic thoughts versus the distracting ruckus of others. And in that silence, strategy and planning take form on the precipice of execution, knowing good and well that our products do speak for themselves. Isn’t it funny; confidence.
A few emails, phone calls and hopeful thoughts later, a wise man came to our facilities at Nogero. With him he brought wisdom, insight, culture, experience and this grit that we soaked up. Heck, I even sat up a little straighter during our time together. Our conversation quickly fell into a rhythmic Q&A session that one could attune to that of the elders mentoring their young on the finer points of life. I was quickly reminded of the importance of making great choices and being calculated about who we’re working with from the onset of business.
With over 60 years of combined experience in the cannabis industry, The Heights Co. (THC) is no slouch, or as so eloquently stated by The Man himself, “No false bravados here, gents.” I paused for a moment. This statement captured my mind and silenced my ADHD thoughts, and I thought about it. That statement says a lot about the intention of one’s effort. Everything has a reason. Every move carefully considered. To me, that makes sense. That’s how we operate here at Nogero.
Hyper-driven by genetics, THC makes a concerted effort to steer away from “production”, even if on a micro-scale. Their intimate relationships with breeders underscores their focus, which happens to be hyper-driven by genetics hammered home with the authenticity of their cuts. Go figure. “Respect to the breeders,” as The Man would say. THC is a genuine small batch operation that allocates 75 sqft. per strain, rotated every 5 weeks, with some strains operating on a 10-week rotation basis. The outcome of this cyclical activity is one that results in having fresh product on the shelf, and one that speaks to the quality of genetics on display here. While it’s clear that one cannot dictate how folks might sell product at the point of sale, it is clear that fresh cannabis is where it’s at. It provides the best opportunity for all parties involved.
No shortcuts were taken along the way to produce any one strain. In fact, it’s well known in our circles that THC seeks out the hard-to-grow strains; strains one could be thankful for. “Having a real focus on being part of the genetic wave creates opportunity for us in opposition to having to react to the genetic wave like much of the market. This genuine focus pushes us forward with breeders allowing for creativity in what we’re hunting and wanting to bring to market. Moreover, it allows for an increased opportunity to search and find strains ideal for our brand portfolio.”
Now there’s a statement you might not hear often in cannabis. “Brand Portfolio.” Diving deeper in my quest to understand The Man, I questioned his own portfolio inquiring about what drives said portfolio… what’s the criteria for making it versus not making it? The Man was quick to reply, “Taste and experience trump all other aspects of selection. It’s never about the numbers. For example, Zkittlez: horrible rate of growth, massive lack of stem support, tiny buds, the weed looks horrible, every aspect is terrible, yet on day forty is smells like liquid Sprite! This strains provides the most unique sensation coming out of your mouth, leaving a soap like pronunciation on your tongue reminiscent of a good Kush. It’s the exhale on the way out, dear friends.”
Arrival on the top shelf for THC was clearly by no accident! Similar to how other brands begin their journey into the unknown, we’ve been quick to identify that success in this industry is founded on sound relationships, and do you have a good product. The proof is in the pudding for The Heights Co., but how’d they get there? Who else had a hand in this legendary brand becoming what it is today?
The Tree House Collective. Sounds like an adventure, right? “Iconic” doesn’t quite describe this northeast Portland boutique. In fact, of all the spots in town, Tree House Collective inspired The Heights Co. to become the public-facing company that it is today. Hat’s off to Val, Ian, Nate and Justin as they’ve played a significant role in this brand’s success. The Man was quick to say that, “It’s one thing to think you have the best weed in town, but to really understand your spot in terms of who’s who, one has to jump into the game.” With that said, the farm and the retailer connected, the product made it to the shelves, and it sold. “Over the years, Tree House Collective has been so very loyal to us. They’ve been a fantastic dispensary partner by giving us our first start. And today, almost two decades later, they carry pretty much any strain we ask them to carry. We create the fire. They sell the fire. Their shelves are unrivaled and offer the very best of Oregon,” commented The Man.
Then there’s Archive Portland. Founded on the backs of Fletcher & Mac, Archive is one of the best brands in all of cannabis. Our education continued as The Man filled in our knowledge gaps, adding color and texture to the lay of the land. “Fletcher has created a brand that is able to seamlessly operate in genetics, flower, extracts and retail. He is the innovator of this approach. In fact, their approach to dispensing is likely the model that most have followed. There’s something about them that brings about the best of anyone they work with. Their clientele is second to none, and if there was a true cannabis destination in the state, Archive would be at the top of that list.” It’s clear to us that Archive is unique in what they do, and in their understanding of the cannabis plant as is clear by all the ways they intersect their customer base. Mad respect…
Last in this conversation, but definitely not least, Nectar. The Man rocked back in his seat and smiled. I could tell personal relationships were well appreciated and memories reminiscent of good times seemed to play on a speed reel in his head as our education continued. The Man continued on, “As one of the most successful retail chains in all of cannabis, we’ve been fortunate to have a personal connection with the original founders, Jeremy and Jeff. Flat out, as soon as medical laws changed in the state, we immediately began working with Nectar and THC. There’s significant loyalty with them and we’re so grateful."