GoodSinse Is Thriving With Vertical Integration
A profile on the Fairbanks garden and dispensary. Photos by Oscar Avellaneda-Cruz.
The city’s first seven-day-a-week pot shop is delivering competitively priced pot and availability all thanks to a model of vertical integration.
Good Sinse, owned by Daniel Peters, first got licensed in November and opened up to the Fairbanks market on Dec. 11. The business is vertically integrated, meaning that they grow, process, package and sell weed all under one roof—and it led them to be the leaders in a market suffering from supply and demand issues. For Daniel and his team of five, the dream to legally sell Cannabis became real.
“It’s been a dream come true,” he said excitedly. “We opened the retail store on my mom’s birthday, and it was scary! I’ve never done retail anything in my life, been a carpenter for 20 years, but my wife and team had experience and they were helpful. Now it’s very exciting to come and have people get herb legally, I can’t believe it sometimes, it’s amazing.”
The process to go from dream to creation took Daniel several years from conception, and a solid year of permitting, licensing and buildout. They hit delays and extensive paperwork not required from other industries, but were ultimately able to get their active license status in November. That’s when the rush started: build out a 35,000-watt grow system and get a retail environment started, all in the middle of winter.
“We have temps from 30 below to 20 above the next day, it’s always a challenge growing indoors in the wintertime, that’s been one thing we’ve had to work with,” he said. “It’s interesting scaling up on anything you do. I’d grown small-scale Cannabis, but growing in a huge warehouse is a big learning curve and working on the issues that come with that has been a big challenge we are overcoming.”
Another challenge for the company was staying financially viable until the first products could be sold. Like many Cannabis companies across the state, funds were tight and delays made the process very worrisome, right up until the first sale.
“When we first got started, we were very much in debt. We were lighting up lights and had been paying electric bills for a long time with no income, and we were getting pretty worried at one point,” he said. “When we opened the retail shop that saved our day! We started with Foxy Enterprise’s Purple strain, they dropped us five pounds, and from there we have grown and grown. Today we are still searching for more flower, and our cultivation came in as a shot in the arm and everything has gone up from there.”
Vertical integration was the key to the project succeeding. Supply and demand are unbalanced in the Cannabis market right now, which is causing bidding wars for flowers and many stores to close for several days a week. Owning a retail store and not having products to sell is a difficult position to be in, especially in an emerging market. By growing their own Cannabis, the Sinse team has been able to keep a consistent supply of products on the shelves.
“At this point 50 percent of what is in the case is ours from our garden and the rest from gardens around the Fairbanks area. Being vertically integrated is excellent, so if we have a lull from other suppliers, it’s saving our customer base from going somewhere else. We can stay open seven days a week instead of closing down when we are out of product.”
Daniel said selling his own product is the best part of working in this business.
“I’m proud, it’s a proud feeling to sell our own product. It’s like brewing your own beer and bringing to buddies and saying try this out, and everyone gets to try and give constructive criticism. Now sometimes it’s not constructive, but you take your risk with anything going public, and for us the experience has been awesome.”
Their garden has a perpetual harvest cycle every two weeks, dropping strains like Deadshow, Strawberry Cough, Tiger Tail, Cookies Kush, high CBD Critical Mass and more. The store is also carrying edibles from Frozen Buds, and is excited to begin carrying concentrates and vapor pens soon. Their flower sells for $40 to $60 an eighth, making it some of the most competitively priced product in the state. And with more crops coming, the five-person team expects to bring a lot more product to market.
“It feels amazing, coming from being scared to not anymore, you get so worried when you have so much debt hovering, it all adds up and hits a critical point, and finally something breaks and it’s just an amazing feeling. We are super lucky and blessed to get to do what we are doing.”