Plant Fertility Research and Development in the Cannabis Industry
Rx Green Technologies
Rx Green Technologies is on a mission to deliver and support research-backed products to commercial cannabis cultivators. “Our business today provides almost every product, from a consumable basis, required to grow cannabis at scale,” says Chief Executive Officer Wes Matelich.
“We sell nutrients, which are specialty plant fertilizers, substrates, which you can think of as potting mix in the simplest terms possible, and we are in the final stages of development on natural and nontoxic pesticides,” he continues.
Rx Green Technologies was founded by Todd Brady in 2011 on the eve of recreational cannabis legalization in Colorado with the goal of developing science-based solutions that were empirically proven efficacious on cannabis, a traditionally underserved market. Brady presciently believed that, as cultivators expanded, achieved scale, and encountered greater competition, they would need novel, ROI-driven solutions with regular technical support offerings. Regular technical support led to the creation of the industry’s first direct, technical sales force in 2015, allowing Rx Green to establish direct fulfillment and support relationships with customers.
Nutrients, substrates, and pest management products are not as simple as they seem, and there are vast differences between good and great solutions. Cultivators can drive greater quality and yield with Rx Green Technologies’ research-backed products.
“The most exciting part for us is that we still feel like we’re just touching the tip of the iceberg, and there’s a long way to go from a research perspective to drive output and further success for our customers,” says Matelich.
By selling its products directly, Rx Green develops strong relationships with its customers and, regardless of whether the customer has an issue with one of its products or has a problem that is completely unrelated to the growing and harvesting of cannabis, the company goes out of its way to find a solution. It has even helped its customers create bank accounts by establishing relationships and assisting with the compliance process beforehand. Developing relationships allows Rx Green Technologies to do more than just sell products. And by shipping straight to a customer’s location, directly from its own manufacturing plants, the price is much more competitive.
The most useful aspect of this customer service model of direct communication is that it leads to what Rx Green has identified as its ‘Rx network effect.’ The company is present in all regions of the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico with a regulated cannabis market, and it has gained great experience by observing many complex obstacles.
Rx Green Technologies’ field staff communicate problems and solutions back to headquarters where the company aggregates this information. The more customers they interact with, the more the knowledge database of the company expands with information to help future customers.
“Our value proposition is all about increasing dollars per square foot in these grows, and whether that’s on the substrate side lowering costs or on the nutrients side increasing output, we want our customers to maximize their dollars per square foot, per cycle,” says Matelich.
After identifying a customer’s needs and setting up a complimentary trial of its system, Rx Green completes a financial analysis to present the figures and show where the grow operation could improve. “We find that no matter how good our marketing is or how good our empirical data is coming out of our lab, at the end of the day, people need to touch and feel these things and see the results for themselves,” says Matelich.
Rx Green Technologies has offices and manufacturing plants in New Hampshire and Colorado, and its research laboratory in Colorado is rather impressive. The lab was built last year to allow the company to test every aspect of the cannabis plant during its lifetime to understand all of its nutritional, hormonal, and environmental requirements.
“We invested a significant amount of capital in not only the equipment, but the team (which is led by Dr. Stephanie Wedryk), to make sure that we could understand the mineral and environmental requirements of the plant and the effect of bio-stimulants, pest management products, and root substrates from start to finish,” says Matelich.
While establishing trust with the customers is the priority, gathering empirical data is a close second and it leads to further trust. “Internally and externally, we live by this idea called ‘fans, not customers.’ The business can take on a life of its own when the people we work with become net promoters and fans of our business, not just our customers,” says Matelich. The philosophy is a big part of the company’s identity.
Rx Green Technologies is heavily focused on in-house research to back up the credibility of its products. Its scientists create formulations and use its advanced research lab to ensure that products are performing at the utmost level before they are released. The company has a great competitive advantage in that it is the only company in the U.S. with a cannabis-specific research laboratory dedicated to plant fertility.
The company continuously searches for new ways to improve since there are always possibilities for more technological advancements. “It’s this culture permeation of there’s always a better way. We love when people call with problems that seem unsolvable because that’s what forces everybody to get better and continue to improve,” says Matelich. “We make the investments in research because that research drives us forward, and that movement forward is a core tenet of who we are.”
Rx Green is looking forward to future research breakthroughs and continuing to build its Rx network effect. Its goals are to drive research forward in cannabis plant fertility requirements, bio-stimulants, substrates, and pest management solutions while increasing its overall manufacturing footprint and brand scope.
“Every day we can feel the business is getting bigger; the brand is getting bigger; our reach is getting bigger, and we’re touching more people, which means we’re learning more, and we can put that information back out to the market,” says Matelich. “Every day is more exciting than the last at Rx Green.”