Before you ask, the answer is “yes.”
Cullen Raichart is aware his company’s name—GreenBroz—doesn’t sound particularly professional, and he’s entertained the idea of changing it plenty of times over the course of the brand’s decade-long existence. But instead of calling themselves Green Logistics Solutions Inc. or another combo of ambiguous, stuffy names, the CEO says he and his team of five engineers let their products speak for themselves.
“So much of this business is word of mouth,” says the 53-year-old Las Vegas-based entrepreneur. “We’re in 39 countries and are well-established in both the US and Canada; so, I’d say we’ve done pretty well so far.”
“Pretty well” is an understatement, considering the company’s modest beginnings. Founded in Raichart’s hometown of San Diego in 2012, GreenBroz started as a grow house operation in his garage with a few friends, hence the casual-sounding name. But nobody’s questioning the corporate moniker now. The company operates a 50,000 square-foot warehouse in the northeast Vegas Valley next to the famed speedway that holds multiple NASCAR events each year.
The speedway is an appropriate neighbor considering how fast the company is expanding. According to Raichart, his business currently has 50 employees working across the country and made more than $14 million last year. He says his company has grown at least 20 percent every year since he left the duty-heavy California for Nevada back in 2019, a tax-friendly new home compared to its expensive neighboring state.
GreenBroz’ exponential growth is impressive even by industry standards, especially because the business hasn’t sold out to one of the mega-corporations known for swiping up dispensaries and cannabis firms by the dozens in recent years. And the man in charge says it’s all thanks to a unique technology that he’s fought tooth-and-nail to patent.
Some context is important here. Blades in popular commercial trimming machines usually take one of two shapes: octagon or square. Which means many cannabis buds end up crunched into the shape of a golf ball or a pinecone. In 2012, Raichart realized that the industry needed a more efficient and accurate trimmer than what was already widely available. More states were legalizing weed, and the industry standards of hand-trimming and subpar machine trimmers wouldn’t be enough to keep up with demand.
So, he gave up growing (“I wasn’t really good at it anyway”) and spent six months researching and developing his first prototype. Before long, the GreenBroz Alchemist was born. Featuring a pair of nonconcentric arc-shaped blades made from US steel, the Alchemist used almost entirely domestic-made components. Raichart secured a patent for the product, and business took off from there.
Kevin Bower joined the brand’s team as a mechanical engineer in 2016 and has played an integral part in improving the Alchemist into the company’s current portfolio of five combined trimmers and trichome extractors. Besides their accuracy, the machines are known to move among the fastest of any available trimmers in the industry—cutting anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds of buds per hour. By means of comparison, it’d take dozens of people to hand-trim the same quantity in an hour.
“It’s really cool just being on the cutting edge of the industry,” Bower says. “We’re literally changing the way cannabis companies operate. If we create a machine a certain way, we’re basically going to dictate how that process is done. That’s what I like about it the most.”
Raichart spent five years in the US Navy serving as an avionics technician in the early 1990s. A self-admitted “bad student” in high school, he called the structure and discipline he learned during his time in the military “invaluable.” When hiring, he says he looks for people with military experience because he feels he can count on them. That trust is especially important in a heavily regulated industry such as cannabis where even the smallest procedural and technical errors can carry huge consequences.
At just 28 years old, Bower, who isn’t a military veteran, is the most senior mechanical engineer on the company’s team. He joined the staff in 2016, just weeks after receiving a degree at the University of California, Davis. For his part, Bower describes his job as empowering, thanks to the incredible responsibility and influence he’s been given, in spite of his young age. And working in GreenBroz’ laid back business environment has allowed the engineer to develop revolutionary new products and ideas, his boss says.
Beyond his hiring practices, Raichart takes pride in supporting US businesses. He buys all of his steel, plastic and aluminum domestically, and said his machines are made with 96% US materials. “I buy everything I possibly can from here,” he says. “The only things we get from abroad are some electronics from Taiwan, and a motor that’s sourced from Japan. If there’s anything we want people to know about GreenBroz, it’s that we’re an American company first.”
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.