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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Q&A: Katrina McKinley, COO of Grow Op Farms in Spokane Valley

By Pia Hallenberg EVERCANNABIS Correspondent

What’s your connection to Grow Op Farms?

I am the Chief Operating Officer. Myself and my husband, Robert McKinley, are the founders of Grow Op Farms, which we started in 2014.

Did you start in Spokane Valley?

Yes, we did start in Spokane Valley. We now also have smaller grow operations in Lake Elsinore and Greenfield, in California.

Looking at Washington state data, Grow Op is by far the biggest grower in the state – how many people do you employ?

We have about 625 employees in Washington state.

Do you have plans for expansion in Spokane Valley or elsewhere?

We have maxed out our current Spokane facility in terms of expansion, however we are expanding to other states.

How large is your output on a national level? Are you one of the largest growers in the United States?

I don’t have data to accurately compare to the output of other companies in other states. However, I do believe we are one of the largest growers overall.

Do you grow medical and recreational marijuana?

Grow Op farms does not have a “medical designation” – we only farm recreational marijuana

Do you ship to all states where marijuana is legal?

No, because of federal laws and regulations we are not allowed to ship our products outside the state of Washington.

Talk about some of your brands – which one is your most popular?

Our Phat Panda brand flower is still our top seller, followed by Sticky Frog concentrates, and then our Hot Sugar edibles line.

There are so many different producers and product lines – how do you stand out and profile yourself?

We feel we consistently offer the best top-quality product for the price. Our packaging and labels are very eye catching and tend to draw customers in, if they are not already aware of our brand.

What – if any – impact have you felt on your business from the COVID-19 pandemic?

When COVID first hit, we saw a spike in sales across the board. Sales were up for many months and have just in the last month began to level back off to pre-COVID levels.

Are certain products of yours more popular during COVID? Which ones?

We saw a much larger increase in sales of our edibles line, Hot Sugar, than anything else.

Finally – whip out your crystal ball and talk about the future of recreational cannabis. It looks like legalization is continuing to happen in many states – what are your plans to meet demand?

Along with expanding to California we are also beginning operations in Massachusetts. We may consider other states in the future.

Pia Hallenberg spent 20 years in journalism in Spokane, before starting her own PR/content development agency. She is a social media manager, and she writes online community content, as well as cyber security blogs and briefs.