Nova Farms (Nova), like their CEO and founder, Derek Ross, has been galvanized by adversity, and rose above early challenges to become the largest, privately owned, vertically integrated cannabis operator in the Northeast. High Times recently sat down for a conversation with Ross and Nova’s Chief Operating Officer, Blair Fish, to learn how Nova is preparing for their next phase of explosive growth.
Courtesy Nova Farms
A Rough Start in Rhode Island
Ross, Fish, and the other founders of Nova are originally Rhode Islanders. Fish had been the owner of Ocean State Cultivation Center (OSCC) with his brother and Ross was also involved in the medical industry there, until they reached a breaking point. “All three dispensaries in the state were vertically integrated and the regulators forced cultivators off a cliff,” Fish told High Times. So they sold OSCC to a California company, and left Rhode Island for greener pastures in Massachusetts.
“Born of frustration, that typifies how Nova came to be,” said Fish. He had this advice for regulators, “Do what is right for the state, what is right for the market, not what is right for the incumbents.” Ross echoed his frustrations with Rhode Island and suggested looking to the future, “regulators need to talk to the best operators to figure out how to make a breathing document, something that can evolve.” To Nova, the future is outdoor cultivation, with bigger batches harvested in metric tons.
Sheffield Farm / Photo by Henry Kerstgens/Haus
Expanding Beyond Massachusetts’ Greener Pastures
What sets Nova apart from their competitors is their use of outdoor growing in a region where many felt it was impossible. Ross told High Times, “The CCC had never seen an outdoor grow plan and most of their regulations were written with indoor in mind,” such as 5 pound …
Author: Mitchell Colbert / High Times