Seaside Cannabis, Agway Ready Inaugural Clone Fest

by Ryan Bray
Seaside Cannabis Co. and Agway are collaborating for this weekend’s first annual Clone Fest Sunday on Lots Hollow Road.  RYAN BRAY PHOTO Seaside Cannabis Co. and Agway are collaborating for this weekend’s first annual Clone Fest Sunday on Lots Hollow Road. RYAN BRAY PHOTO

ORLEANS – When Seaside Cannabis Co. was first looking at the building on Lots Hollow Road that would eventually become its store back in 2020, they made sure to check in with their next door neighbors at Agway of Cape Cod.

“They wholeheartedly said ‘Come on down,’” recalled Spencer Knowles, Seaside’s chief operating officer.

Now the two businesses are collaborating for a new annual event aiming to link the shared space between gardening and the still burgeoning cannabis industry. On May 19, residents and visitors can stop by the inaugural Clone Fest, where novice and seasoned recreational cultivators alike can learn more about how to grow their own cannabis at home.

The event will be held across the front of the two neighboring businesses along Lots Hollow Road. Seaside will have clones for sale courtesy of Suncrafted Medical and Recreational Cannabis in Middleboro, while an instructional tent will offer tips from experts on gardening and cloning, Knowles said. The event will also feature live music and food courtesy of Bubba’s Food Truck and Good Times Ice Cream from noon to 5 p.m.

Knowles said Seaside and Agway make natural partners for the event, as Agway sells tools and kits that can be used for planting clones.

“They’ve been selling grow supplies for many, many, many years,” he said. “So it was a natural fit to combine forces.”

Seaside officially opened its doors in December, making it Orleans’ first legal recreational marijuana business. Under state law, residents can own up to six cannabis plants per adult and as many as 12 total per household. But while newly legal, Knowles noted that the act of growing cannabis is anything but new.

“Honestly we’re tapping into an oil duct that has been there for decades,” he said. “All we’re doing is doing it in a more commercialized way, but people have been acquiring cannabis and growing clones or seeds for a millenia.”

With cloning, people can expedite the process of growing their own cannabis by using “clones” born from a mother plant. Knowles said this process is much quicker than “phenohunting,” or growing cannabis directly from seed.

“The clone itself is at a stage in its life cycle where it’s ready to go into a pot and continue to grow outside,” he said. “This is like a head start compared to starting from seeds.”

Seaside is recommending that customers pre-order what they plan to buy ahead of the event. Preorders will be available for pickup from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 19. It’s also recommended that customers purchase their grow kits ahead of time from Agway, Knowles said.

“We feel like we’re going to sell out,” he said. “We’re very confident that it’s going to be well received.”

On the day of the event, Seaside staff will assist in bringing customers’ orders out to their cars. But once in their possession, Knowles said people should treat their clones with the care they would give “a child or pet.”

“You really need to get them in the ground over the course of a few days,” he said.

The inaugural festival has yet to be held, but Knowles said he already sees the potential for growth in its second year and beyond. That could include invitations to more experts and growers to participate.

Knowles said business has been strong at Seaside, and that additional staff are being hired to accommodate its first summer season. But while the newness of cannabis in Orleans has been a boon for the operation, it also represents something of a hurdle for it to clear. Seaside’s partnerships with local businesses such as Agway, he said, are important as the cannabis industry continues to work to mainstream itself.

“There’s a genuine appreciation of locals that we share,” he said. “There’s trust that we’re going to be good stewards and good neighbors. We care about each other. That’s what we want in every relationship that our industry has with any other business, because that’s how we get to the point where we can be treated like any business.”

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