This story originally aired on May 13, 2017.
When Washington state legalized recreational marijuana in 2013, the state held a lottery to award around 200 grower permits. Thousands applied, and on a whim, so did a group of friends that just happened to own a patch of land near Goldendale, in Eastern Washington. They never really thought they’d win, so when they did, it came as a shock.
The group was met with the stark reality that starting a cannabis farm with no farming experience was a much taller order than they were prepared for. Everything from fencing, to taxes, to weather, was an uphill battle.
They could've sold their permit for an incredible profit, but they decided to stick it out and eventually opened Tahoma Growers Farm.
Producers Alex Cartwright and Warren Langford caught up with two of the founding members, Brendan Cooke and Shelby Talmadge, for their podcast, Personal Effects.