ABOUT OUR FOUNDER:
For Russ Green, founder of Kure Wellness, the journey from guerilla grower to the owner and operator of three Mendocino County cannabis retail outlets represents the realization of a dream shared by millions but realized by a very, very few.
Russ, a third-generation Mendocino County native grew up in Laytonville and graduated from Willits High School.
Russ’s family were and are owners of signature businesses in the North County. His grandfather owned the Chevron station in Laytonville for years. As a youngster, Russ developed his business acumen managing the candy machines at the family stores! From there, he learned the ropes of operating within the retail world from his father- mastering everything from security, invoicing, hiring, permitting, collecting rents and maintaining properties- everything he would need to know to be successful in the retail cannabis world.
His entrepreneurial interests quickly expanded from candy to Kush, when a ‘tweenaged Russ attempted to grow cannabis for the first time.
“I remember trying to pop seeds with an incandescent light under the bed. Not surprisingly, it didn’t work out too well.”
But for thousands of Mendocino County families, growing cannabis worked out superlatively. A few plants in the backyard could grow into to a second vehicle or help with savings for college.
“My grandparents grew back in the day. I figured out my mom was growing when I was about 12. I didn’t start smoking until I was about 17, but weed was always plentiful, and most always free,” Russ notes
GROWING UP, GROWING CANNABIS
When he moved to Nevada for college, Russ was astounded by the retail value of Nor Cal cannabis. “I’d meet people at school, and they’d say, ‘You’re from Mendo?’ The next question was how quickly I could get weed to Nevada. Students were paying $250 for an ounce of cannabis I could get for practically nothing. High-quality bud was scarce. That’s when I realized the potential of the industry.”
Russell returned home to focus on cultivation. “I studied a lot. My grandma sold me one of her properties with an old, beater mobile home that became my first indoor grow room,” he smiles. Over time, Russ perfected his gardens and his growing practices, and like all growers, did his best to detract the attention of law enforcement. “The county allowed us to grow 25 plants per parcel. When I stretched the plant count to 50, I thought I was a big guy,” he laughs.
Russ’s LA Confidential strain became renowned. "A guy brought us a live cut off a flowered bud. I took cuttings and was able to replicate it. That strain got my name out there.”
“Back then, you did everything yourself. We never used any contractors. I rebuilt my AC system about 15 times.”
“Growing is a merger of science and art. You look at so many plants in so many conditions. High temps, low temps, vapor pressure, humidity, tracking transpiration. Aphids, powdery mildew, root rot- the very large School of Hard Knocks- I’ve dealt with every bug, power issue, and security breach you could possibly imagine.”
Over the ten years that Russell “literally grew well over a ton of ‘A-grade’ flowers,” he developed a loyal and devoted clientele, who still rave about his celebrated genetics.
KURE GETS LEGAL!
When Mendocino County began developing its first cannabis ordinance, Russ submitted an application. His diligence, hard work and commitment to a regulated industry resulted in a Mendocino County native son receiving the county’s first cannabis license.
Growing cannabis is one skill-set. Selling it is another, and pre-legalization, was rife with difficulties.
“I realized if I opened a dispensary, I wouldn’t have to worry about selling. We were producing great products that weren’t available in Mendocino County. I had more wholesale inventory than I could have sold to existing dispensaries. And with the black market, you never get feedback from end-users, and feedback was important to me.”
Russ’s comfort in the business world gave him a decided edge when it came to opening his first dispensary. Kure Wellness opened at the Lake Mendocino Drive location in July 2015. Russ used the location to road test products, fine tune his business model, develop proprietary software and enhance the location, which he would ultimately purchase.
“I’ve always seen cannabis from an activist, civil rights perspective. I’ve been passionate about being a compliant business, and equally passionate that a government that supports the sales of cigarettes and alcohol cannot continue to maintain the illegality of cannabis.”
COMMITTING TO SERVE OUR DIVERSE CUSTOMER BASE
“When we first opened, 90% of our products were Kure-branded. My first retail concept was a tasting room setting where customers purchased my products.” But Kure’s customers had other ideas.
“I couldn’t be the best representative for every product. I needed to include others doing exemplary work. We branched out- continuing to offer Kure-branded indoor and outdoor flowers, as well as concentrates, flowers, cartridges and many other products from partners who met our quality benchmarks. We listened carefully to what consumers wanted and shifted to a general dispensary model, where the customer rules the day.”
Two more retail outlets have opened and blossomed- the second store located in South Ukiah and the third in Russ’s hometown of Willits. Each store offers a unique inventory. Russ’s buyers tailor store offerings to customer requests. Along with the commitment to provide “the best of the best,” Kure’s buyers prioritize looking first to the Emerald Triangle for superior cannabis products.
AN EXCELLENT PRODUCT LINE
Kure offers a great selection of indoor and outdoor, sun-grown flowers, pre-rolls and infused pre-rolls. We offer a wide variety of concentrates and cartridges in half and full-gram sizes, an exhaustive selection of gummies and other edibles as well as door-busting specials on Kure-branded cannabis, sold by the gram, eighth and the ounce. We have a solid glass inventory suitable for those looking for a simple, one-hit pipe to others seeking full-sized bongs, nectar collectors, and accessories.
For those interested in medical cannabis, Kure stocks excellent cannabis tinctures, topicals, capsules, teas and transdermal patches- many of which are rich in non-psychoactive CBD and CBN. For those seeking the benefits of multiple cannabinoid profiles, Kure also offers tinctures, salves and edibles which contain both CBD and THC.
THE KURE PROMISE
The Kure family is comprised of a diverse blend of cannabis enthusiasts- brilliant weed aficionados who can quote percentages, strains and growing regimens, seasoned industry pros who have grown and manufactured cannabis for generations, and a team of tech, HR and administrative professionals who joyfully bring their expertise into the cannabis space.
Russ has made it a priority to support our community in other ways. “When the Humane Society was in need of pet food, we stepped in and provided a sizable donation. We strive to keep our markup low and offer a range of products for every budget.”
“Our mission is to ‘Be Excellent to Each Other.’ It is our greatest pleasure to serve you, our community and the cannabis industry. We invite your feedback, recommendations and comments as we continue to provide the best way to “Kure” Mendocino!”