How Lawrence Perrigo turned his basement home-grow into a multi-state empire
Ten years ago, Lawrence Perrigo was a typical working-class Seattleite. Like so many in the early days of medical, cultivating cannabis was Perrigo’s side hustle. During the day, Perrigo was an auto painter, at home he was growing weed in his basement, and playing shows at night. But soon his side hustle became his main hustle.
Papa was a Rollingstone
Before Perrigo was on the cannabis grind, he was a young rocker on the move. From 1997 to 2012, Perrigo played in a variety of black metal and punk bands, including Wormwood, Book of Black Earth, and Cross.
During that time, Perrigo, who was raised in Sacramento, moved from San Francisco to Lawrence, Kansas where his girlfriend at the time was attending college. In Lawrence, Perrigo entered the cannabis arena. He sold weed to make money.
“It was all Mexican brick weed,” Perrigo recalled with a laugh. “Lawrence was a college town, and it was pretty small, so when her college was over, I was ready to go.”
Coming to Seattle
Seattle was Perrigo’s city of choice, he landed here in 2000, and has lived here ever since. Perrigo continued to play music until 2012.
“Eventually, with work and babies, I just didn’t have time to play in bands anymore,” said Perrigo.
Perrigo was busy indeed. His first medical grow was in his basement. At the time he was painting cars, his shop was in South Lake Union, across the street from the old Hostess factory. But things were just getting started.
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In 2014, things took off for Perrigo. The renaissance man moved his grow to a warehouse in Georgetown, made the transition from medical to 502, and his first daughter was born all in the same year.
Have a Quality Product
Despite everything going on, Perrigo never compromised the quality of his flower.
“I’ve grown organically from day one, and there was definitely a learning curve,” Perrigo admits. “But I just stick to my rules, be nice, show up on time, and have a quality product.”
All of Saints’ flower is grown using only proprietary genetics.
In addition to growing excellent flower, Perrigo knew it was important to build his brand right from the start. Perrigo wanted to set his product apart and initially, he didn’t know exactly how to do it.
“That’s when I had my holy shit moment,” Perrigo explained. “I realized I just have to keep doing what I’m doing, but market my brand like a band, not like weed.”
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That approach has worked wonders. Each pack of Saints Joints is decorated with metal-inspired artwork that could easily double as an album cover. And people love them.
Trial and Error
It hasn’t all been slam dunks for Perrigo, he’s tried a few things that didn’t go quite as planned. He had a separate flower only brand, but he
felt like it was confusing the consumer so he stopped. And in the spirit of musical collaboration, Perrigo collaborated with brands like Fire Bros and Gold Leaf, rolling flower from those growers into joints, and selling them under the Saints brand.
“But that ended up being confusing,” Perrigo explained. “People just thought we were some joint brand that didn’t even grow our own flower.>
A quick learner, Perrigo stopped doing things that didn’t work and stuck to what was successful. And it’s this kind of cunning that is moving things forward for Saints Joints.
A year ago, Saints Joints began preparing to enter the California market. Six months ago, Saints Joints, began plans to enter the Oklahoma market. Now Saints Joints can be found in all three states, a pretty impressive feat in this industry.
The trajectory from house painter who grew weed in his basement, to the owner and operator of one of the most successful joint brands in the US, is meteoric. With all of the big-money investors who get into cannabis and create brands based on focus groups and committees, it’s nice to see a working-class creative guy make a place for himself. And best of all? He’s really nice.
Photo courtesy metal-archives.com