Hi-Grow Shop and Hi-Grow Café are situated in the bustling student area of Pretoria known as The Strip. Like most good stories, Hi-Grow was first conceptualised with a group of guys smoking a blunt. Being in the industry; owners Shannon and Julian knew that if they were to start a cannabusiness the time would be then. They continued to brainstorm, with each pull of the blunt ideas started to flow. One after another, till the brainchild of Hi-Grow was born. Besides the fact that they had a passion for growing (with legalities still uncertain at the time) they decided to take the safer route and open the grow store first. So, with their ties in the industry they set out and were able to create a shop that was really for the grower. Allowing them to bring growers in Pretoria the best products at the most competitive prices.
Their intent is to create an establishment where people could go to and get assistance or ask questions about their growing concerns. With the help of their grow expert (and one of the other co-owners) Paul, they can tackle any query they may receive. Further to this, Hi-Grow also wants to ensure that they can cater to every essential need for growers and cannabis enthusiast. They invite any innovators and creators of new products (whatever they may be) to come through to see them. Equipped with a legal team they also provide registration of new products to assist with compliance and licensing in order to get products on the shelves.
Further to their vast supply of products, Hi-grow also assist with GMP facility setups and growing consultancies as well as plant tending (and plant sitting when on holiday) services for home growers where one of their consultants would come out to your home and tend to any issues you may be experiencing, such as pest control or even general advice that a person may require. They also supply clones and genetics although, as Shannon mentioned, the clone and seed sector are a very grey area in the market at the moment. They have applied for cutting and seedling licenses however, Shannon said it is important to know there are only a few seeds that one can buy legally in the country. Shannon also spoke further about the seeds that they stock from The Green Smoke Room which offer a wide variety for growers to choose from.
Hi-Grow do a lot of work within the community to assist in creating jobs and building a platform for sustainable development for the community. A portion of every member’s contribution they receive goes towards the Socio-Economic Development Programme that they run throughout the year. This program falls under the agricultural projects that have been set up with different governmental departments. Additionally, they are facilitating the training and educational programmes through SETA training academies.
They would like to build a strong community and cannabis community alike and want to put a voice behind the people who are trying to make a difference to everyone’s lives. As Shannon said further during the interview, “The foundation of our business has been laid by so many individuals’ hard work. I thank and appreciate them so much. We would also like to thank all the people before us who made this happen; The Dagga Couple and all the people who are currently fighting in the courtroom. They made this possible for us, we are just following our passions and dreams and “paying it forward” as much as we can. I believe in the cannabis community so much that I put my heart and soul into it to make things better.”
The Hi-Grow Café is the private members club, where they have created a space for like-minded individuals to come through to smoke weed legally in a private space; enjoy and to feel relaxed in their environment. They boast an awesome edibles menu, munchies menu and vast variety of CBD products. There is communal-weed-to-be-shared and they are also embarking on research of different strains for people to try things that they have never seen or heard of before. There is strictly no selling of THC at the club. Until the law has progressed in that way, they confirm that they will continue to adapt accordingly.
We asked Shannon about challenges they may have faced as entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry, which he responded as follows:
“What we are experiencing right now is like a “Green Rush”. The competition is quite rife in the market. There are many people bringing in products but have been finding it difficult to keep up with constant supply which makes it difficult for us to keep up with demand.
The biggest challenge I would say are the proposals by government. The Bill does not really define as clearly as they think it does. People are still scared to grow their businesses bigger or even start their business. There are people waiting for a “go-ahead” to start a fully-fledged business and employ people. But because there is so much uncertainty people are just doing what they can and that’s why there are so many social clubs and grow shops around trying to find the right way to do things.
South Africa has begun putting a lot of time and research into new technologies and grow mediums, which is great news for the foreseeable future. There are so many organic soils in the market currently that the manufacturers have worked tirelessly to make! We are thankful for this because it allows us to offer a wider range and variety to the public. A massive shoutout to Green Smoke Room, Cannabiz, Living Organics, Freedom Farms, Advanced Hydro, all the way to the lighting producers and manufacturers like InDorSun and Euphoria Lights to name a few, the list goes on, we are grateful to all the local producers and manufacturers adding so much value to this industry. I would also like to commend the Departments, especially DAFF, who are doing a lot of great work. We believe that we just need to push and keep it going as hard as we can to grow the economy as fast as possible.”
Hi-Grow, in association with Befok and Halp Media, established The Canna Fair which is an event catered around education and training. There will be several guest speakers talking about various topics in the industry from; compliance, legislation, lighting (which is very big right now), medicinal benefits, the Rastafarian community will also be involved and the legendary Basil Gold from one of the best-selling health books called The Cure which incorporates healthy living and curing the body from hundreds of ailments using fruit, vegetables and minerals.
The Hi-Grow Shop and The Hi-Grow Cafe
285 Lynnwood Road,
Menlo Park, Pretoria, 0081
079 695 2658