Bickel Consulting began in 2015 with the goal of spreading Matthew Bickel’s passion for cultivating high quality cannabis plants and spreading his love of the plant. By offering an array of business services, decades of combined professional cultivation experience, and a network of knowledgeable and seasoned industry experts, Bickel Consulting serves as the bridge between the board room and the grow room. Bickel Consulting is based in Denver, Colorado, and provides cannabis businesses worldwide with solutions to increase efficiency and productivity, team satisfaction, cultural practices and philosophies, and sustained profitability.
Having worked in 21 different states and countries, Bickel Consulting has seen and worked with all styles of cultivation, from outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor, with use of soil, as well as deep water culture, rock wool, aeroponic, and coco coir based hydroponic methods. In the rapidly changing legal cannabis market, we pride ourselves on staying true to the roots of cannabis cultivation and culture, while remaining informed and up to date on all advancements in technology, cultivation knowledge and techniques, applicable laws, and best business practices. Another key component to the core philosophy is to ‘keep it simple’ with tried and true methods and cultural practices, which allows the plants and the business to thrive, rather than survive.
Beyond cultivation, Bickel Consulting also has substantial experience in business and product development, as well as financial and investment strategies. The knowledge and experience gained from decades of industry experience over a large swath of regions provides vital insight to investors and entrepreneurs looking to enter or expand in the legal cannabis market. Some of the most noteworthy clients for business and investment experience are the PAX Era and Beehouse private equity fund.
The experienced gained and offered from Bickel Consulting not only includes the wealth of knowledge for industry best practices and profitability, but also identifying a myriad of mistakes and errors that can be corrected and easily avoided with proper foresight and planning. This knowledge and experience is focused on all aspects of cultivation, but extends to all other facets of operating a licensed cannabis business. By utilizing this experience and philosophy, combined with a deep passion and love of the cannabis plant, Bickel Consulting offers high level consultation on cannabis business management practices, facility design and function, and cultivation techniques, to help ensure your business is successful and profitable at all times.
Business Engagements & Successes
US Virgin Islands
Consulted and assisted with drafting framework for medical marijuana legalization in the US Virgin Islands in 2016. In 2019, resumed consulting with client on business development and planning, and design and construction, as well as creation of SOP’s, staffing, and start up plans for cultivation facilities, and dispensaries on the islands of St. Thomas, and St. John.
Ipswich Pharmaceutical Associates – Massachusetts
Oversight and management of a 5,000 ft2 greenhouse in Hinsdale, MA. Currently developing design and construction plans for 2 acres of outdoor operations, 20,000 ft2 of additional greenhouse, a 10,000 ft2 headhouse building to supplement outdoor and greenhouse expansions, and a 2000 ft2 processing and extraction lab. Full property expansion will cover 100 acres of land to create a multi-use campus of cannabis businesses.
MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies)
Working as Business Development Officer for fundraising of $30,000,000 to perform a large scale, FDA approved, phase 3 clinical trial of MDMA for veterans who suffer from PTSD. Provide insight for development of current and ongoing business strategies and research opportunities.
Elevated – Massachusetts
Working with state and local governments for indoor recreational cultivation license for 50,000 ft2 of flower in Clinton, MA, with expansion plans for up to 100,000 ft2 total. Working with client to develop business plans and operations plans, negotiate community host agreement with local municipality, provide required documents to state regulatory agency (CCC), as well as design planning for indoor cultivation of 50,000 ft2 of canopy.
CEO and co-founder of a luxury cannabis flower brand. Actively involved in product/brand development, and strategies for acquisition and distribution of high-end cannabis throughout multiple states. Expected to launch by 2021 bringing top quality, artisanal flower to market in CO and expanding to other legal states.
Revival 98 - Missouri
Principle operations and cultivation writer for a vertically integrated cannabis business application submission. Awarded licenses for extraction and dispensary operations in Springfield, MO.
Beehouse - New York
Beehouse is a private fund based out of Manhattan, NY worth over one billion dollars in total assets. Bickel Consulting provides professional consultation for Beehouse investment opportunities, business ventures, and any other information related to the legal cannabis market across the U.S.
Ascend Wellness Holdings - Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey
Hired for professional peer review and oversight of all current operations and future expansions. This role naturally progressed into management and SOP implementation as well as design and construction consulting in five states on with over 100,000 ft2 of operational flower canopy combined.
Illinois: Management and SOP implementation of an 80,000 ft2 facility with 65,000 ft2 of canopy. Full redesign of existing building to incorporate a multi-tier cultivation platform to capture as much canopy as possible. Created SOPs for cultivation and trained management staff overseeing a crew of 65 employees. Working on design and build out of a 40,000 ft2 expansion building to keep up with excess demand from recreational sales.
Massachusetts: Management and SOP implementation in a 20,000 ft2 facility. Work with management staff to create functional design, and fully compliant cultivation operations within the strict legal standards of MA. Currently operating 20,000 ft2 and working on design and build out of 50,000 additional square feet of indoor cultivation expansion.
Michigan: Acquisition of 2 medical cannabis licenses, approved for adult use, each 25,000 ft2 of indoor cultivation in Michigan. Currently building the first phase of cultivation and overseeing design and construction.
Ohio: Acquisition of a Tier 2 medical marijuana license covering 3000 ft2 of indoor operations. Implemented state compliant SOP’s and training of management staff. Currently in design phase for additional multi-tier indoor expansions of existing space and additional space covering a total of 12,000 ft2 of canopy.
New Jersey: Acquisition of the one of the first medical marijuana licenses in the state that has been operational since 2010. Design planning for full retrofit of existing operations to be fitted with current state of the art HVAC, automation, LED lighting, and mobile benching systems. Also designing an expansion of the building to capture 20,000 ft2 of additional flower canopy.
Advanced Biomedic - Louisiana
Won 1 of 2 merit-based licenses in the state of Louisiana. Oversight of design, buildout, and operation of a 50,000 ft2 cultivation facility. Full design for retrofit an existing 10,000 ft2 building for fast and low up-front cost cultivation to get product to market as fast as possible, while designing and building a ground up, state of the art cultivation facility. Worked with ownership team and Southern University to implement best cultivation practices, research and development, and full compliance with state and local laws.
Owner and consultant for a successful merit-based application for a cultivation facility license in Macedonia. Consulting for design construction, SOP’s, staffing, and startup of a 20,000ft2 indoor facility.
Rising Tide LED
Hired for professional peer review and product development of an emerging LED grow light designed specifically for cannabis. Provided analysis of design, function, and performance with use of Rising Tide sample fixtures throughout several cultivation facilities managed or peer reviewed by Bickel Consulting. Provided real feedback from growers in the field to design a more economical fixture with the highest performance to specifically target indoor cannabis production. (This is a non-binding agreement for intellectual feedback and support only).
Buckeye Relief - Ohio
2017 - Present
First place license winner in competitive, merit-based application out of 120 applicants statewide. Cultivation consultants for the design, buildout, SOP writing, startup, and operation of a 60,000 ft2 cultivation facility with extraction lab and supplemental office space. Wrote cultivation language for application requirements and worked with local architects and engineers to design a stamped floor plan of a state compliant cultivation facility for application submission. The facility is designed to maximize the state required canopy limits for cultivation, while also having the systems and infrastructure in place to support a rapid, minimally invasive doubling of canopy square footage by adding a second tier of benching and cultivation equipment. The Buckeye Relief cultivation facility is state-of-art, and utilizes full climate automation, fertigation, reverse osmosis water filtration and treatment, efficient LED lighting systems for all grow areas, mobile racking to maximize canopy space, condensate recapture systems, Price Mechanical HVAC units, and full separation of clean room areas and common areas. The cultivation facility was constructed from the ground up with construction completed, Certificate of Occupancy granted, state license approval, and seeds germinated within 9 months from issuance of the license.
Buckeye Relief was the first:
Tier 1 cultivation facility to be inspected and approved for cultivation in Ohio.
Tier 1 cultivator to harvest and have product ready for sale and sold in Ohio.
Product harvested and all grow rooms full within 4 months from seed germination.
Wrote and implemented all cultivation SOP’s and trained all cultivation staff during facility startup and full production cycle implemented and in place from the first harvest. Actively training management and lower level cultivation staff for best practices, operational efficiency, and collecting data and monitoring analysis for selection of best strains and phenotypes to be used for full production.
Green Thumb Industries – Pennsylvania & Massachusetts
First place license winner in competitive, merit-based application our of 12 available licenses in Pennsylvania. Oversight of design, buildout, and operation of a 50,000 ft2 grower/producer facility in Pennsylvania. Oversight and design, buildout, and operation of a 30,000 ft2 cultivation facility in Massachusetts.
Oversight of design, buildout, and operation of a 60,000 ft2 cultivation facility in Puerto Rico.
Vicente Sederberg Tech Ventures
Active member on the Board of Directors, serving as the go to cultivation expert on all cultivations deals and business-related ventures. Help develop companies to better adapt to and succeed in the cannabis industry, advise on investments, review decks, pro formas, and business plans.
Trellis Farms - Oregon
Converted an ornamental farm into an outdoor cannabis production facility. Oversight of hiring and training of all staff for two 20,000 ft2 outdoor canopy area. Selected and provided genetics for outdoor production based on local climate conditions and length of season. Created and implemented SOPs for all cultivation duties and workflow processes. Staffed and trained employees for a 30,000 ft2 indoor pharmaceutical grade cultivation facility. Implemented SOPs for cultivation duties and workflow processes.
Culta - Maryland
2016 - Present
Culta won one of 15 merit-based license applications in the state of Maryland serving 99 medical cannabis dispensaries and has since developed a reputation for being a premier supplier of top-quality medicinal cannabis. Upon issuance of the vertically integrated license, Bickel Consulting became principal cultivation directors of the company and advised on the full design from conceptual layout to completed buildout of 30,000 ft2 indoor cultivation facility. Retrofitted an existing structure with state of art cultivation equipment to provide a compliant, turn key cultivation facility. The Culta cultivation facility utilizes state of the art technologies and management practices including fertigation, reverse osmosis water filtration and treatment, G-Pod HVAC systems, mobile benching for canopy maximization, LED lighting and double tier canopy for vegetative growth, and separation of clean rooms and common areas. Wrote and implemented all cultivation and post-harvest SOP’s and trained all cultivation management and staff during facility startup. Harvested first batch of plants within 4 months from germination of seeds, with production cycle on track and all grow rooms full in the same period of time. Assisted with entire process from conceptual business philosophy and mission, cultivation facility startup, all the way through post-harvest operations and deployment of product to market.
Design and oversight of first legal outdoor harvest in Maryland with 1 acre of organic living soil, no-till sun grown flower. Implemented SOPs so all cultivation and harvest processes and trained staff on best practices for organic production. For first year production with a small team of cultivators this project yielded over 1 ton of dried biomass from 1 acre of cultivation area.
Actively involved in oversight of current operations, and design and implementation for multiple project expansions. Expansion includes a state-of-the-art indoor grow, utilizing multi-tier mobile benching and LED light systems throughout, equipped with a Class-100,000 micropropagation lab for genetic preservation and tissue culture production. Outdoor expansions include 1 acre of Cravo retractable roof greenhouse systems, 2 additional acres of outdoor cultivation fields, and a 15,000 square foot head house with state of the art drying and mechanical systems to supplement the outdoor operations.
Binske - Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Oversight of design, buildout, and startup and operation of a 30,000 ft2 cultivation facility and vertically integrated manufacturing facility producing high end bean to bar edibles, and high-end concentrates. Wrote and implemented SOPs, facility workflow, and all cultivation techniques. Hired and trained all staff on SOPs, compliance, and cultivation practices and standards.
Lau Ola – Kona, Hawaii
Cultivation advisor and regulatory drafter in assisting issuance of competitive merit based medical marijuana license application. Won 1 out of 7 licenses issued at the time of application. Oversight, facility design, and implementation of cultivation practices and standards of a 25,000 ft2 cultivation facility.
Black Diamond Biotechnologies - Shelton, Washington
Worked on license language as professional cultivation expert and achieved issuance of license for a cultivation license. Oversight of design and buildout of 71,000 ft2 modern, multi-tier canopy, state licensed cultivation facility. Integrated use of LED lighting and automated aeroponic growing technology and systems.
Stone Age Gardens - Shelton, Washington
Revised and implemented new SOPs, including developing a nutrient program management program. Revised cultivation workflow, architectural layout, and cultivation equipment including updating all grow lights Gavita Pro double-ended (DE) 1000 watts fixtures, installing hydronic cooling & HVAC systems in all grow rooms with CO2 distribution. Improved genetic catalogue by selecting new strains for better production results for yields, potency, and quality. Created and implemented a cultivation facility compliance program. Hired new employees and trained staff on all new revisions, SOPs, facility upgrades, and compliance.
Mr. Nice Guys - Colorado
Hired as a professional consultant for full audit of Inventory tracking system. Cleaned up and reorganized all inventory in the tracking system to match current physical inventory to achieve 100% compliance. Assisted in implementing more streamlined methods of inventory tracking and data collection, and efficient entry into state mandated tracking system.
Top Hat Cannabis - Alaska
Advised on successful license application as a cultivation expert. Consulted on real estate options for optimal location of a cannabis cultivation facility. Consulted on design of facility, layout, buildout, equipment specifications, and implementation of cultivation practices.
Denver Patients Center - Denver, Colorado
Professional consulting for inventory tracking data input. Implemented new policies and procedures and trained staff on inventory tracking efficiency to achieve full compliance.
Local Product - Denver, Colorado
Assisted with full removal and replacement of current staff, including hiring and training all new staff members on updated SOPs and genetic inventory. Advised to destroy all plants due to poor health, and insect and fungal pathogen damage. Replaced old genetics with new varieties for optimal yield, potency, and quality results. Developed and implemented SOPs and workflow process for all cultivation procedures and practices. Created and implemented integrated pest management strategies which successfully rid all previous pest issues.
Etain - New York
Assisted as cultivation expert on license application to obtain one of five vertically integrated merit-based licenses in the state of New York.
Green Stop – Fort Morgan, Colorado
Designed, and oversaw buildout and startup of a new 10,000 ft2 cannabis cultivation facility. Full overhaul of current SOPs and cultivation practices and strategies at existing cultivation facility, which increased profits by 1000%. Developed and implemented new cultivation SOPs and integrated pest management practices to successfully rid existing facility of pest issues. Designed hydronic cooling state of the art HVAC (G-Pods) for the new facility, which was one of the first cultivation facilities in world to utilize technology for cannabis cultivation. Hired and trained staff new staff for new facility buildout. Updated all lighting and irrigation systems as well as cultural practices and standards. Startup of new facility included full design and buildout of mobile benching, irrigation systems, lighting systems, training of staff, and provided new genetics for production. Changes made resulted in consistent potencies, elimination of existing pest issues, and yields ranging from 2 to 3.5 lbs. per HPS light. Also assisted with development of a CBD line marketed specifically for sick children by providing safe and quality genetics and cultivation techniques, as well as input and feedback on product design and development.
Maggie’s Farm - Colorado
Hired as consultant and acting as Chief Operating Officer making all business-related decisions for two 20-acre outdoor farm properties in southern Colorado. Designed and built out six new greenhouses with light deprivation technology. Improved cultivation strategies and techniques to incorporate perpetual greenhouse production. During one year as COO, harvested over 15,000 plants, which resulted in increased profits by 25% and net of $25,000,000 in profits for that fiscal year. Assisted with full overhaul of existing staff which included hiring and training all new staff members. Integrated SOPs between all departments and areas of the facility.
Natural Remedies - Denver, Colorado
Implemented and trained staff on organic integrated pest management practices, that were compliant with new Colorado state guidelines. Made improvements to Cultivation SOPs and practices creating a more efficient workflow, better techniques and increasing the overall quality of the product, and output of yields.
MJ Freeway - Worldwide
Senior cultivation advisor for inventory tracking software development and implementation. Assisted with consulting for inventory management and cultivation on projects in South America.
Assisted with overcoming catastrophic loss of plants due to hemp russet mites and powdery mildew. Developed and implemented improved cultivation techniques, hired, trained and managed staff, acquired new genetics, and implemented proprietary Bickel Consulting cultivation practices. The changes implemented not only eliminated all pest problems and crop losses but resulted in double the harvest yields from previous company standards, which in turn doubled company profits.
Pax Labs, Inc - Worldwide
2014 - 2016
Educated ownership about necessity for a higher quality vaporizer pen for cannabis extracts than what was currently available on the market. Developed the preliminary conceptual design of PAX ERA and assisted with research & development for two years until the product came to market in 2016. PAX is currently the top grossing, and highest quality cannabis flower vaporizer in the world.
The Herbal Cure – Denver, Colorado
Hired to manage day to day operations of a 50,000k ft2 cultivation facility. Developed and implemented all SOPs regarding pesticide use and integrated pest management to be fully compliant with state law. Overhauled current workflow protocols and cultivation techniques, and labor practices. The updated SOPs and cultivation practices resulted in doubling the yields of previous company standards.
Silverpeak Apothecary - Aspen, Colorado
Developed and implemented a workflow processes for a $7 million, 15,000k ft2 medical and adult-use Nexus Greenhouse facility with the most scientifically advanced technology in the world. Improved light deprivation issues associated with light bleed and proper blackout conditions. Assisted with sales techniques to exceed yearly sales goals by brokering over one ton of cannabis in the state of Colorado. Designed a custom dry and cure room which subsequently saved the company over $1.2 million in architectural upgrades proposed for dry/cure room by replacing with a separate contractor. Hired and trained new and existing cultivation staff. Revised and implemented new SOPs and cultivation practices to lower overhead costs and improve production output.
Lodo Wellness Center – Denver, Colorado
Head cultivation manager for a licensed cultivation facility in downtown Denver. Increased cultivation yields and quality, which resulted in daily sales increases of $500 to $75,000 per day. Increased potency of strains resulting in an 15%-38% total active cannabinoids. Supplied state of the art equipment for medical cannabis cultivation and designed and built grow rooms to utilize new equipment. Developed and implemented workflow processes, SOPs and cultural practices. Trained staff on regulatory compliance and SOPs. Updated building design and operational compliance for state and Denver City code requirements passing multiple Denver Fire Department, Marijuana Enforcement Division, and Colorado Department of Agriculture inspections. Managed inventory selection and implemented inventory tracking system processes and guidelines. Assisted with transition from medical only dispensary to adult-use dispensary.
Dank - Denver, Colorado
Designed and built out a 10,000k ft2 cultivation facility upon issuance of state license for one of the first 20 medical licenses granted in Colorado. Developed and implemented workflow processes, cultural practices, and SOPs. Trained staff, including owners, on how to cultivate cannabis and operate a licensed cannabis cultivation facility. Acquired and supplied company with new genetics. Changes made resulted in increased profits by over $120,000 a year.