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Grow Box: Science and Tech Nerds Make Life Easier for Growers

 May 16, 2016 Marijuana Free Press  0 Comment

The Mission

At GrowBox we believe in challenging the status quo to make the world a better place. GrowBox is a group of science and technology nerds that are hell-bent on automating the process of growing cannabis. GrowBox applies cutting edge technology to cannabis production in an effort to make life easier for growers. What do we mean by “make life easier for growers”? We want growers to generate more product with spend less time and money. By using science and technology to control all of the variables involved in the growing process, the GrowBox team is creating a ground-breaking approach to growing cannabis.

GrowBox also has a social mission. The technology GrowBox is creating can be used to grow both cannabis and vegetables, and it is a core part of the GrowBox mission to feed hungry people who do not have easy access to food. That is why 5% of GrowBox earnings are donated to feeding the hungry around the world.

The Team

The way the GrowBox team came together is a great story! It sounds a bit cheesy, but “fate” or “destiny” are probably the best way to describe how it happened. Basically a series of chance events led to the formation of GrowBox. We got lucky.


Chris Mitchem had the idea for GrowBox while roaming around the Denver airport on a layover. He explains it as one of those “lightning-strike moments, where you know an idea is so good that it is about to take over your life.” Chris has a background in medical technology with a Fortune 500 company, and ever since graduating with his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Santa Clara University, it was “just a matter of time before he started his own business.” Chris started his first business in 2012 and was fortunate enough to build it into a successful company. Early success in the business world showed Chris what was possible, and he began to look for a bigger mission and purpose in life. The idea for GrowBox is a product of Chris’ search for a project that could change the world, and to Chris it seemed like “a fun problem to solve.”

So how did the GrowBox team come together? Chris had been working on GrowBox for a couple of months and was searching for property in the Portland area to place his first GrowBox on. A GrowBox is a shipping container converted into a turn-key grow operation, so Chris was literally looking for a parking lot or any other budget outdoor space to put one on. He connected with Dan Carlson from Debbie Thomas Real Estate in Portland to help with the search, and Dan had a great idea. Dan knew of two young cannabis entrepreneurs hunting for industrial space in Portland to start their grow operation, and Dan thought that they might be willing to rent a piece of their property to Chris. So, Dan made the connection, and Chris had his first phone conversation with Justin Quinn.


Justin is an Applied Biology graduate from NorthWestern University. After spending a couple of years in biological research, Justin decided to follow his dream of entrepreneurship in the cannabis world. Chris had been hunting for a CTO but had not found the right fit. After a short conversation with Justin, Chris was completely sold. In that conversation Chris asked Justin to explain the pro’s and con’s of High Pressure Sodium versus LED lighting, and Justin’s answer completely blew him away. Chris says “it was the most well thought out argument I had heard on the controversial lighting debate.” It also turns out that Justin had been wrestling with the same idea of creating grow “pods”, and it was a crazy coincidence that they met. Chris did not waste any time, he invited Justin to meet in person that same day.


When Chris found Justin, he also found a huge talent in Justin’s brother Brian. Brian Quinn is a Finance major from Wake Forest University and a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA). After Brian’s graduation from Wake Forest University, he worked for a global commodities firm specializing in options contracts for oil. Brian’s analytical mind, commodities experience, and financial background are a huge asset to the team. Chris had hit the jackpot, not only had he found his CTO in Justin, he had found his CFO in Brian. The GrowBox founding team was formed, basically by random chance.


Shortly after forming the company the team realized that they needed to round out their tech talent. Justin, Brian, and Chris are great on the biology, finance, and marketing side of the business, but weak on the tech side. Brian reached out to a couple of contacts at Wake Forest and found Austin Koeppel. Austin is a recent Computer Science graduate from Wake Forest University, and is a self described “hacker”.  In basically no time at all, Austin was on a plane to Portland ready to bunk up on a spare couch to join the team. Austin’s passion for the project came through immediately as he threw himself into the project and delivered impressive results.


Last but not least, the GrowBox crew needed to find an amazing cannabis grower with experience. They were lucky to find Steven Ray, a talented grower with a track record of proven results. Steve has over 30 years of growing experience in every kind of grow setup imaginable. He is an equipment expert, and also has a passion for developing medicinal strains to treat various ailments. When initially talking with the team about consulting, Steve produced years of lab data about his harvests, showing incredible THC content and weight metrics. Steve has been a vocal member of the team and has provided key direction throughout the development process.


That is the GrowBox team! We have been busy coming up with a product design, setting up manufacturing, and testing out the product with a grow of our own. Now we are ready to help our fellow cannabis entrepreneurs start growing with an amazing turn-key product!

Current Products:

GrowBox is excited to announce the launch of the GrowBox 1000, a turn-key professional grow operation. The GrowBox 1000 is a fully integrated grow system with electrical, lighting, irrigation, and environmental control (humidity, temperature , air flow, and insulation). It is literally an environmentally controlled “clean-room” environment made out of a shipping container. The size of the space is 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8.5 feet tall, and it can be placed both indoor and outdoor depending on owner preference and space availability. We simply deliver it and plug it in, and you can start growing that very day! We estimate that with our proprietary grow process, the owner of a GrowBox 1000 can generate a minimium of $200,000 in annual revenue per box (based on current market rates and regulatory conditions in Oregon).

In the near future GrowBox will announce the launch of a ground-breaking device that is going to improve the lives of cannabis growers everywhere! We cannot “spill the beans” on it yet, but it is very cool and we are looking forward to launching it in the coming months.

The GrowBox team is absolutely committed to making life easier for growers. By using science and technology to control all of the variables in the growing process, the GrowBox team is creating a ground-breaking approach to growing cannabis. Thank you for reading, and feel free to reach out to us any time by visiting our website,