A man who made headlines as a pioneer in Asotin County’s cannabis industry is expanding his business by selling cigars.
Matt Plemmons recently opened Greenfield Fine Cigars at 730 Sixth St. in Clarkston, on the same block as Greenfield Glass & Goods and Greenfield Cannabis, ventures he established after beating a city council ban on marijuana sales.
“It’s another fun reason for people to come and shop on Sixth Street,” Plemmons said.
His newest shop carries dozens of hand-rolled, long filler cigars, sold individually, and will be adding beer and wine soon.
The term “long filler” means the cigars are made from whole leaves of tobacco that haven’t been chopped into smaller pieces as they often are in machine-wrapped cigars. Prices range from $3.25 to $18.95 per cigar.
Similar to wine, each kind of cigar has its own flavor, depending on the type of tobacco and where the tobacco is grown, Plemmons said. The Champagne cigar, manufactured by Perdomo, has a wrapper (a thin layer of tobacco responsible for about 60 percent of a cigar’s flavor) made from a variety developed in Connecticut so finicky it has to be grown under the shade of trees or cheesecloth. It sells for $8.25 to $9.65, depending on the size.
“It tastes like smoking a stick of butter,” Plemmons said.
Another cigar he stocks is Alec Bradley’s Magic Toast, which sells for $9.19 to $10.39. Its existence is owed to an older tobacco farmer who contacted the owner of the Alec Bradley cigar company and convinced him to fly to Nicaragua to sample his tobacco. The evening the flight arrived, the owner went to the farm to sip wine and smoke cigars. He enjoyed the cigars so much, he decided to buy the farm, understanding the property’s growing conditions were largely responsible for giving the tobacco a taste reminiscent of French toast and mild syrup.
In some instances, cigars’ flavors, such as honey blueberry, chocolate and coffee mint, come from ingredients added to the tobacco. Among the most popular in that category at Plemmons’ store are dark cherry cigars from Deadwood Tobacco, $8.25 to $9.60.
Almost all the inventory at Greenfield Fine Cigars is stored in humidors kept at 67 degrees Fahrenheit and 67 percent humidity, conditions that prevent the cigars from being infested with bugs or drying out too quickly.
“They’ll always smoke fresh,” Plemmons said.
His knowledge about how to stock his store began with conversations with friends. After savoring cigars with them, he decided to diversify by opening a store to serve the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley’s large number of cigar aficionados.
Plemmons said he has the resources and time for another store in part because his other businesses are doing well. In addition to the Greenfield-branded Clarkston businesses, he is the primary owner of Sweet Relief Cannabis, in Mount Vernon, Wash.
The cannabis businesses are profitable, he said, despite Washington having the highest excise taxes for marijuana among the states that have legalized it.
“It’s going very well,” Plemmons said. “It leaves me plenty of time to do other projects.”
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