"I was reminded, again, why we grow cannabis in soil if the choice is there: The taste is so damn good. I vaporize, not combust, so I can say damn in a cannabis column.
Let’s say you were alone on a desert island and not trying to supply the world with supply. If you had all the stuff you needed to construct and operate a primo hydro system as well as all the things you need to grow in soil, is there any doubt as to which system you would use to grow your cannabis?
Living soil is one of the most important methods for growing plants and results in truly organic plant systems that work symbiotically to produce the ideal buds and bounties of a plant. So, it should come as no surprise that Verde Natural, Colorado’s largest legal living soil cannabis grow operation, partnered with Jeff Lowenfels, the father of living soil, to bring Colorado growers a talk designed to inform and encourage more living soil grow efforts, both in cannabis and other cash crops.
One of the most frequently top-ranked jobs in the cannabis industry is a marijuana grower. It’s easy to see why. On top of getting to turn your passion into a job, being a marijuana grower comes with a salary of anywhere from 80k-150k+—about 50k-120k more than a non-THC producing flower grower earns. Plus there are perks like, well, knowing your work is improving the lives of your customers and getting to be hands on in the foundation of the legal cannabis market. As the industry expands, growers constantly have to adapt and fine-tune their methods. By becoming a grower now, you’re essentially writing the book for years to come, potentially creating growing techniques that could eventually be applied to industries like vegetable cultivation in the food sector.
Knowing about the curing process of the flower you’d like to purchase will make all the difference in your consumption experience. If your bud is anything less than slow cured (for 30 days or more), it won’t be the highest quality consumption experience possible.
Whether crafting edibles, concentrates or topicals, quality starts with sourcing the best materials, and Colorado-based Verde Natural produces some of the best organic plants on the planet. While other companies rushed to the market, Verde Natural took its time to cultivate its flower with meticulous precision and care, and it became the exclusive grower for Chong's Choice in Colorado. This emphasis on excellence also attracted NYC chef Chris Mitchell, who will utilize Verde Natural for a new culinary company that will soon debut a groundbreaking approach to infusions. Likewise, the company itself will premiere a new concentrate line this month called Fuego Extracts that already won a first-place award for its Key Lime Pie Rosin. PRØHBTD spoke with CEO Rudy Ellenbogen to learn more about what makes Verde Natural a farmers' market-style leader in the cannabis market.
Over the past year, a parade of celebrities have slapped their names on cannabis lines that now sell at recreational stores around Denver. Among other moves, Snoop Dogg paired up with LivWell and Willie Nelson purchased Denver Relief. But the most impressive celebrity-endorsed cannabis has to be the Tommy Chong line grown by Verde Naturals, Chong's Choice. Unlike so many big companies, Verde Naturals specializes in small-batch bud that's brilliantly executed. Chong's Choice doesn't rely on flashy packaging or gimmicks; the bud, which you can find at a handful of dispensaries around town, speaks for itself. The three Chong's Choice strains are Grape Stomper, an indica; Durban Haze, a sativa; and Blue Dream, a hybrid — but all are definitely choice.
Every stage in the lifecycle of cannabis is important, but curing is the crowning moment that ensures all the steps before it were not undertaken in vain. Curing is the final stage in cannabis cultivation, just before the flower leaves the warehouse for the dispensary, or for home growers, the final step in fine-tuning a harvest for consumption.
Growing large scale is one of the skills cannabis businesses covet most in a potential cultivator. While there’s a lot of knowledge that goes into expertly raising one, three, or twelve plants in your home, it’s a wholly different scenario to bring a warehouse of 3,500 clones to harvest—the number of plants Cassandra Maffey, head grower at Verde Natural has under her watch 365 days a year. Running a grow of this magnitude requires more than scientific aptitude she says, it means you have to be an excellent manager.
Soil-grown cannabis is the gold standard of organically cultivated, craft cannabis, but depending on grow style—organic vs. other—flowers raised in soil can have some important differences that matter to consumers. Consistency, flavor, medicinal properties, and even the plant’s carbon footprint are all contingent on the manner in which soil-grown cannabis is cultivated.
One of the most important questions to ask your budtender is how the flower you’d like to purchase was cultivated. Why does growing method matter to you, ye cannabis consumer? Because different cultivation styles result in significant variations between the buds you’ll eventually be consuming.