INTRODUCING VERDE NATURAL
We envision a world with alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs, where you can use all natural cannabis in concert with proper diet and exercise to ease your pain and suffering. Whether you're facing a serious medical condition or simply need some relief from your strenuous job, we're giving you access to cannabis that is pure; cannabis not grown synthetically, but grown the way mother nature intended in nutrient dense soil.
Verde Natural is a cannabis cultivator, retailer and wholesaler based in Denver, Colorado.
We grow both medical and recreational strains at our 25,000 square foot grow facility in North Denver. Medical strains are sold at our store on Colfax Avenue in Denver and we wholesale our recreational strains to stores throughout the state of Colorado. We will be opening a recreational facility in 2017 at our medical store location.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Verde Natural was founded by Chuck Blackton (aka the Lemon Man) in 2009 as a medical dispensary in Denver, Colorado, Blackton called it the Verde Wellness Center. His vision was to create a proper dispensary where customers didn’t feel like a transaction. You see, Chuck had spent the better part of 10 years in Amsterdam learning how to run cannabis shops and curate strong genetics. With this knowledge under his belt, he wondered how he could help steer the up and coming market in Colorado in the right direction.
Upon his return to the states, Blackton discovered that his father had passed from Lou Gehrig's Disease (aka as ALS). The passing of his father set an even deeper, emotional fire in him to enter the Colorado market, but guiding the industry towards a proper retail model was no longer at the top of his priority list. Instead he was seeking a way to help ALS sufferers and sufferers of other painful medical conditions find an alternative treatment to pharmaceuticals to ease their pain and suffering.
With that said, there is still a ton of research to be done on cannabis and how it can benefit those who suffer from severe medical conditions. We are not making claims that we - or our founder, know how to treat medical conditions or that cannabis is beneficial in treating medical conditions, this is simply our vision. Verde truly hopes to help identify ways that cannabis can be used as an alternative to pharmaceuticals. We believe cannabis can be used, holistically, in concert with proper diet and fitness to improve and ease the pain of medical conditions. This is what drives us to make sure you have access to cannabis that is grown naturally without synthetics!
EXPANSION OF VERDE
In 2015, Verde Natural's presence in the Colorado cannabis market began to pick up. With demand increasing, new management joined Blackton to begin expanding their operations.
CEO Rudy Ellenbogen completed the design and build out of a custom 25,000 square foot grow facility. Using a bare bone warehouse, the facility was designed for a soil system with a production flow (from clone, to vegetation, to flowering) that allows for the growers to harvest every single week! Not too many cultivators can say this, especially when it comes to a soil based system.
The ingenious design breaks out the grow facility into multiple rooms. There are several rooms for vegetation and around a dozen for flowering. The flow not only makes the grow facility flexible for production, but reduces the risk of significant crop loss due to pests and disease outbreak.
GROWING IN SOIL
While the new grow facility was being designed in 2015, master grower Cassandra Maffey was joining the new management team at Verde Natural. Cassandra brought with her a very unique soil growing system that she had just successfully implemented at Boulder Marijuana Company (BMC) in Boulder, Colorado. The soil system mimics an outdoor growing environment, making for an ideal ecosystem in which cannabis plants can thrive, unlike the common hydroponic and synthetic systems found in a majority of growing facilities across the United States today.
The soil is living, meaning there are thousands of microbes milling around in the soil. Microbes are beneficial microscopic bacteria that aid the cannabis plants with nutrient uptake from the soil. Cannabis plants have evolved over thousands of years to actively communicate with these microbes. With living soil, you are allowing the plant to naturally choose when and what to eat, whereas in a hydroponic or synthetic system you force-feed the plant. Plants reach their highest potential, in terms of terpene and cannabinoid production, when you allow them to feed naturally. And that's exactly what we are doing here!
Soil at Verde Natural also recycled after each flower harvest! Most grow facilities will throw out their soil after every single harvest, primarily because they've riddled it with synthetic nutrients that kill off all the beneficial microbes. Our goal is to keep these microbes alive, so we do not use harsh synthetics. Instead, we use pure organic nutrients in proper amounts to ensure the plant is fed properly until harvest. In most instances, after the plant is harvested, the soil is fairly depleted of nutrients. Once we remove the root balls from the soil, the remaining stalk and roots of the cannabis plant, we test the soil to note the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels are. From there we add organic nutrients based on the soil's needs. These nutrients are bat guano, alfalfa meal, granular humic acids, limestone and kelp meal. The soil at Cassandra's previous grow was used for six years. We hope to be using our soil at Verde for even longer!
HAND TRIMMED & SLOW CURED
Hand trimming is slowly becoming a lost art, even with cannabis in the early stages of legalization. Not at Verde Natural, though! Hand trimming is important because a trimmer has more control than a machine. Hand trimming maintains potency and flavor in your flower.
Machines tend to strip away a majority of the trichomes where terpenes and cannabinoids live, which takes away the purpose of using cannabis. Machine trimmed cannabis can easily be identified by its symmetrical pine tree shape and flowers will look more or less the same in the jar.
Properly cured cannabis flower is something that very few people know about. You don't just cut down and injest a plant. Cannabis flower needs to be cured over the course of two to three weeks to bring out the wild and exotic smells found across different strains of cannabis. Verde uses a "hippie hang" drying method, where the flowers dry at room temperature on some hanging racks. Once the flower has dried for a set number of days, it moves over to bags. From there it will cure for a few more days and then will move to five gallon buckets, where it will finish the curing process.
The number of days needed to cure each strain varies, much like a wine varies from grape to grape. Once the flower is in the buckets, you need to pay attention because you don't want too much humidity nor do you want the flowers to get too dry. Buckets are checked every couple of days in a process known as "burping," to ensure a proper balance is maintained. Tedious as it may seem, proper curing is crucial to bring out the flavor and smell of the flower.