Spark Dispensary
Apples & Bananas, Grape Cream Cake, Pancakes, Sunset Drive
TGS
Apple Fritter , Cherry Punch , Frankenberry , Frozen Dessert , Horchata , El Chivo #4
The 404 Dispensary
Citrus Cake , Divine Kush Breath , Milky Weigh , Rotten Cherries , Tropsanto , Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
The 64 Store
Cherry Diesel, OG Sin
The Dispo
Apples & Bananas, Cherry Diesel, Double Deja Vu , Frankenberry , Pancakes , Papaya Cake, Passionfruit , Scooby Snax, Sour Diesel, Tangidos , The Sauce, Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, GG #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Peking Duck #6
The Happy Camper
Apples & Bananas , Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills , Frankenberry , Frozen Dessert , Interdimensional Cable, Mac N Cheese , Mandarin Cookies , Milky Weigh , OG Sin, OG Sin , Pancakes , Passionfruit , Pruno, Quatro Kush , Rotten Cherries , Sour Apple , Street Urchin, Tangidos , Toxic Boo , Veritas Cookies , El Chivo #4, GG #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Root Canal #2
The Joint By Cannabis
Cherry Punch , Frozen Dessert , OG Sin, Pruno, Street Urchin, Melonade #8
Third Day Apothecary
Cherry Diesel, Garlic Breath, Marmot OG, Sour Diesel, GG #4, Peking Duck #6
Top Crop
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
Tumbleweed
Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills , Double Deja Vu , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Georgia Pie , Horchata , Interdimensional Cable, Mac N Cheese , Scooby Snax, Sex Grenade , Sour Diesel, Sueno, The Sauce , Tres Leches , Apples & Bananas, Durban Kush #8, El Chivo #4, Item #9, Muffinz Breath #1, Root Canal #2, Sunset Drive
Twin Peaks
Frozen Dessert , OG Sin, Sex Grenade , Street Urchin, El Chivo #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
Unity Rd.
Apples & Bananas , Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, Item #9
Zipz
Cherry Diesel, Garlic Breath, Sherb Crasher, Peking Duck #6
ANNA
OG Sin, Pruno, Street Urchin, Root Canal #2
Best High
Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Mac N Cheese , Mandarin Cookies , OG Sin, OG Sin , Oreoz , Pruno, Pruno , Quatro Kush , Sex Grenade , Melonade #8, Root Canal #2
Blue Heron
Interdimensional Cable, OG Sin, Pancakes, Pruno, Street Urchin, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
COS Confidential
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas , Double Deja Vu , Electric Lemonade , Horchata , Oreoz , Scooby Snax , Strawberry Guava , Triangle OG , El Chivo #4, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Sugar Rush #2
Canna Cabinet
Apples & Bananas , Pancakes , Toxic Boo , Veritas Cookies , El Chivo #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
CannaCo
Apples & Bananas, Cherry Diesel, Garlic Breath, Pancakes, Scooby Snax, Sour Diesel, The Sauce, GG #4
Cannabicare
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas , Cherry Diesel, Cherry Hills , Garlic Breath, OG Sin, Sherb Crasher, Sour Diesel, Durban Kush #8, El Chivo #4, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Sugar Rush #2
Cherry Peak
Apples & Bananas , Electric Lemonade , Frozen Dessert , OG Sin, Pancakes , Street Urchin, Toxic Boo , Tres Leches , El Chivo #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
Colorado Harvest Company
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas, Apples & Bananas , Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Frozen Dessert , Georgia Pie , Horchata , Interdimensional Cable, Mac N Cheese , Marmot OG, OG Sin, OG Sin , Oreoz , Pancakes , Papaya Cake , Pruno, Pruno , Rotten Cherries , Sex Grenade , Snickerz, Sour Apple , Street Urchin, The Sauce , Toxic Boo , Tres Leches , Veritas Cookies , Apples & Bananas, El Chivo #4, INFVSED Scooby Snax, INFVSED The Sauce, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2, Sugar Rush #2, Sunset Drive, Tart Pops #3
Dark Matter
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
EMJ's
Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Diesel, Scooby Snax, Snickerz, Street Urchin, Sunset Drive, The Sauce, GG #4, Peking Duck #6
Elevated
Electric Lemonade , Sex Grenade , The Sauce , Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Sueno
Emerald City Wellness
Cherry Diesel, INFVSED Oreoz, INFVSED Sour Orange Zkittlez, Peking Duck #6
Green Dragon
Apple Fritter , Electric Lemonade , Horchata , Oreoz , Pancakes , Pruno , Toxic Boo , Veritas Cookies , El Chivo #4, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
Green World Express
Apples & Bananas, Frankenberry , Mac N Cheese , Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Tres Leches , El Chivo #4
HERBS 4 YOU
Electric Lemonade , Sex Grenade , Root Canal #2
High Class
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
Igadi
Cherry Diesel, Electric Lemonade , Frozen Dessert , Garlic Breath, OG Sin , Pancakes, Rotten Cherries , Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Sunset Drive, El Chivo #4, GG #4
Kind Care of Colorado
Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Apple Fritter, INFVSED Peking Duck #6, INFVSED Scooby Snax, INFVSED Sherb Crasher, INFVSED Sueno, INFVSED Sunset Drive, INFVSED The Sauce, INFVSED Yuk Mouth, Melonade #8
LA CASA CANNA BIS
Apples & Bananas, Frankenberry , Mac N Cheese , Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Tres Leches , El Chivo #4
LIGHTSHADE
Apples & Bananas , Frankenberry , The Sauce , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Sueno, Item #9
Lightshade
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas, Apples & Bananas , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Pruno , The Sauce , El Chivo #4, Item #9
Livgreen
Apples & Bananas, Apples & Bananas , Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Diesel, Cherry Hills , Double Deja Vu , Frankenberry , Funyunz, Georgia Pie , Oreoz , Pancakes, Pancakes , Scooby Snax , Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Sunset Drive, The Sauce, Veritas Cookies , El Chivo #4, GG #4, Item #9, Melonade #8
Lucky Monkey Buds
Apples & Bananas, Garlic Breath, Pancakes, Scooby Snax, Sour Diesel
Magnolia Road
Chemdawg , Divine Kush Breath , Milky Weigh , OG Sin , Tropsanto , Watermelon Sorbet , Durban Kush #8, Root Canal #2
Magnolia Road
Apples & Bananas , Chemdawg , Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Divine Kush Breath , OG Sin, OG Sin , Papaya Cake, Pruno, Scooby Snax , Street Urchin, The Sauce, Tropsanto , Watermelon Sorbet , Durban Kush #8, El Chivo #4, Item #9, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
Makena
Apples & Bananas , Rotten Cherries , El Chivo #4, Item #9
Mellow Harvest
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
Munchiez
Sueno
Native Roots
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas , Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Double Deja Vu , Electric Lemonade , Frankenberry , Frozen Dessert , Horchata , Interdimensional Cable, Mac N Cheese , OG Sin, OG Sin , Oreoz , Pancakes , Pruno, Pruno , Rotten Cherries , Sex Grenade , Street Urchin, The Sauce , Tres Leches , Veritas Cookies , Durban Kush #8, El Chivo #4, INFVSED The Sauce, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
Oasis Cannabis Superstore
Cherry Hills , OG Sin, Veritas Cookies , Item #9
Peak Dispensary
Electric Lemonade , OG Sin, Pruno , Sex Grenade
Peak North
Horchata , Tres Leches , INFVSED Apple Fritter, INFVSED Scooby Snax, INFVSED The Sauce, INFVSED Yuk Mouth, Item #9
Roadrunner Cannabis
Item #9, Sueno
Rocky Mountain Blaze
Big Bubba Diesel, Electric Lemonade , Horchata , Papaya Cake, Sex Grenade , Tres Leches , El Chivo #4, Peking Duck #6
Rocky Mountain Cannasol
Eagle Scout , Horchata , Pruno, Rotten Cherries , Scooby Snax , Toxic Boo
Rocky Road
Apple Fritter , Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Punch , Electric Lemonade , Horchata , Interdimensional Cable, Papaya Cake, Sueno, The Sauce, The Sauce , Tres Leches , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Pineapple Blast, INFVSED Scooby Snax, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2, Tart Pops #3
Rocky Road Remedies
Apples & Bananas, Big Bubba Diesel, Cherry Diesel, Funyunz, Garlic Breath, Interdimensional Cable, Marmot OG, Pancakes, Papaya Cake, Snickerz, Sour Diesel, Street Urchin, Sueno, Sunset Drive, GG #4, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
Roots Rx
Cherry Hills , Cherry Punch , Citrus Cake , Divine Kush Breath , Eagle Scout , Frankenberry , Mac N Cheese , Mandarin Cookies , Milky Weigh , OG Sin , Oreoz , Passionfruit , Quatro Kush , Rotten Cherries , Scooby Snax , Sour Apple , Sour Diesel , Toxic Boo , Tres Leches , Tropsanto , Veritas Cookies , Durban Kush #8, GG #4, Item #9, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2
Sandia Botanicals
Cherry Hills, Item #9, Sueno
Simply Pure
Apples & Bananas , Rotten Cherries , Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Sherb Crasher, Item #9, Melonade #8, Muffinz Breath #1
Solace Meds
Apples & Bananas , Electric Lemonade , Sex Grenade , Toxic Boo , El Chivo #4, INFVSED Sour Orange Zkittlez, Melonade #8

August 20, 2021

What is craft cannabis and why does it matter?

Dante Jordan∙ August 19, 2021   11:20 am PDT | Updated 4 hours ago

Great weed that's grown with mama's love — that's what craft cannabis is all about. By taking some class-A genetics and putting every minute into growing the plants with extreme daily attention, you'll come away with some of the best weed this world has to offer. But what exactly does craft cannabis mean, and more importantly, how does it differ from commercial cannabis?

To gain insight on the subject, and why it matters in the grand scheme of cannabis worldwide, I spoke to Mike Leibowitz, CEO of Veritas Fine Cannabis in Colorado and Jesce Horton, CEO of LOWD in Oregon — both craft cannabis growers backed by years of experience.

What is craft cannabis?

Craft cannabis — also called small-batch cannabis or artisanal cannabis — refers to a small-scale growth of cannabis that emphasizes quality over quantity. It is defined by cultivators that can dial in every little detail of growing cannabis, from seedling to harvest to curing, ultimately bringing forth the best aromas, flavors, and effects of the genetics they're using. 

“Craft cannabis is a hands-on approach to growing cannabis. I think there are going to be two very separate cannabis businesses at some point that define themselves. One is going to treat cannabis more like a commodity that sells to the masses; and then there's craft cannabis, which is a cultivation-oriented, cultivation-first product that emphasizes the technique of growing, emphasizes the medium of how you're growing, emphasizes the genetics you're growing, the atmosphere you're growing in, much more than an automated process,” said Leibowitz.

There are plenty of smaller family farms, especially in Northern California, that specialize in growing small-batch cannabis. These farms emphasize sustainably grown, full-term outdoor cannabis that uses natural processes and regenerative farming methods. But because of these practices, there is much debate over indoor cannabis being considered “craft cannabis” at any scale. It would seem that the answer lies in the size of these indoor farms and the growers' ability to meticulously care for each plant. 

In an MJ Biz Daily article from 2019, CEO of California's Flow Kana said, “When it comes to indoor, you can do it at small scale, with love and intention, and call it craft. And a lot of people do it. But for me, indoor is a cultural phenomenon that is left over from the prohibition.”

How does craft cannabis differ from commercial cannabis?

There are many differentiators between growing craft and commercial cannabis. In my conversations with Horton and Leibowitz, I found that it all boils down to three things: operation size, attention to detail, and the resulting quality. 

The thing to know about cannabis is that each individual cultivar requires different growth techniques to bring out its best traits. With cannabis that is grown for scale rather than for full genetic expression, many farms have huge fields or warehouses growing a bunch of different strains under the same lighting and watering cycles, and then rush the drying/curing processes as a company's objective is to flood the market with product as quickly as possible. This results in huge harvests and a huge supply, but it doesn't necessarily produce the highest quality of weed that a cannabis connoisseur would want to smoke. Veteran smokers want big aromas, big flavors, big effects, and to be absolutely blown away from their buds each and every time they consume. These traits are often lacking with the cannabis that comes from companies that produce big amounts for the cheapest pricing. 

On the extra care and attention to detail that goes into small-batch cannabis, Horton said, “No matter what, each strain is going to like a different level of watering; so especially when you have multiple strains on one table, and people are watering that table at one time, you're not giving some of those strains exactly what they want. You may be able to give them enough to where they're healthy, and they're doing okay, but if they're not getting exactly what they want, then you open up the potential to reduce their quality, and move from that craft quality level.”https://3c7260b538e38bf58db1874d3a8275d8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

This is why craft cultivators emphasize smaller grows with a limited amount of strains, so they can be sure that each plant that comes out of their garden is a true showstopper. However, Veritas challenges the idea that craft can't be grown in a larger facility. When asked how the size of an operation defines craft cannabis, Leibowitz shared, “When we talk about craft cannabis, we talk about really doing something on a micro-level, maybe even at a macro-scale. You can have a 30,000 - 50,000-square foot facility, but the way we've designed our facility is we draw micro-rooms. So we'll have 700 - 800 square foot flowering rooms, no more than 25-30 lights in each room, that way we can plant the room at once, harvest the room at once, thoroughly clean the room in between each cycle, and pay more attention to each and every plant that goes in that room every day.”

When defining the right number of lights in a room that would be considered indoor small-batch cannabis, Leibowitz told me that Veritas has never grown in a room larger than 45 lights. Subjectively speaking, Horton said, “For me, I've found that the sweet spot where I can still do small batches is a max of 30 - 40 lights per harvest. If you can get a 10 - 20 lightroom, those are some of the best because usually you've got one grower in there, and they know the whole process, they know each plant, and they can reduce all these variables that are common in the cultivation space.”

Another huge component of craft cannabis is hand-trimming the plants versus machine trimming. The problem with using big machines to trim cannabis is that you lose a lot of the trichomes from the plant. The trichomes are the key to quality. They are the milky white crystals on cannabis flowers that house both the cannabinoids and the terpenes, which are the compounds in cannabis that are most responsible for the effects we feel when consuming. 

What is craft cannabis's place in the consumer market?

With the future of cannabis consumerism imitating the alcohol industry, it's easy to see that there are going to be different levels of quality for each type of consumer. Just like how you can grab a 30-pack of Keystone Lights for $15 that'll get the job done, you'll be able to go out and purchase ounces for $50 - $100. On the flip side, just like how you can grab a special batch of fruit-infused sours from your local microbrewery, you'll be able to grab jars of craft cannabis that might hit your pockets for $50 - $60 an eighth, but you'll be consuming some of the most flavorful and potent flower possible. 

On craft cannabis's place in the future world of weed shopping, Leibowitz said, “Definitely always on the top shelf. I think you're going to have good packaging with it, I think it's going to be like buying a nice bottle of wine versus an average bottle of wine. I think it will undeniably be classes above commercial cannabis. One day a bodega in New York will sell you five joints for seven bucks and it's probably going to be grown outdoors in North Carolina, and have an 8% THC level, and have a purpose, right? And then there will be, potentially in that same bodega, hopefully a jar of Veritas, and it'll cost $60 for three grams, but it's something that is of a much higher quality than what was in that joint that you smoked. And that should be evident to the consumer when they smoke it.”

On getting consumers to buy into the idea of more expensive, but higher quality, craft cannabis, Horton shared, “I think it's really about education. When you start to see other people moving from the lower-cost, lower-dollar cannabis and moving more into top-shelf cannabis, it usually comes naturally. And education of them learning the difference. I think as consumers are getting access to better buds, it is a natural evolution for many to want to consume the best, consume the healthiest cannabis, the most effective cannabis, the best smelling, the most pleasurable from a number of different standpoints when you look at measuring aesthetics, smell, effects, and taste.”

Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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