Colorado's cannabis laws used to force dispensaries to grow the majority of the pot they sold, but those days are long gone. That process, known as vertical integration, connected a dispensary to the flower it sold. Now that growers are no longer tied to stores, they're the ones gaining the attention and loyal followings. Cherry has been hard at work as a wholesale provider for several years and started asserting itself on a branding level in 2020. Westword sat down with two of the company's leading growers, Jason MacLean and David Crowley, to learn more about their view of the industry and what they're working on now.
Jason MacLean (Source: Cherry / www.westword.com)
David Crowley: "We've noticed over time that breeders’ first priorities were to get a plant to grow indoors, with every strain focused on getting the potency up. Nowadays, everything is strong, and breeders are selecting for palate, smell, bag appeal or other unique characteristics. There are subtle, distinctive differences in personal preferences today." Jason MacLean: "There is a big market of people who only look for potency. Then there is the more educated smoker, who looks for the terpene profile."
Does Colorado weed have a more challenging time with dryness and moisture than other places? How do you deal with it? David: "Everything we do is indoor growing, so we're able to control the elements from start to finish." Jason: "The biggest challenge is not letting the flower dry out once we deliver it to the dispensaries. Every state has its different challenges. You just have to be prepared to go through the seasons."
How do you go about finding genetics? How hard is it to find or make good ingredients nowadays? Jason: "A lot of our genetics are trades throughout the licensed Colorado market. We recently created our own genetics company, Coool Beans, so we are able to create our own genetics in-house." David: "It takes special skills to reverse a plant and go through the pollination process and pheno-hunt the winner. A good strain takes about a year from start to finish to stabilize and bring to market."
To read the complete interview, go to www.westword.com.