Knowing the origin of an extract is one of the most important steps in talking about high-quality concentrates. VOLUME 1 was hand-crafted using full-bud from Plantworks, a microgrow with a big heart. Plantworks kindly invited us into their garden and we sat down to ask what inspires them to create such amazing cannabis; Here’s why -
We are a team of two, a true mom and pop, grower-owned Microgrow. Jared and I (Regina) are forever partners in work and life, growing together for six years. Jared has significant experience; it is an honor and a pleasure to work with someone so talented. He has built out and consulted grow operations and has a long history in plant production and nursery management. Our stellar propagation and production protocols are the result of his amazing mind and everything he has learned and created over the years. I got my start in 1998 in San Luis Obispo, CA, and was a charter member of the SLO chapter of CA NORML, and worked as a compassionate caregiver under Proposition 215. Working as a grower and trimmer, in lieu of monetary pay, I had endless access to raw material, and I made cannabis butter for a collective of medical patients. I also have a long history with running cannabis grows, propagation, seed production and breeding, as well as plant biology/botany, and gardening in general. Additionally, I was also an editorial assistant for the 215 Reporter, a journal covering all aspects of Proposition 215.
Plantworks has been licensed since August 2017. We are the first cannabusiness member of Seattle Made, a City of Seattle initiative promoting locally owned, urban manufacturing and production, and the Seattle Good Business Network, because of our values of buying, producing and reinvesting locally.
We became Plantworks in a very organic way. We were running grows for other people during medical, and over time we realized our labor and skills were building their reputation. When i502 was on the horizon, we were expected to continue working under their projects, but we decided to step out on our own. We had a vision of how we thought the ideal grow should be run, and it was at-odds with the team we were with at the time, as they wanted much larger scale and factory-like production in the name of revenue.
We have taken our hits along the way, most notably the burglary of Plantworks in early 2018. A sad group of people stole inventory worth $50k (of finished product and a fully dried and intact harvest that was ready to trim). We spent nearly all of 2018 recovering from that, and that was only a few months after being licensed. It was very difficult, putting our nursery production plans on the backburner while we got back on track inside the facility. We almost lost the entire business.
Other than that, there is the day-to-day struggle of selling premium product in a saturated wholesale marketplace. Many stores have adjusted their business models to accommodate what they say is the customer’s insatiable demand for the cheapest product available. It seems many farms and grows are feeling deep financial pressure and are willing to sell their products at steep discounts, just to get product out the door. So there is pressure from all sides.
Independent means Jared and I are accountable to each other, not to a profit-driven boss or board that cannot see the true value in a smaller premium cannabis grow. We don’t have investors breathing down our necks, so we can instead stay focused on continually producing the highest caliber cannabis flower. We make all decisions with that in mind.
Everything we do is geared towards the health and bounty of our grow: the strains we choose, how we tend to the plants, what our next products will be, which stores we would want to work with. This is just the beginning for us; we hope to find like-minded people that share our work ethic and passion, and bring them on-board and grow Plantworks together, as a cooperative.
Being independent means we are free to explore the endless possibilities of cannabis flower varieties, and we do a lot of R/D internally, propagating and growing through different phenos from seeds to decide what to put into production, and that takes time, production space and patience.
We are unrestricted in opening ourselves to new opportunities and we can follow paths that might not otherwise be possible were we driven solely by production yields and revenue targets.
We are an all-LED Indoor Urban Farm, hydro in compostable non-soil media. We generally clone from our own mothers stock, but we also continually pop seeds from our own open-pollinated seed archive and spend many months growing and QA testing new strains to add to our collection.
Coming from medical, we saw what a drain on resources indoor grows typically were: High-Pressure Sodium or Ceramic Metal Halide bulbs, green plant waste and potting media going to landfills, the overuse of supplemental CO2, overuse of water, heavily saturated plants in too-strong nutrient solutions, all in the name of big yields. We deconstructed the standard blueprint and rebuilt it in a much more environmentally-friendly and thoughtful way.
We have many, many completed harvests under our belts. We have fine-tuned what we think is the perfect cure, and it is one of the most important parts of our protocol. Plantworks flower is never cured in plastic, the flowers are sparkly not frosty, the finished flower is perfectly dried and preserved and not at all soft or spongy. All of these variables together make for the highest quality end product. From a health and safety standpoint all these things matter too. You could grow the best cannabis in the world, and without knowing what makes a good cure, your end product will be inferior.
The definition of Craft Cannabis has to be reigned in. Craft Cannabis is a full-cycle process, a series of intentional methods used to produce the highest quality end product. It is the smaller farms, the microgrows like Plantworks, that excel at Craft Cannabis. Craft Cannabis should not just be something a farm puts on its label. You have to honestly do the craft!
We truly hope consumers will start putting more thought into where their product is coming from, how it is made, and what are the values of the company making it. It is still the ‘wild west’ and consumers have countless choices in the storefront, and often expect new things all the time.
But not all products are the same, not all brands are the same. Over time, we hope consumers will become more savvy about how to identify high quality flower products. We think Craft Cannabis has and will have a firm stake in the future, because at the end of the day, people will come back to a consistent, high quality flower product again and again.
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Made with love by Heylo Cannabis in Seattle, Washington.
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