Developing better, repeatable strains—and making new ones—drives The Farm.
Now that the industry has hit its stride, one of the fastest-growing product segments is craft cannabis—those carefully tended, small-batch, one-of-a-kind strains that have proven to be either incredibly popular over the years (think Durban Poison or Blue Dream) or were created with the cannabis connoisseur in mind.
And that’s where Boulder-based The Farm comes in. “It all started with a passion for amazing cannabis, creating the best products we would want to consume,” says Abel Villacorta, director of marketing and branding. “To us, craft cannabis means this blend of art and science of producing the best crop.”
The Farm has two 10,000-square-foot facilities, each subdivided into four bloom rooms of about 700 square feet, each with about 130 plants. There are about seven growers and 20 post-cultivation employees doing everything from harvesting and drying to curing and packaging of the products.
The Farm also has a cannabis-in- fused-manufacturing facility, where CO2 hash oil is extracted and processed for Airo Pro vape pen cartridges. The company works with Root, the medical cannabis outlet store, with products produced from a separate medical-only cultivation facility.
Villacorta says the Farm has defined craft cannabis with three key focal points. First, craft cannabis is grown in small bloom rooms with highly experienced growers who tend to one crop at a time. Second, there is a focus on bio-controlled pest management. The final focal point of a successful craft cannabis operation is a careful drying and curing process.
“When taking care of a plant, we try a preventative approach,” he says. “We address the issues from which problems arise before problems arise.”
The Farm assembled its research and development team working in a program called The Farm Genetics to create new strains. “We first want to see what the market is asking for,” Villacorta says. “And we are always looking at interesting cannabinoids. The goal is to provide consumers what they want before they know they want it.”
For example, as part of the Farm’s genetics program, it has created a brand specifically for the Colorado market. Most people enjoy heavy Sativa strains like Durban Poison, but not the “raciness” effect that comes with them. “CBG has been reported to decrease the ‘raciness’ in Sativa strains,” Villacorta says. “So we have developed Mountain Thunder, which we’ve bred in CBG-producing genetics to the Durban Poison that helps foster a more pleasant experience. We are exploring all the various ratios of CBD and THC as well. We find that this exploration of cannabinoids in the plant is going to be what sets us apart in the end.”
The Farm will bring out a new strain “about every quarter,” he says. In 2017, about 14 different strains were created; last year six new strains it can call it’s own were brought on, including Mystical Mule, Battle Star, and American Gothic. “That is the future of craft cannabis,” he says. “What we can do by creating our own genetics is to develop a consistent experience for the end-user. That’s what we want to provide.”
“We are always looking at interesting cannabinoids.
The goal is to provide consumers what they want before they know they want it.”
—Abel Villacorta, director of marketing and branding for The Farm