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What is Craft Cannabis And Why Does It Matter?

“Craft cannabis is a hands-on approach to growing cannabis”

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 Liebowitz.

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.”

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