Updated: Jan 15
Marijuana is shedding its black-market status and quickly turning into one of the biggest industries in America, which means individuals and corporations alike are looking to get in on this fast-growing market (pun intended). This is good news for consumers, because this means prices will go down and quality will (hopefully) go up. But that isn’t always the case, and big corporations are looking more into how they can maximize profit rather than how they can increase overall quality. That’s where artisan and craft growers come in.
What is a Craft Dispensary?
A craft dispensary is essentially a small, locally owned micro-grow that focuses on quality of product rather than quantity and yield. Similar to craft brewery’s, a craft cannabis dispensary attempts to produce a unique and flavorful end product for the consumer, tailored directly to a small niche market rather than the masses. Craft cannabis is for the connoisseur’s, the people who truly appreciate and even expect a flavorful and potent experience every time they light up.
The differences between commercial and craft cultivation.
Commercial and Craft marijuana cultivation differs in many ways, but one of the first and most important differences comes before the growing even starts – With Strain Selection. Most commercial grows choose strains that will produce heavy yields, often compromising the potency and terpene profiles in the process. They choose strains that are easy to grow in an industrial setting, mostly focusing on bag appeal rather than the actual effects and flavor of the marijuana they grow. Craft dispensaries on the other hand analyze the flavor and effect of every strain they choose to grow, regardless of what kind of yield they get off those strains. In fact, in our experience some of the most potent and terpene loaded strains are the ones that produce the least amount of product in the end. This is because the plant chooses to put more energy into terpene and trichome production rather than packing on pure weight.
Scale of Cultivation
Another reason why commercial cannabis fails to produce top quality products is simply the scale at which the corporations are growing on. Growing thousands of plants at once, it’s nearly impossible to put in the time and effort required to grow top shelf cannabis. Each plant needs to be analyzed and watched closely, and if there’s ever an issue the problem needs to be rectified immediately in order to not compromise the end quality. In smaller micro-grows like ours, the growers are able to check each plant daily and assess their needs individually. Then the process can be tweaked in order to compensate for individual plant needs. When it comes to marijuana, every strain has different wants and needs in terms of nutrients, watering times, and basically every other factor you can think of, and growing on a smaller scale allows us and other craft growers to give each plant exactly what it needs at exactly the right times.
The methods in which cannabis is grown is just as important as the genetics of the strains you choose to cultivate. Bigger cannabis corporations almost exclusively grow with hydroponics. For those who don’t know, hydroponics is a method in which plants are grown using soilless mediums such as rockwool, perlite, clay pellets, or some other material that doesn’t break down or hold nutrients. And while this can be an effective strategy at producing quality marijuana, there are many micro-nutrients that aren’t accounted for in hydroponic grows simply because it’s not cost effective. We believe many of these micronutrients are what gives cannabis that extra push needed to increase terpene production to the highest possible level, which is why we choose to grow exclusively in organic soil. By using live soil, all of our macro and micronutrients are accounted for, which allows us to boost our terpene levels to the max potential for each individual strain. Plus, there’s nothing more natural than marijuana grown in organic soil, and we would never compromise that for the higher yields promised with hydroponics.
Pride in Product and Care for the Patients
The last major difference between corporate and craft marijuana cultivators is the pride and care (or lack thereof) shown towards their work and their patients. Like we said before, many commercial growers are focused on one thing and one thing only – Profits. Here at Big Sky Buds profits are the last thing on our minds, our main goal is caring for each and every one of our patients and customers and providing them with top shelf medical marijuana every time. We take pride in our work and are constantly coming up with ways to push our quality to an even higher level, no matter how much it costs.
We truly do care for each and every one of our patients, and are devoted to continue providing top quality medical marijuana to Bozeman and hopefully one day all of Montana. If you have any questions about our methods, who we are, or why we do what we do, feel free to check out our about page here or give us a call any time at the phone number below. Our patients are like our family, and we would love for you to be a part of what we have!