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What Is Craft Cannabis?

Written by Julie Godard

In any industry, there are low-end products, products that are somewhere in the middle, and products that a specially produced, curated, and selected to be the best and most unique

The cannabis industry is no different – just like the microbrew industry has craft beers, craft cannabis has been gradually gaining ground since the U.S. legalization process began in 1996. But what exactly is craft cannabis, how is it produced, where is it sold, and who’s buying it? This article delves into craft cannabis history and mystery, with a few recommendations of delicious craft cannabis for the discerning cannabis consumer.

Craft Cannabis

Cultivating cannabis has always been a special process – back in the days when cultivation was still illegal throughout the United States, places like the Emerald Triangle (Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity Counties) in Northern California got their names by producing some of the most consistently high-quality cannabis in the world. The word “craft” has always been associated with an artisan who is skilled at a certain type if creation, whether it’s crossing two medical cannabis strains to make one that works better than for pain relief, or building the perfect architectural masterpiece. Other professions we associate with “craft” are generally historical callings, like bookbinding, creating classic furniture, or learning to play the ukulele. Crafts involve using our hands to create something instead of modern tools like smart devices or assembly lines. There is a sense of history, an art, and the involvement of all the senses to create something amazing. The craft of cultivating cannabis is centuries old – as old as the original Chinese dynasty, as old as Ancient Greece, or even older. The history of the plant is part of craft cannabis, and those who create it feel that historical connection and sense of identity in each plant they cultivate.

How Craft Cannabis is Created

Many modern cannabis cultivators grow cannabis in large warehouses or lot plots of land acres wide. In Canada, where medical cannabis is a booming business, large corporations like Tilray Canada Ltd. are investing millions in enormous grow facilities that harvest up to 51 metric tons of cannabis each year. Think of craft cannabis as the opposite of this: cannabis produced in small batches within smaller facilities. The ultimate craft cannabis, of course, is a landrace strain, or a strain that has been grown continuously so that it retains the characteristics of one of the original historical cannabis strains that started it all. Some of these landrace strains that are purported (although probably never proven) to exist are the ones you may have heard of most often: Afghani, Thai, Hawaiian, Kush, etc. (If you haven’t yet and are interested in landrace strains, check out the Strain Hunters episodes in YouTube.) The point is, craft cannabis is nurtured, continued, and treated with the utmost respect so that the consumer can enjoy a cannabis experience like no other.

Where to Buy Craft Cannabis in the U.S.

The term craft cannabis has been growing in popularity, so if you search it on the Internet you’ll come up with several cannabis companies who have included the term in their names. The Farm in Boulder, Colorado, was one of the first craft cannabis companies, whose aim was to create entirely organic cannabis and cultivate each plant by hand by the same person. The Farm wanted to entirely avoid using automation to cultivate its cannabis. California’s Bay Area CRAFT (Citizens Research Alliance for Therapeutics) has won awards for its medical craft cannabis, and the Craft Cannabis Alliance recently launched in Oregon to provide an organization that encourages and supports the state’s craft cannabis industry. Not everyone needs craft cannabis, but like a fantastic wine or a favorite dessert, some of us want a craft cannabis product that we can enjoy knowing that true love and care went into its production at all stages of its life.

[Image credit: Pixabay]

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About the author

Julie Godard