Season 3 Episode 4
by Amanda Mackay
In this episode of Growing Exposed we go to Denver, Colorado to meet a crew who does everything together. They work together, grow together and smoke together.
The Cuban crew is actually a family who has been cultivating for generations…first in the tobacco fields, and now cannabis. Their grow, extraction lab and dispensary are all under one roof, and today we are getting an exclusive tour of their entire setup.
Justin Cooper starts with a night of good old fashioned Cuban hospitality and meets the entire family. Family is everything to the Cuban Crew, and for them traditional Cuban family values have translated into growing world class cannabis.
Alex Fernandez sits down with Justin to talk about this seed to sale business…their dispensary Krystal Leaves and their sub-brand, Habana Extracts. We learn the history of how the family arrived in Miami from Cuba, and ultimately ended up in Colorado; using the skills they’ve used for generations growing tobacco and transferring them to growing the type of clean cannabis that “people want to smoke.”
Once Justin established over dinner that they knew how to cook, the next morning it was time to head to their facility in Commerce City (just outside of Denver), and see if they knew how to grow.
We start in the veg room and check out the variety of strains that they are growing. We talk genetics and breeders while learning that the facility has only been open for a year. It’s truly a family run business! Favorite strains include a unique Triangle Kush and Wedding Cake.
Next, Justin explains the importance of fertigation. Fertigation is the injection of fertilizers, used for soil amendments and other water-soluble products into an irrigation system. The Cuban Crew reuses and reclaims all their water, and utilizes Green Planet nutrients for better, cleaner and faster growth in their grow.
We then meet Adam, who is the lab director for the Cuban Crew and he walks us through the flash frozen process of turning hash into resin. We see how cannabis plants are turned into extracts. The goal is to move fast and get the cannabis into the freezer as soon as possible, resulting in keeping the plants fresh.
We learn a bit about the approval and testing process for keeping everything legal and Justin is put to work using the press making the cleanest extracts possible, effectively making him a member of the crew.
In Teachings of the Garden Sage, David Robinson goes in-depth on concentrates. He talks about the history of extraction since the beginning of mankind, and specifically how that pertains to the cannabis plant. He breaks down the benefits and different methods of extraction.
Very few States allow for production, processing and retail under one roof so it is quite a luxury to be able to step out of your grow, and into your dispensary. We end our tour inside the Krystal Leaves dispensary and check out what’s on the shelves.
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