January 02, 2018 | WES ABNEY
A medical heritage family owned garden in Bellingham is delivering passion for quality and terpenes in products that are redefining the marketplace in I-502 Cannabis. Photos by Daniel Berman.
Cascadia Gardens lives up to its beautiful name, representing the Northwest with a sustainable and organic focused Cannabis farm that is revolutionary on several levels. The team of 25 managing the facility is diverse, from owners getting their hands dirty daily to two garden managers with university degrees in horticulture and organic crop management. Think being a master gardener doesn’t need a Master’s degree? Think again.
The garden is proof that the combination of knowledge and extreme passion for the plant pays huge dividends, and it can be tasted in every flower or dab that comes out of the facility.
“Our university training always looks for consistent output, and now every strain is always the same, from environment to harvest,” Erin Lapansky said, assistant production manager.
“We’re detail-oriented people, trying to get the same results in the same products.”
The secret, she said, “is we care a lot about them. They’re goddesses. We love our plants.”
Walking into the flowering room at Cascadia is like stepping into a jungle of Cannabis, with a layer of fragrant warm and humid air that blasts the senses and air that smells literally terp-ified.
The 4,200 happy plants wave and dance under 50,000 watts of light in the facility, which features a blend of traditional lighting and LED fixtures. The garden uses a mix of efficiency and teamwork to make everything run smoothly.
“Horticulture is specifically the science of growing the plant, and we do anatomy research, rhizosphere research and constantly monitor every other element that affects the plants, like environment, lights, temperature and energy output,” Lapansky said.
“Our university training was always looking for consistent output, and now every strain is as close to the same, crop to crop, as possible.”
The love for the plant extends back to the days of providing medical Cannabis to patients, and the transition into I-502 has pushed the team of owners to the come together.
“It’s been us four fighting the depths of family and friend owned facing every day the trials and turns of 502. Doing this from the get-go with this from the helm. We did this a lot more organically than some of the big funded gardens,” Owner Nate Lapansky said with a humble chuckle. “What we have been able to do is generate a consistent flow of revenue in a market that provides almost no consistency. We also generate a lot of love for our products.”
In addition to the core team is what they refer to as the four horsemen, the original strains that have helped define Cascadia in the market. They are the Jack, Bear OG, The Candy and Grapefruit.
All are extremely rich in flavor and terpenes, which inspired the team to push further into development of new products.
The love that the team puts into the products delivered hugely with consumers, and provided the energy to push into new product development. On top of their fire line of flower strains, the Cascadia team is at the cutting edge with terpene extractions and infusions into oils.
One of the most unique products developed at Cascadia Gardens is The Terps, true Cannabis-derived terpenes that capture the purest essence of a Cannabis strain.
Packaged in a standard concentrate container, the single milliliter of liquid contains the essential oils of ounces of Cannabis, a refined and amazing experience for flavor, taste and effects.
“For Cannabis extraction CO2 is the best method for saving terpenes. We are able to end up with a pure essential oil, the essence of the plant,” Co-owner Tyler Hanson said. “The entourage effect [of terpenes] is everything! We’ve always focused on the concept that terpenes are everything to your high. Influencing your high and direction.”
Hanson continued describing their impact.
“Terps are the reason we’ve followed this plant as a species around the world: the smell and the flavors. We want to provide that to the market — the perfect flavor addition and the first of its kind offered to consumers, online and in recreational stores.”
Another new product that is redefining concentrates is the High Terpene Full Spectrum Absolute (HTFSA) oil. Unlike the “sauce” sold by many companies that is unpurged and raw run, the HTFSA oil by Cascadia’s Garden is solvent free and full of natural terps.
Dabbing on the HTFSA is a truly unique experience, with an extremely smooth vapor that is full of the most natural flavors Cannabis can provide.
The highs are magnified by the entourage effect of the terpenes, and last for hours. With a solvent-free method, the oil is safer than any hydrocarbon and is simply a cut above what the rest.
“Our goal is to bring a very high-end product for a great price,” Co-owner Nicholas Hoag said.
“This was built around providing an awesome place and career, providing something that can help change lives and open doors into a new industry.”
Look for their delicious flowers, oils and terpenes at your favorite local Cannabis shop.
Celebrate the diversity in Cannabis that makes Cascadia Gardens such a world class producer of Cannabis products.
“Whether in flower or oils,” Hoag said, “We want to produce the best possible, while providing a great place for us to work and grow as a team.”