Legalization has brought tremendous demand from marijuana consumers. Grow operations are sprouting up everywhere. Many growers are retrofitting old building, shoving as many plants as possible into their space, and pumping their plants full of any chemical they can find. Unfortunately, this situation can lead to quality becoming a diminishing factor.
I got a chance to speak with Anthony Franciosi, a grower out of Colorado. We spoke about his process and the work going into his company, Honest Marijuana, and quite frankly I was blown away. Not only was Anthony super passionate about growing, but he’s also very passionate about organically grown products.
Check out the interview and let me know what you think in the comments.
Mary Jane’s Diary (MJD): How long have you been growing?
Anthony Franciosi (AF): I have been growing seriously for about 8 years. The dispensary format was really just unrolling in Steamboat Springs in 07-08 and when I did research about how to get my card, I made a doctor’s appointment right away because I had a file folder filled with medical records from sports injuries. After that I bought a few pieces of equipment and started experimenting.
MJD: I know you’re partial to organic grow techniques. Can you tell me a little about your philosophy behind this?
AF: I have been a landscaper for almost ten years and work with soil every day. Managing irrigation systems, plant health, and soil conditions is something I’m constantly working on, in and out of the grow room. I always found that soil-based cannabis has a little more depth of flavor and character than hydroponically grown, and I have been told that hydroponically grown tomatoes have a similar lack of flavor. The micro-life that exists in soil based mediums works symbiotically with plants to seek out nutrients in soil rather than being force fed with synthetics. When you allow the plant to function naturally as it has for thousands of years, rather than force feeding, you see a more honest and distinct display of the genetics.
MJD: How is your grow operation different than all the other grows in Colorado?
AF: We are building our facility from the ground up in a style to fit in with a residential area. While most grows in the state are in warehouse-style environments, I believe we can show a new model of indoor cultivation in an attractive building that utilizes energy saving tools. A lot of big cultivators are moving towards greenhouse models, but we think the best quality is coming from indoors. We are going to use 315 watt bulbs rather than thousands and metal halide, compared to the industry standard hps. By also integrating a highly efficient state of the art cooling system and all organic growing methods, we think we can provide people with some very high quality products.
MJD: What’s been the hardest part about starting a grow company?
AF: The hardest part for us has been construction. We are building from the ground up and the amount of foresight that has gone into our facility is mountainous. We are still working on it every day.
MJD: How many people does it take to keep up the operation?
AF: We will have between 5-7 full time growers and more people for trim work and concentrates production.
MJD: Concentrates have gotten super popular. How do concentrates fit into your business?
AF: We produce concentrates using butane extraction methods as well as IWE solventless or Ice Water Extraction. We have been able to implement methods of butane extraction where our residual solvent levels are extremely low and feel good about being able to offer a highly refined BHO product. The solventless extraction is a big focus of mine because I personally prefer to use that type of concentrate. By using ice water, we can take raw material from plants and turn it into 90% THC product with almost all trichome heads and no volatile solvents. This method preserves terpene content and is very enjoyable, so keep on the lookout for Honest Marijuana full melt.
MJD: Which do you prefer – indica or sativa
AF: I prefer sativa dominant hybrids, which have a good stony quality but also allow me to function. Its hard for me personally to say which I like best, however, because there are so few true sativas out there. I think mood and environment are big factors in deciding what strain to use.
Learn more about Anthony and his company, Honest Marijuana, on their website: honestmarijuana.com