It’s no surprise that I’ve been around a lot of cannabis in my day; from the worst looking buds to award winning colas, I’ve pretty much seen it all. I’ve even watched friends grow weed from a packaged seed, purchased at the Peace Pipe, into tasty buds that I’ve smoked and enjoyed. Sounds like I’ve seen everything there is to see though, right? …well, not quite. 

Despite working in the industry and being around cannabis almost my entire life, I had never seen the inside of a grow facility before, not once. I’ve obviously seen some pictures and a few behind the scenes video clips, but I’ve never had a personal tour of a cannabis production facility, I guess is what I’m trying to say.

That all changed yesterday though, thanks to BOAZ, as they gave me and my closest friends a private, virtual, tour of their facility in Calgary, Alberta …and it was awesome.

We were toured around by their Master Grower, Bill, who showed us everything from the growing pods to the packaging room, as well as all the rooms needed for each step in between; it reminding me a scientific laboratory that you only see in the movies.

We started with the grow pods, which to me, is where the real magic happens. There’s just something about seeing plants in their various stages of growth; I love it. Each strain that they produce at BOAZ is grown inside individual grow pods, meaning the Dank Rainbow, for example, is all grow in one pod while the Green Kraken is grown separately in a completely different pod.

The reason for this is because each strain has different needs which means each plant needs to be cared for individually. The Pizza Breath requires different light strength and nutrients than the Heavy Duty Tutti Frutti, same with their Primal Punch and Mandarin Cookies, etc.

The one thing that stood out to me if that they don’t let their plants get too big or tall before turning them over to the flowering stage. They were only a few feet tall, at most. This allows for more hands-on care, easier air flow and buds; plus there’s an abundance of other ways that it helps the plant reach its full potential.

BOAZ is known for their exotic, terpene rich, high THC strains, but it should be noted that they are also one of the few Licensed Producers (LPs) who is certified by Health Canada as Craft Cannabis. What does that mean exactly? It means that everything in their facility is done by hand …which in turn means their product is handled with a little more care, keeping all those juicy, terpy, trichomes intact and in place.

It starts at harvest though. To qualify as Craft Cannabis, the harvested plants must be hang-dried, not tossed onto a drying rack or warming unit. From there, once dried, the plants must be hand-trimmed, which keeps those trichomes safe and the buds looking all nice and pretty (a lot of companies just toss their buds into an electric trimmer or machine grinder …and you can imagine what that does to the buds and their trichomes).

Once the buds are hand-trimmed and looking good, they must then be hand-packaged, before there are shipped out to their destination. Again, a lot of companies use machines, specifically a conveyer belt style system, where the buds are electronically sent around the facility, bumping around and shaking off more and more trichomes along the way.

The final thing that you need in order to qualify as Craft Cannabis is that the product must be grown in a small-batch facility that produces less than 10,000 kg of cannabis per year. If Health Canada deems that you have followed these four requirements, they will then put a craft certified tag on your cannabis …and those extra steps are the reason why some cannabis companies charge more for their product then others; that extra care provides a smoother smoke, a better taste and just a better overall experience (in my humble opinion). 

Am I going to be a Craft Cannabis snob, now that I’ve had a closeup look at their operations? I don’t think so, but I am certainly going to be more understanding towards their higher prices, now that I’ve witnessed all the extra care that goes into making craft; suddenly that price doesn’t seem high to me at all anymore; it’s completely justified.

I’m hoping to see more facilities in the upcoming weeks, as I’d love to see the difference in operations from LP to LP, but for now, I’m going to grab some Pizza Breath from the Peace Pipe and head outside to take advantage of this great September weather that we’re getting. Ciao for now.