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Company Highlight – WILLIE’S RESERVE™

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Photo courtesy Sacred Valley Medicine

Willie Nelson has been a figurehead of the cannabis lifestyle for decades now. When the musician stepped into the cannabis industry with his premiere line of concentrates, vapes and flower in 2016, consumers across the nation rejoiced. What makes Nelson’s brand stand out amongst the rest and hold up to its high standard of agricultural integrity is WILLIE’S RESERVE™’s dedication to obtaining small batch flower and material sourced straight from local farmers. In order to get a better idea behind the high-quality products being offered in the state of Colorado, CULTURE connected with Sacred Valley Medicine and Southern Charm Organics. As two of the longest-standing local farmers that provide flower to WILLIE’S RESERVE™, these cannabis cultivators are setting the bar high for innovation and dedication.

 

SACRED VALLEY MEDICINE

 

How would you describe your farm?

Sacred Valley Medicine is a sun-grown, natural/organic retail marijuana cultivation facility located in the San Luis Valley on Chokurei Ranch. Our ranch is over 2,400 acres and has 20 artesian wells. We raise a herd of over 400 Tibetian yak that graze on 400 to 600 acres of native grass at a time. We use solar power to offset our energy use, and we use the Garn, the most eco-friendly wood boiler, which is virtually smokeless, to heat our 6,500 square-foot greenhouse all year round. We never use harmful pesticides, and we always grow a very clean and tasty finished product.

 

What is your specialty?

Our specialty is our excellent terpene profile. The combination of being sun-grown, natural/organic and being well cured, helps us create incredibly strong terpenes in our cannabis.

 

What do you offer the WILLIE’S RESERVE family that others don’t? 

Sacred Valley Medicine offers a clean, well cured, sun-grown product that is consistently grown with love. Our mission is to always be energy efficient, making very little impact on the land and water. To be good stewards of the land, grow healing medicine and always do good business.

Photo courtesy Sacred Valley Medicine

 

 

With the changing landscape of medical and recr

 

eational cannabis, what do you see as the biggest challenges to your progress as a farmer? Any advantages?

We have seen the market change a lot. With so much supply, the price per pound has really gone down, making it tough on the farmer.

Our two advantages are that we try to keep our cost down using the sun to grow (compared to being grown in warehouses), and that we are always producing a high quality product that helps the customer be happy.

 

What words of advice would you offer anyone seeking to enter the world of cannabis business? 

Having relationships or partnerships with great companies like WILLIE’S RESERVE™ can help you grow. You have to make sure you have your customers before you even grow your crop. Keep your cost down, labor, supplies and fixed costs. But don’t take shortcuts affecting the quality of your product. Grow organic/natural cannabis and grow with the sun. Last but not least, always do good business with a win-win approach to every business decision you make.

 

What are the goals and vision moving forward in your partnership with WILLIE’S RESERVE?

We plan to continue to grow high quality clean sun grown great tasting Cannabis for WILLIE’S RESERVE™. Our hopes is that cannabis becomes legal nationwide. We have plenty of land and water on the ranch to grow a huge supply of cannabis for WILLIE’S RESERVE™.

 

Where do you see your company in five years?

On the cover of the Rolling Stone. No really, we have always felt that farmers should be more recognized for all their hard work and effort into growing good food and medicine for the people. We are not in it for the recognition personally, but for the principles to be talked about and to be used to inspire others to grow responsibly and to be good stewards of the water and land. We see Sacred Valley Medicine in the next five years being one of the top companies in the nation, growing truly the finest, cleanest, greatest tasting cannabis on the market.

 

What do you hope to accomplish in the cannabis industry?

We want to be known for inspiring others to grow sun-grown all-natural and organic cannabis without harmful pesticides.

 

Photo courtesy Southern Charm Organics. Fred and Kimberlee taking time for a photo.

SOUTHERN CHARM ORGANICS

 

How would you describe your farm?

We are a very small, boutique style cannabis farm. Our flowering space is broken into multiple small rooms, so that we can better control and monitor the environment. We hand trim all of our product to ensure a high quality, aesthetically pleasing finished product.

It’s hard to really say we have a specialty. Growing cannabis is a constant learning experience and [with] every batch we run we seem to learn something new.  I have learned you can’t be rigid or too proud in your growing methods. We have made many small tweaks over the past four years and this has allowed our product and processes to improve over time. Currently, our “specialty strain” would have to be Sour Diesel. We were fortunate to have acquired a very good phenotype early on and have worked hard to learn to cultivate this strain well and produce a consistent final product.

 

What do you offer the WILLIE’S RESERVE family that others don’t?

We can’t really speak to what others offer the WILLIE’S RESERVE™ family but we can say what we offer. We are very humbled and proud to be a part of the WILLIE’S RESERVE™ family. Growing up in the rural South in a farming community, Willie was and still is looked at as a hero figure. From Farm Aid to just the way Willie has lived his life, he has shown how much he roots for the little guy and has shown how much he cares about the hard working small farmers in the U.S. Just being able to say we are remotely involved with Willie and the Nelson family is a huge deal to us, and we look at it as an honor and privilege. Being a small independent farmer, we are able to put product quality first and make sure that we are giving WILLIE’S only the best product that meets our and their high standards.

Photo courtesy Southern Charm Organics.

With the changing landscape of medical and recreational cannabis, what do you see as the biggest challenges to your progress as a farmer? Any advantages?

We feel one of the biggest challenges to our progress as with probably most all small businesses in every industry is just the inability to compete with the “big guys.” As the industry has matured over the past few years, wholesale prices have dropped significantly. Much of this is obviously due to many more farms in general and also more large farms that are able to produce product cheaper per gram and also survive off of smaller margins. I strongly feel there will be space for large farms as well as the small boutique farms such as ours, it’s just a matter of surviving until the markets level out. We have been so blessed to be able to become an independent farmer for Willie’s.

 

What are the goals and vision moving forward in your partnership with WILLIE’S RESERVE?

Our obvious first goal in moving forward in our partnership with WILLIE’S RESERVE™ is to continue to be a partner with WILLIE’S RESERVE™.  We hope to continue to produce high quality product that WILLIE’S will be proud to keep in their line-up. We definitely would love to add a few strains for WILLIE’S to give consumers more selection from our farm. We don’t want to speak out of turn on that subject so we will just have to see if we can present Willie’s with a few choices that they just can’t pass up. We’ll do our best to make that happen, so stay tuned!

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